Voters will choose seven of 28 District 1 candidates for 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 unpaid 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.
This is the Weekly News’ second question tor three weeks of articles highlighting District 1 freeholder candidates: What is the one key factor that qualifies you to be a freeholder?
Position 1: Daniel Hagen, La Conner; Danielle M. Thomas, Burlington; Elizabeth (Liz) Lovelett, Anacortes: With five years of serving Anacortes and working regionally on the issues that matter to people, I have listened to the needs of Western Skagit County residents and I am ready to represent them; John T. Burke, Burlington; Position 2: Annie Lohman, Bow: I am a property owner and a farmer. I have spent most of my adult life participating in land use policy as an active member of several Agricultural organizations. I am a Planning Commissioner who takes very seriously the role of the Planning Commission as well as being very mindful of people’s property rights; David James Groves, Anacortes; Donald Clark, Anacortes; Margery Hite, Bow: Freeholders are meant to be citizen delegates, representing a cross-section of the community. I bring the perspectives of a (former) working mother, a small farm owner and a citizen concerned about the state of our community and country to the discussion; 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 skills and experience to help draft a charter that is workable, fair, and representative of Skagit citizens’ intentions, not those of professional politicians; Shani Taha, La Conner: I have a career in government and served as a senior executive, the county administrative officer, in King County government when it transitioned to Washington’s first charter government. I served under three administrations from both parties and know what a variety of decisions can do to increase bureaucracy and reduce efficiency; Position 4: John Doyle, La Conner: As the former administrator and planning director for La Conner, I have had extensive interaction with federal, state and local governments. I would like to use that experience to help formulate a more representative government for the citizens of Skagit County ; Ken Goodwin, Anacortes; Konrad Kurp, Anacortes: Over 45 year involved resident of Skagit County; Mark Hurd, Bow; Position 5: Andrew Miller, Mount Vernon: The totality of my experience, education and interests in effective local governance would be key to my success as a freeholder; Ed Stauffer, Bellingham: At this time, I do not wish to make any public statement; Matt Miller, Anacortes: I have significant and relevant experience as a servant leader; “ska je tah lo” Lona Wilbur, La Conner; Position 6: Amanda Hubik, Anacortes: I’m responsive and adaptable. I live and work with an incredible assortment of people who have given me a wider understanding of truly how diverse this county is. I can help translate their needs into something that works for everyone, and can remain effective for generations as the county continues to grow and diversify; Celia Ponce Sanchez, Bow; Don McMoran, Burlington: The key issues of my candidacy is my deep understanding of Skagit County government; Larry Wasserman, Bow: [What] qualifies me to be a freeholder, in addition to being a County resident for more than 25 years, is my experience in working with County and City governments and with writing charters and bylaws for three different non-profit organizations; Stephen (Steve) Orsini, Anacortes: I worked for 30 years in the electrical power industry for large international firms. I understand how large organizations with diverse components and interests are structured to accomplish tasks and goals efficiently. I will bring this experience to the discussion of a new charter for Skagit County; Position 7: Jack Galbraith: I have a strong background in the workings and interactions of city and county governments in Northwestern Washington, La Conner; Michael Petrish, Anacortes; Ryan Walters, Anacortes; Todd E. Gordon, Mount Vernon: [I am a] lifelong resident with 27 years of drainage district experience.
Candidates were asked a second time to respond. These 11 did not: Position 1: Daniel Hagen, La Conner; Danielle M. Thomas, Burlington; John T. Burke, Burlington; Position 2: David James Groves, Anacortes; Donald Clark, Anacortes; Position 4: Ken Goodwin, Anacortes; Mark Hurd, Bow; Position 5: “ska je tah lo” Lona Wilbur, La Conner; Position 6: Celia Ponce Sanchez, Bow; Position 7: Michael Petrish, Anacortes; Ryan Walters, Anacortes.
Candidate profiles can be found at the Skagit County elections department website or https://weiapplets.sos.wa.gov/MyVoteOLVR/onlinevotersguide?language=en&electionId=71&countyCode=sk&Group=Local.
Seven of Washington’s 39 counties have charter government. They are all on the west side of the Cascades.