Upcoming Ferry Committee & Public Works Meetings

Upcoming Ferry Committee & Public Works Meetings

In the coming week there will be two San Juan County Ferry Advisory Committee Outreach Meetings for the public on Zoom. One will take place tomorrow, Saturday, October 15 at 9 am and the other on Tuesday, October 18 at 5 pm. The agenda and links to the meetings can be found on the County website. If you are interested in getting an update on the current crisis and having your input this is a good opportunity. In the coming days I plan on attending both of those sessions to listen in.

Also on my calendar today is a trip to visit some Public Works project sites on Lopez Island with Council Member Cindy Wolf and the Director of Public Works Colin Huntemer. There are some important projects being planned on Lopez in 2023. Information about forthcoming projects can also be found on the Public Works website once the projects are deemed ‘current’. I also look forward to further conversation with Council Member Wolf.

lopez island boys soccer

Ready for the game against Providence!

Next week I continue to have meetings with Lopez and Orcas constituents. I am also planning a visit to Shaw Island with the help of Shaw Island resident and Ferry Advisory Committee member Jennifer Swanson. I am hoping to make that trip on Sunday, October 23 or October 30th. Also in the plans is one more trip to San Juan Island on Thursday, October 27 to have meetings with a number of county government officials, both elected and appointed.

Stay tuned for news of my ongoing outreach next Tuesday!

Buy a poinsetta and support Lopez sports!

Buy a poinsetta and support Lopez sports!


Campaign Outreach in the coming week!

Campaign Outreach in the coming week!

This past week has been busy and so will the weeks ahead leading up to the November 8th elections – let’s vote together!

Tomorrow I will host my first of four October ‘Meet and Greets’ at the Lopez Island Library from 12 – 1:30 pm! I look forward to introducing myself and hearing about issues that matter to you! If you would like to chat one-on-one I will have a sign-up sheet for 15 minute conversations, or if you are happy to meet with me with others present, that works for me too!

This weekend, I have been invited to a gathering at the home of a friend on San Juan Island to get further acquainted with constituents there. Visits to all islands  are important because the vote for County Council members is county wide.

Next week I have a few events lined up that I am looking forward to, including:

  • Attending the Seniors Luncheon at Woodmen Hall on Lopez on Tuesday, October 11 from 11:30 am
  • Attending (as an observer) the Ferry Advisory Committee meeting (via Zoom – see the SJC website for details) Tuesday, October 11 @ 5:30 pm
  • Meeting with the Coordinator of the Agricultural Resources Committee, Faith Van de Putte
  • Meeting with County Council member Cindy Wolf on Lopez

Reach out if you would like to connect and stay tuned or sign up for my News post next Tuesday!

ferry at sunset

News of the past week’s outreach in the County!

News of the past week’s outreach in the County!

News of the past week’s outreach in the County!

Last week’s outreach included another visit to San Juan Island on Wednesday during which I attended 4 meetings and the Annual Luncheon of the Economic Development Council. My first meeting of the day was with the Friday Harbor Town Administrator, Denise Kulseth. We discussed her role as Town Administrator, a job she assumed in February of this year, and the distinct yet overlapping mandates of Friday Harbor Town and San Juan County.

The Annual Luncheon hosted by the Economic Development Council was well-attended and included a representative of the County Council (Cindy Wolf), the Friday Harbor Town mayor Raymond Jackson, WA State representatives, and the Community Liaison from Rick Larsen’s Office. The theme of the event was ‘Resiliency’ and how San Juan County can move beyond the significant impacts experienced from the COVID pandemic, to recovery and renewal, as well as addressing bigger challenges including affordable housing, sustainable economic growth, lack of childcare, and viable local career opportunities for young people who live here. It was a stimulating discussion and a good opportunity to share information, resources and contacts.

Later in the afternoon I was able to meet with the Director of the Department of Community Development, David Williams, and the Director of Health and Community Services, Mark Tompkins. Those meetings were an opportunity to learn about their departmental priorities moving into 2023 and to gain an understanding of the functions of their departments.

My final meeting of the day was with Council Member Christine Minney. I was very grateful to have the opportunity to meet with her for the first time and gain some perspective on her experience of the first two years in office.

Also last week I had the opportunity to meet with the Executive Directors of the Family Resource Centers located on Lopez, Orcas and San Juan Islands via Zoom. It was an informative discussion of the challenges they are faced with as they function as a critical extension and partner of County departments including Health and Community Services. The work these organizations do to support our island communities is invaluable!

So, my learning journey continues as I move into the last few weeks before the November 8th elections. My local conversations with constituents also continue from which I am gaining valuable insights. I am looking forward to more meetings with people across the County in the coming weeks.

With thanks again to all who are taking the time to meet with me and share their experience and knowledge!

Coming home to Lopez on the ‘on time’ Yakima.

Busy with Outreach to Islanders

Busy with Outreach to Islanders

This past week has been very busy with outreach to islanders and organizations across the county.

Highlights included travelling to San Juan Island on Sept. 14th to meet SJC Land Bank staff and visit three preserves on San Juan, followed by a meeting with a small gathering of San Juan Islanders.

On Sept. 15th I attended the monthly OPALCO Board meeting via Zoom to discuss energy issues in our County. A number of fellow Lopezians have reached out to me to share their issues and concerns prompting a few small gatherings, and I conducted a ‘meet and greet’ at the Lopez Farmers’ Market on Sept. 17th. Yesterday I had the opportunity to attend in person the regular County Council meeting where the Comprehensive Plan updates were discussed, followed by a meeting with the San Juan Island Lions Club, and a one-on-one with the candidate for San Juan County Prosecuting Attorney, Amy Vira.

All of these meetings and interactions are educating me to the wide range of issues that constituents are focused on and concerned about: the enormous challenges with our ferry system, concerns about climate change and sustainability, lack of affordable housing, and accountability in our local government. I am grateful to be able to have these interactions as they inform my understanding of what is expected of the County Council and our local government in the future.

More outreach events are planned in the weeks ahead!