Opinion

Attend the candidate forum Oct. 13 | Editorial

They want to make decisions on your behalf. They want to decide how your tax dollars are best spent. And in some cases, the privilege of representing you will come with compensation and full health benefits – better than many of their potential constituents receive.

“They” are the candidates for office in the Nov. 3 general election.

This election is significant in many ways: For the first time in 12 years, there are more than two candidates for mayor of Friday Harbor.

A majority of positions on three boards – Town Council, Island Rec Commission, and Cattle Point Water District are on the ballot. Voters will elect two new members of the San Juan Island School Board and a new member of San Juan County Public Hospital District No. 1.

Unfortunately, of the 18 positions on the ballot on San Juan Island, only four attracted more than one candidate. It is unfortunate because all of these positions deal with such quality of life issues as cemetery care, education, fire safety, medical care, recreation, water quality and other public services. Campaigns foster dialogue on issues and establish relationships between the candidate and the public. In 14 races, that won’t happen this year.

Thanks to the League of Women Voters, you can get to know the candidates in the contested races Oct. 13, 7-9 p.m., at Friday Harbor Middle School. The league is hosting a candidate forum for the following races.

— Town of Friday Harbor mayor: Carrie Lacher, Robert Low.

— Town Council member, position 4: Felix Menjivar, Clinton Mills.

— Port Commissioner, position 3: Greg Hertel, Sharon Kivisto.

— Park and Recreation commissioner, position 2: Jeremy M. Talbot, Amy Windrope.

— Proponents and opponents for Proposition 1, county property tax levy.

— Proponents and opponents for San Juan Park and Recreation District property tax levy.

— Proponents and opponents for fireworks referendum.

You can also get to know the candidates and issues in The Journal’s series of profiles, published in the newspaper and on SanJuanJournal.com. The series concludes Oct. 14.

Ballots will be available Oct. 14 and mailed Oct. 16.

We congratulate the islanders who did step forward this year to run for office. Special applause goes to Linda Bergquist and Cheryl Opalski of Stuart Island, who are running for two cemetery district commission positions there. The County Council was on the verge of appointing commissioners for lack of candidates, but then Bergquist and Opalski stepped forward.

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