Opinion

The Journal endorses ... | Editorial

The Journal has been covering the campaign issues since long before the campaigns began. We’ve watched the issues develop, we’ve covered the discussions in public forums, we’ve talked to the candidates as they emerged and became involved.

We’ve questioned the candidates, investigated their claims, explored their pledges. The following candidates are the ones we feel have the best understanding of issues, the most solid plans for the future, the most ability to build consensus on difficult issues, and the best skills to get the job done. We recommend their election.

(Ballots go out this week. No matter how you vote, please do vote.)

Mayor of Friday Harbor: Carrie Lacher.

Friday Harbor Town Council, position 4: Felix Menjivar.

Port of Friday Harbor, commissioner 3: Greg Hertel.

San Juan Island Park and Recreation District, commissioner 2: Amy Windrope.

And the ballot measures ...

Referendum 2008-2: This referendum asks voters to approve or reject a county ordinance banning the possession and/or use of safe and sane fireworks in San Juan County. We recommend voters mark "rejected" on their ballot. A ban on safe and sane fireworks is overreaching.

Opponents to the ordinance say reasonable controls are acceptable, particularly in forested and grassland areas. Send the ordinance back to the County Council for revision.

San Juan County Proposition 1: Yes.

San Juan Island Park and Recreation District levy: Yes.

Proposition 1 asks for a property tax increase to make up for budget reductions for the county fairgrounds, Extension programs, law and justice, parks, public health and senior services.

The park and recreation district levy asks for renewal of its regular operating levy as well as an additional amount to provide a stable source of funding for school sports.

Combined, these requests amount to 29 cents per $1,000 of assessed property valuation. But they come as a school bond levy of 60 cents per $1,000 of assessed property valuation ends.

In other words, approve these levies, and you will still pay 31 cents per $1,000 less than the previous year. Meanwhile, you’ll make quality of life investments in the county fairgrounds, Extension programs, fitness and recreation programs, law and justice, parks, public health, school sports and senior services.

We shudder to think of what our community would be like without the programs and services that will be funded by Proposition 1 and the San Juan Island Park and Recreation District levy.

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