Scott Lancaster, Owner of Orcas Island (Ace) Hardware in Eastsound, says his wife Therese made him do it — run for County Council position #4 (Orcas West) in the upcoming November election.
Lancaster hearkens back to his first days on the Orcas Island School District Board seven years ago. This after over a dozen years on Orcas where he and Therese moved after an American Legion fishing derby lured them from San Diego. When Therese complained of the late nights Scott spent on school board business, he countered saying that his investment was not in cars or boats or shop tools or hobbies like fishing, but in working on solutions with people who aren’t necessarily of like minds. “The challenge is exciting,” Scott says. He won that argument and Therese’s encouraging advice that now is the perfect opportunity to run for County Council, “put me over the top” in deciding to make the run, Scott says.
He says the seven years of his service on the school board began with the rude awakening that here was only about $5,000 in the fund balance. There were a lot of meetings with people with pitchforks in the audience.” Now, there is a “very healthy reserve compared to those days.
“I have proven that I have the sense and sensibility to make good decisions; to understand the issue long before the discussion and, by being able to get to the point of the problem, I’ve been able to change people’s minds,” he says.
Scott’s dad and grandfather had been in the grocery store business in San Diego. Since buying Ace Hardware in 2008, Lancaster says the store’s success has been due to “Therese and the kids involved in taking the business by the horns. We’re all on the same page; and we couldn’t have taken it on in more challenging times. ”
Now Patrick Lancaster is managing the paint department of a hardware store in Oceanside Calif and about to attend nursing school. Daughter Lindsay, 17, is an avid student of marine biology. Both kids share Therese’s love of horses, and are involved in 4-H and the San Juan County Fair.
Scott finds running the hardware store to be “really fun,” especially on Sundays in the off-season when patrons customers will “hang around and chat and give each other advice — making a key or deciding on paint or dealing with a plumbing problem. ”
Scott has also been coach and referee for the Orcas Vikings football team. It’s a joy to watch how they grow as persons and team-mates. And the girls’ sports, too; it’s such a neat thing for all ages of the community to be there rooting for the young kids. ”
Lancaster says, “Going forward, we face an unbelievable amount of challenges in the county: our lifestyles, our politics, our business. I feel I have the tools to solve the problems we’re heading towards.”