By Robert E. Allen/Friday Harbor
Vonnie and I have eagerly volunteered to help Marc win the San Juan County District 3 seat at next Tuesday’s election.
We have been 20-year property owners in Friday Harbor and have been permanent Washington residents for several years. Like most residents of the San Juan Islands and Friday Harbor, we feel blessed to live here. Our islands are comprised of a healthy diverse society, which adds to the vibrancy of our community.
All of us treasure the natural beauty that surrounds us; however, with increasing concern we have witnessed some strident factions over reaching in their desire for more restrictive changes. Linked to that concern is the long term financial condition of our county.
Some hard decisions need to be made by common sense, business savvy participants. There is a lot of talent available on the islands; however, many of us have spent years in participating in other venues and are not willing or able to take on another tough job.
I spent over 20 years on various elected boards and commissions in California and realize what a commitment it takes to serve. That Marc Forlenza is willing to commit himself to serve our islands is quite admirable as we desperately need new blood.
Marc has a diversified business background, from working in international marketing, to an owner/operator of five restaurants in Florida, to his current job as a part-owner and manager of the Tech Center in Friday Harbor. Marc is fluent in Spanish and serves as an interpreter for the San Juan County Superior Court. For several years he has assisted the Latino community on a pro-bono basis.
Marc is a tireless volunteer with several organizations; he teaches classes for the San Juan Island Power Squadron and single-handedly raised funds to salvage San Juan County’s Derelict Vessel Program when it was not operational. Due to his efforts the funds he raised were instrumental in assisting the San Juan Islands to reinstate the program and many dangerous, derelict vessels have been removed from our waters.
We are very fortunate that a man with Marc’s expertise and common sense is willing to take on the job of commissioner for District 3. Sadly, his opponent has served six years and has proved to be ineffective. And, his inability to stay awake in meetings has been well documented for over two years.
We need a vibrant, problem solving presence on the board and we hope all will join in electing Marc Forlenza. The people of the San Juan Islands deserve better and the council needs a change.