Letters to the Editor

Supports Severson for San Juan County Council, North San Juan

Laura Jo Severson has all the qualities of a fine County Council representative.

At a forum hosted by the San Juan County Builders Association on Oct. 13, Rich Peterson, her opponent, suggested that Severson would need (as he did) “1½ years” to orient herself to the job. However, Severson has attended council and advisory committee meetings regularly for several months and studied the issues, and has spent most of her campaign ringing doorbells to listen to the concerns and suggestions of her future constituents – and is prepared and bright enough to hit the ground running.

Severson has political courage: her campaign accepts contributions only up to $100 per individual. In addition, she is willing to take a pay cut to help alleviate the county budget shortfall. Most of Rich Peterson's campaign contributions have been significantly over $100, money once again trying to buy an election.

Peterson has said publicly that he meets with constituents once a year, but keeps in touch with people via e-mail and telephone. However, I know of several of his constituents to whom he never responded. His selective response is a quality that islanders do not need on their council.

At the Builders meeting, a real estate broker suggested that rather than caving in to state mandates, they needed a county advocate to help establish programs that were appropriate to the islands. Laura Jo Severson is a veteran at lobbying on local, state and national levels; she has promised to represent the county in Olympia to obtain funds for needed projects and for the general economic health of the islands. Peterson's lack of presence in Olympia for the past four years – which would follow from his anti-government ideology – has led to his shortsightedness on how government works, and is counterproductive today when the county needs all the state funds and cooperation it can get.

We need to elect Laura Jo Severson.

John Brash
San Juan Island

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