Islands' Sounder


Paulsen announces candidacy | Letter

August 30, 2013 · Updated 4:47 PM

We have a rule in our house: The first person to complain is the next to volunteer.

The purpose behind this rule is that it is not enough to simply point out problems, but in order to create real change you must step up and be willing to be part of creating solutions.

It is for this reason that I have decided to throw my hat into the Orcas Island School Board race this coming fall.

As many know, I am an ardent supporter of public education. The right of every child to a well rounded and solid educational foundation is something that we must promote and protect. It is the school board’s job to assure that administration is held accountable to our community and that the educational process is as effective, efficient and safe as possible. Failure on any of these fronts yields a result that compromises public trust and diminishes the education process for the end users – our kids.

Our district is at a pivotal point in its path forward. With the upcoming expenditure of the recently approved construction bonds, it will be critical that the next school board assures transparency and accountability as part of the process. Difficult questions need to be asked along the way and decisive and informed actions will be required. With the safety and education of our children at stake, we cannot continue to allow legal and policy requirements to go unchecked. Our community deserves, and should expect more. We must step up our efforts to include the public in all aspects of our district, inviting both supporters and detractors to the table for the sake of improving ourselves.

As we move toward the November election I do not intend to run a traditional “campaign.” This election should not be about campaigning. This is about having a conversation. This is about accountability. This is about asking tough questions for the sake of our school and our children and demanding answers when necessary. In the coming months I hope to be part of that conversation. Now is the time to be asking and seeking answers to some of the difficult questions that have sat unanswered for too long. I invite you to join me in the conversation and in assuring that the Orcas Island community maintains an effective, efficient and safe education base now and into the future.

Justin Paulsen



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