Kate Hansen for fire commission | Letter

The most difficult ballot decision in this election is the Orcas Fire and Rescue Commissioner race between Toni Knudsen and Kate Hansen. Our community would be well served to have them both representing us. But, the ballot demands that we choose one.

After many discussions and long deliberations, I have decided to support Kate Hansen. Kate has the requisite experience necessary to excel in the position, having served both as a board member and employee for several local non-profit organizations. She has real-world, administrative understanding of what is required to operate a municipal fire department, having worked in key administrative positions for one previously.

But what seals the deal for me in supporting Kate is that she represents something our community has been missing in local public service for far too long. Kate brings a voice to the younger generation of islanders that is ultimately going to be saddled with the outcome of the long-range decisions that are being made; currently without their voice. Her vision and understanding of impacts, consequences and community need are desperately needed in the conversation.

In a newly constituted BOFC, we would be remiss not to seize on the opportunity to include Kate’s intelligence, experience and perspective in leading Orcas Fire and Rescue forward.

Justin Paulsen

Orcas Island