Keep Rick working for us | Letter

I wholeheartedly endorse Rick Hughes for San Juan County Council. In the years he has served our community as the elected legislator, he has been a workhorse for local and interconnected government.

His schedule is brutal, often involving ferry transit to other islands and to the mainland. Hughes’ ability to meet deadlines, whether legal or self-imposed, is a spectacular model of leadership in action.

Speaking of action, though, Hughes has a well-deserved reputation for listening and researching to do what he can to serve county constituents. He and his wife regenerated the Friday-night skating sessions when there was so little activity for school-age children to join in; and likewise, he was present at almost every Parent Night gathering in his son’s grade school years.

A family man and businessman and most of all a promoter of local citizens, he attended countless meetings, in-person and group, to listen and respond to islanders’ concerns. He researched and studied government documents to clarify the understanding of laws, policies and property. His efforts were unstinting to make island life more livable for so many – disabled, discriminated, pressured citizens and hardworking residents.

In my 18 years on Orcas Island, I spent 10 solid years reporting and researching county government. Some of the highlights of those years were:

• The reform of the County Charter in 2012; monthly meetings of representatives from all ferry-served islands to make the government more responsive and accountable

• The 2013 outage of the CenturyLink marine cable that rendered much of the county’s communications systems inoperable for 12 days

• The recession and regrowth of county tourism from 2008 — 2015 and much of the islands’ infrastructure and taxing districts:

  • Parks and Recreation
  • Islands’ waste disposal systems
  • Hospital (health) districts
  • Ferry service
  • Roads, sidewalks and highways, parking

Hughes has gone to Olympia and to Canada to create and enable laws to keep our islands’ community ecologically sound, civically accountable and legally progressive.

Let’s not squander the sound foundation Hughes has established in his eight years of community leadership — vote Rick Hughes for County Council.

Margie Doyle

Orcas Island