Letters to the Editor

Supports Severson for San Juan County Council, San Juan North

I will be voting on Nov. 2 for Laura Jo Severson for County Council member, District 2, San Juan North. I urge other eligible voters to do the same.

Incumbent Rich Peterson does not represent the progressive values of his district or county. Sixty percent of voters of District 2 who voted in the primary on Aug. 17 voted for Patty Murray. Mr. Peterson represents the vocal conservative minority in our community. His votes on the council reflect those interests.

At the Aug. 24 council meeting, Mr. Peterson’s vote against the Land Bank’s purchase of an historic preservation easement for the Brickworks farmers market project likely cost our community hundreds of thousands of dollars of critical development funding, despite the support of County Councilman Rosenfeld of Friday Harbor, and of Mayor Carrie Lacher.

His negative vote did not respect the wishes of island voters and ignored the fiscal safeguards written into the easement document. Somehow he found a way to criticize the document in spite of it giving the Land Bank the option of requiring the Ag Guild to sell the property to repay the easement should the project fail, an option not in other Land Bank easement documents. As is the case with almost all real estate contracts, it is in the county’s best interest that this be an option instead of an absolute requirement as stated by Mr. Peterson.

On Aug. 24, Mr. Peterson raised the issue of the council’s fiduciary responsibility as it related to its decision on the Land Bank easement. But why didn’t he bring up this concern about fiduciary responsibility when discussing, and voting on, transfer station matters over the last four years that have wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars of taxpayer money?

Laura Jo Severson will better represent the interests of District 2 and other island voters. She is a respected educator and administrator committed to open government and progressive change. She is smart and she listens. Find out more about her before casting your ballot. We have too many important issues facing our community to do anything less.

David Dehlendorf
San Juan Island

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