Islands' Sounder


Support for Blanchard | Letter

February 20, 2013 · Updated 11:17 AM

(Please note for purposes of full disclosure that my husband is Second District Councilman Rich Peterson.)

My gratitude to the San Juan County Council for appointing Tim Blanchard to the Planning Commission and my admiration for Tim in placing himself in the line of fire so often directed at council committees from disgruntled citizens on all sides, has given way to dismay that Mr. Blanchard’s appointment has been challenged.

Withdrawing this appointment would amount to caving in to the divisive forces in our county who predictably appear whenever someone who thinks independently and outside the ideological boundaries of partisan advocacy has the effrontery to enter the local dialogue.

Some of the objections to Mr. Blanchard’s appointment are hysterical and puffed up with unwarranted and self-righteous indignation.

The appointment has been characterized as “negligent, irresponsible, unethical, and an insult to the citizens of our county.” May I note as a citizen that I am not insulted?

As to the process through which Tim was appointed, the record seems to show that Planning Commission members including Bob Gamble, Karin Agosta, and Barbara Thomas were all appointed under the same process. (Special Meeting of the council, minutes of 11/8/2011). So shall we throw them all out?

If the clarity of thought, civility, and rationality Tim expresses in his response to David Dehlendorf could be duplicated by his detractors, we would all be better off.

In my opinion, if Chairman Jamie Stephens and members of the county council (who voted 6-0 to approve this appointment) succumb to the bullying we are seeing in opposition to Tim Blanchard, we will all be worse off for the loss of an excellent addition to the Planning Commission.

Janice Peterson

San Juan Island

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