I didn’t vote for Rick the first time he ran for County Council. I thought he’d be too business-oriented. I was wrong.
As a planner with San Juan County and a land-use consultant, I’ve worked with every council since 1989. I’ve found interest in observing the newbie councilpersons, how they arrive perky with fresh ideas and enthusiasm. It doesn’t take long before they realize that the wheels of government turn slowly and that comprise and the ability to work together is often needed to bring dreams to fruition.
In my observations, there are two very simple things that make a successful councilmember: a balanced perspective and passion for the job. Balance because there is not a president of the council (someone who can make unilateral decisions), just three people who can choose to work together or not. Bringing a balanced perspective, not one driven by a personal agenda, gets things done. Rick brings balance, integrity, connections with state, federal and private organizations, a very strong knowledge of how county government works and an ability to help move the council toward accomplishing goals that benefit the community.
Passion can’t be learned. Rick is driven by a sense of caring, of doing something that will help the community thrive, even if at times what seems like a good idea bumps up against a wall. Passion is getting up and starting over again. While listening to the candidates speak at the League of Women Voters forum, I heard Rick say, “This is the best job I have ever had.” I believe him. When I was Chair of the Eastsound Planning and Review Committee, Rick would attend each meeting and share what the council was working on. His commitment, energy and forward-thinking impressed me.
Another thing I admired about Rick is how accessible he is to his constituents. He will meet with others and listen with an open mind. During these very difficult times, we need the stability, knowledge and connections that Rick will continue to bring to the council. Yes, Rick is a businessman. But over the years I’ve come to realize that he’s much more. He truly cares.