It’s been a year since his election to office, and Councilman Rick Hughes is still passionate about county government.
“I love my job,” he said. “I feel like the county is really making changes.”
As the chairman of the council, Hughes leads its twice a week public sessions on Monday and Tuesday. He says the synergy of the three-member council, which includes Jamie Stephens from Lopez and Bob Jarman from San Juan, is going strong.
“Bob, Jamie and I see eye to eye on running the county,” he said. “We have different ideological opinions, but with the core operations, day to day, we agree … I have the utmost respect for both Bob and Jamie. They are good people who really care about the common good of the county.”
Looking back on his first year in office, Hughes said he is most proud of helping to privatize the solid waste operations on Lopez and Orcas.
“The Orcas Recycling Services folks worked really, really hard,” Hughes said. “And now the county is out of the solid waste business.”
Within the next few months, Hughes will have helped overseen completion of three elements of the Growth Management Act. The transportation component is done; the Critical Areas Ordinance will be approved in March, once Councilman Bob Jarman is back (for a story on Jarman’s illness, see page three); and the economic development component is slated to be done by June.
Hughes is proud of the changes in Community Development and Planning and improving the effectiveness of county government.
“The permit times are coming down quickly,” he said. “And we are improving the quickness of completing county projects – it’s not as fast as I want, but we’re get