Opinion

Your chance to make a difference | Editorial

Have an idea of how to make the community a better place in which to live, play and work? There’s no better chance than now.

Run for public office. As a candidate, you will contribute to public discussion about issues. If you win, you will — depending on the position with which you will be entrusted — make decisions that affect our level and quality of local education, fire protection, health care, port services, recreation, sewer and water service, and other public services.

A public office is not a normal object of ambition. As a local elected official, you will be on the front lines in confronting the big issues of the day. Our school boards are trying to balance budgets and maintain education service levels amid declining enrollment and decreased funding from the state Legislature. San Juan’s hospital district commission authorized PeaceHealth to build and operate a hospital for 50 years on San Juan Island. The Friday Harbor Town Council has tried to achieve necessary public works projects without more burdensome rate increases for town residents.

The candidate filing period opened Monday. You can file by mail for one of 40 local positions. All you need to do is be a registered voter in San Juan County and be a resident of the district you want to represent.

The primary election is Aug. 18. The general election is Nov. 3.

The county Elections Office will accept in-person candidate filings beginning June 1 at 8 a.m. The deadline for filing in person and by mail is June 5, 4:30 p.m. Candidate packets are available at the Elections Office, 55 Second St., Friday Harbor, or at http://wei.secstate.wa.gov/sanjuan/Pages/default.aspx

Following is a list of offices up for election. If a vacancy occurs in any office before June 1, that office may also be added to this list.

Town of Friday Harbor
— Mayor, full term
— Council Position 2, unexpired term
— Council Position 4, full term

San Juan Island School Board
— Director 1, full term
— Director 2, full term

Orcas Island School Board
— Director 1, full term
— Director 2, full term
— Director 3, full term

Lopez Island School Board
— Director 1, full term
— Director 2, full term
— Director 3, full term

Shaw Island School Board
— Director 1, full term
— Director 2, full term

Fire Protection District 2 (Orcas Island)
— Commissioner 2, full term
— Commissioner 3, unexpired term

Fire Protection District 3 (San Juan Island)
— Commissioner 2, full term

Fire Protection District 4 (Lopez Island)
— Commissioner 2, full term

Fire Protection District 5 (Shaw Island)
— Commissioner 2, full term

Port of Friday Harbor
— Commissioner 3, full term

Port of Orcas
— Commissioner 1, full term
— Commissioner 2, full term
— Commissioner 4, full term

Port of Lopez
— Commissioner 3, full term

San Juan Island Park and Recreation District
— Commissioner 2, full term
— Commissioner 3, full term
— Commissioner 5, full term

San Juan Island Cemetery District
— Commissioner 2, full term

Orcas Cemetery District
— Commissioner 2, full term

Stuart Cemetery District
— Commissioner 1, unexpired term
— Commissioner 2, full term
— Commissioner 3, unexpired term

San Juan Island Hospital District
— Commissioner 3, full term
— Commissioner 5, full term

Cape San Juan Water District
— Commissioner 2, full term

Cattle Point Water District
— Commissioner 1, unexpired term
— Commissioner 2, full term
— Commissioner 3, unexpired term

Eastsound Sewer and Water District
— Commissioner 3, full term
— Commissioner 4, full term

Fisherman Bay Sewer District
— Commissioner 3, full term

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