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Vote yes for fire service annexation | Letter

Our upcoming election on April 27 has two ballot measures for the annexation of the Town of Friday Harbor into the San Juan Island Fire and Rescue district.

The first measure, for town residents only, would terminate the town’s existing contract for fire service with the district at the end of this year, and permit annexation into the district in January 2022. The second, for non-town residents only, would permit the district to consummate the annexation.

Benefits for Town residents would include: 1) directly chartered service with the fire district; 2) cost-neutral restructure; and, 3) voting representation for District governance and levies.

Future benefits for all residents would be: 1) tax base expansion for the fire district; and, 2) the opportunity for San Juan Island EMS and the Fire District to consolidate their rescue services, thereby satisfying the long-standing need to merge these services under a unified command structure, and eliminate current waste and redundancies. Taken together, these measures will align these critical services into a sustainable structure that will better ensure the long-term health and safety of our community.

Dr. Loren Johnson, M.D.

San Juan Island