Islands' Sounder


Byers for council | Letter

January 17, 2013 · Updated 2:35 PM

My father once told me that in management there is no such thing as an irreplaceable person.

For the past 17 years Lisa Byers has been putting that assertion to the test. From a novice nonprofit, she has built OPAL into a nationally preeminent provider of permanent affordable housing. Her vision, passion, and competence have made her the face of OPAL – sort of a Steve Jobs, without the tantrums.

So, if Lisa is critical to OPAL why am I so supportive of her candidacy for county council?  Two reasons: First, the county needs her.  This is not a good time for politicians and for political institutions. Lisa has the skills and temperament to make a difference.

She combines three traits that make her unique in my experience.  She has vision, she sees a better future for the San Juans and has the passion to get there. She is also pragmatic, willing to work and compromise on day-to-day issues.  This ability to put her head in the heavens while keeping her feet firmly on the ground is amplified by her unique skill at building and motivating teams. She is the best “ego wrangler” I have ever seen.

My second reason for supporting Lisa is more personal.  Exceptional people like Lisa need new challenges.

Lisa is and has been OPAL’s friend. Now she is our gift to the wider community.

Allen Smith

Orcas Island

(Editor’s note: Smith is the OPAL Board President)

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