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Nonpartisan Rick Hughes chooses to unify not divide | Letter

Donna, Matthew and I chose to vote for Rick Hughes for many reasons, including the fact that he always takes the moral high ground. For instance, he has long supported Democratic candidates, but chooses not to confine himself to any single party’s platform. Why is this important? Because our county charter calls for the council position to be nonpartisan.

Rick chooses to unify people rather than divide them and he has accomplished a great deal for our islands, including but not limited to:

1. Revoking a third of the vacation rental permits.

2. Facilitated $2.5 million to OPAL in the form of REET and permit fee waivers.

3. Responsible for the placement of solar megawatt power on county buildings.

4. Persuaded the Washington State Association of Counties to make more funding for the ferry system the number one legislative priority.

5. Persuaded WSDOT and WSF to pay for the majority of the park and ride at the Orcas Ferry Landing.

6. Worked with the Deer Harbor community to replace a critical bridge.

7. Worked with Rick Larsen to secure $5.5 million in federal funding for moving the Cattle Point Road away from the eroding bluff.

8. Appointed to the Joint Transportation Committee advisory panel, representing all counties, to help develop the next transportation funding package for affordable housing.

9. Placed the real estate excise tax on the ballot which was overwhelmingly approved by voters to help fund affordable housing.

10. Worked with the Department of Natural Resources to help acquire Lopez Hill and Odlin South (a 103-acre addition to the county park) on Lopez Island so that both areas can remain public lands.

11. Worked with the Port Authority and the Land Bank and Park and Rec to move and build a new dog park on Orcas Island.

12. Earned the “Leadership Award” for the “extraordinary effort in establishing new collaborative partnerships with other counties.

13. Improved Emergency Management Communication. Facilitated the placement of 26 poles across the country for 911 emergency management.

14. Secured the funding to build the new Exchange building.

15. Brickworks Founding AG Guild member on San Juan Island. Supported the efforts of the AG Guild, which helps provide reduced rentals to nonprofits in the community.

These are just a few of the things Rick Hughes has accomplished for ALL of the San Juan Islands. He and his whole family have sacrificed to serve our communities. Because of that, he deserves a last term to finish the great work he’s started.

Jonathan White

White Construction, Co.