After attending a recent candidates’ night, visiting the candidates’ websites and following the chatter of supporters from different camps, I have carefully weighed the choices for Council representative for District 2 Orcas/Waldron. I am voting for Lisa Byers.
Lisa is uniquely qualified to serve on the Council. She has direct local experience in many, maybe even all of the important issues facing the county and its elected representatives.
She is unquestionably a local expert on affordable housing, real estate development and construction management. As executive director of OPAL she had to navigate all of these fields and, by the looks of endorsements from contractors, funders, residents, and local environmentalists, it is clear that she understands first-hand the intricacies of public financing, construction, and local land use regulations.
Lisa understands waste management; she was a leader in the analysis and recommendations that lead to the selection of a local nonprofit to run the Orcas transfer station. She also understands what it takes to provide good, financially viable local schools; she volunteered to facilitate difficult planning and budget discussions during the recent financial difficulties of the Orcas School District. Running OPAL she skillfully addressed financial management and tight budgets.
I believe Lisa will bring these same leadership skills, commitment and creativity to the Council and its efforts to strengthen the local economy. She is committed to re-invigorating the agricultural sector, supporting viable home-grown new businesses, and looking at tourism growth in new and sustainable ways.
Lisa is clearly the best choice for District 2–and the rest of us.
By Sandy Strehlou
San Juan Island