Vote no on the levy; elect Gaylord, Ehrmantrout, Knudson | Letter

If you are among the 75% of Orcas Island voters who voted against the Fire Levy in August, you may be wondering why it’s back on the ballot you just received. This is what happens when we take our eye off the ball and let a Commission do whatever it wants without citizen involvement or input. So I urge you to vote No once again.

Help is on the way. We have a blue moon opportunity to choose three new Fire Commissioners, a majority. Currently, only one commissioner has been chosen by us voters. As a result, four commissioners are on this ballot. If we vote in three new commissioners, they will have a majority to work with us to create reasonable and acceptable funding for the Fire Department after listening to us and responding to our ideas, concerns and questions.

Four outstanding, capable and willing islanders have raised their hands and said, “choose me.” Randy Gaylord is our recently retired County Prosecutor. He has stepped forward to offer his considerable knowledge and legal skills as a Fire Commissioner. He has built a career on being available to voters to whom he listens and treats with respect.He is determined to restore trust in OIFR.

Brian Ehrmantrout moved here 25 years ago with the goal of using his very successful business expertise as a volunteer to Orcas organizations, including as a volunteer fire fighter. His focus is governance and transparency for OIFR.

Toni Knudson, who has lived here for 22 years, will bring her experience as a building inspector for ten years and is now as the owner/operator of Buck Bay Farm and Bistro, which she has turned into a thriving business with 40+ employees. She is passionate about the Fire Department and has proven people skills. She has my vote but you will have to make a choice between her and Kate Hansen, another longtimer, who would bring her skills and enthusiasm to the commission as well.

Vote No on Fire Levy. Vote for Randy, Brian and Toni.

Penny Buttke

Orcas Island