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December 12, 2018

9/19/2018 12:18:00 PM
Freeholder candidates offer qualifications

Voters will choose seven of 28 District 1 candidates as freeholders, or delegates, to draft a home rule charter for Skagit County this election. Separately, voters will vote on approving the drafting of the charter. If the charter measure passes, the 21 freeholders from the three county commissioner districts will work together in developing a governing structure, or charter, for the county. It may take them a year or more. Once the charter is drafted, voters will decide to accept or reject it.
District 2 has 18 candidates; 23 candidates will vie for the seven District 3 positions.
Some candidates do not favor a charter but if a charter is mandated, they want to be part of the process of shaping it.
The Weekly News emailed District 1 candidates three questions:
What will be your chief contribution to making the process of developing the charter successful? What is the one key factor that qualifies you to be a freeholder? What is the one result you want a charter government to provide to citizens?
Due to the length of responses, the Weekly News highlights the first question this issue. Next week question two will be the focus; in two weeks responses to question three will be shared.
The question: “What will be your chief contribution to making the process of developing the charter successful?”
Position 1: Daniel Hagen, La Conner; Danielle M. Thomas, Burlington; Elizabeth (Liz) Lovelett, Anacortes: I bring many years of collaborative, community-minded policy building to the table.; John T. Burke, Burlington.
Position 2: Annie Lohman, Bow: I am very capable of working with many kinds of viewpoints in a respectful manner; David James Groves, Anacortes; Donald Clark, Anacortes; Margery Hite, Bow: as an attorney advising local government, I hope to be able to offer strategies for integrating the principles important to all the elected freeholders into a charter draft.
Position 3: Keith Rubin, Anacortes: I am an experienced policymaker and have training and experience as a facilitator to help find consensus; Roger Mitchell, Bow: My decades of experience as a world-wide negotiator, committee member, and committee chairperson finding common ground and consensus while maintaining the goals and scope of the project; Shani Taha, La Conner: Decision-making for a 21-person body is challenging. I will look to build consensus and build on decisions rather than having decisions conflict.
Position 4: John Doyle, La Conner: My understanding of governance and process as it relates to establishing objectives and consensus building; Ken Goodwin, Anacortes; Konrad Kurp, Anacortes; Mark Hurd, Bow.
Position 5: Andrew Miller, Mount Vernon: I have a background in strategy development and change management, Ed Stauffer, Bellingham: At this time, I do not wish to make any public statement, Matt Miller, Anacortes: My concern is a relatively small group of vocal activists are trying to create a solution that would likely be worse than any perceived problems.; “ska je tah lo” Lona Wilbur, La Conner.
Position 6: Amanda Hubik, Anacortes: Developing the charter will take proper time management, a great deal of patience, and successful communication across all of the elected freeholders. These are all skills I’ve developed; Celia Ponce Sanchez, Bow; Don McMoran, Burlington: My family has lived in Skagit County for 109 years. We understand good public policy; Larry Wasserman, Bow: will incorporate the views of both the largest and smallest communities of the County, in a way that provides for transparency, accountability, and effectiveness in County government; Stephen (Steve) Orsini, Anacortes: a clear understanding of how the current system can be strengthened to expand representation and balance the governance in the County to respond to its growth, diversity and the complexity of its issues;.
Position 7: Jack Galbraith, La Conner: I have a great deal of experience working with large groups of people both in and out of government. I have served as chair on many citizens committees for Mountlake Terrace; Michael Petrish, Anacortes; Ryan Walters, Anacortes; Todd E. Gordon, Mount Vernon: making sure Agriculture is represented.

Five of the candidates list La Conner addresses: Daniel Hagen, Shani Taha, John Doyle, ska je tah lo” Lona Wilbur” and Jack Galbraith. They are running for separate positions. Candidates that work in or near La Conner include Larry Wasserman and Todd Gordon.
Some candidates did not respond.
The Weekly News is discussing holding an October forum in La Conner coordinated with the Town.

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