Orcas Islanders came out in high numbers to support the formation of an Orcas Parks and Rec District.
The initiative received 1,340 (72.2 percent) in favor and 516 in opposition (27.8 percent).
The district will be governed by five commissioners, who were also elected in this election. Bob Eagan, Martha Farish, Jim Bredouw, and Ian Lister all ran unopposed. Marian O’Brien ran against Vicki Vandermay, who won 671 vs. O’Brien’s 624.
The commissioners will create a budget and work with the community on a levy that would then go before the voters.
Since Proposition One has also been approved, Orcas Recreation Program will continue to operate until the rec district is fully funded.
Orcas Island School District #137
Chris Sutton grabbed a win (864) against Jim Sullivan (733) for Orcas Island School Board Director 1.
“Of course I am disappointed – I was in it to win,” Sullivan said. “I’d like to thank everyone who voted for me, and I congratulate Chris on his victory and wish him the best of luck in dealing with the difficult economic issues, especially the upcoming building bond.”
Sutton said his win is humbling.
“I called Jim and thanked him for running,” he said. “I think it means a lot for people to be interested in the schools. I am looking forward to getting my hands dirty and figuring it all out.”
Sutton says his first order of business will be working on the upcoming bond.
“That’s a very big sell and we have to be very upfront about the whole process – the community needs to know all of it,” he said. “And then after that, every year is probably a surprise.”
Director 2 incumbent Tony Ghazel won overwhelmingly (1,320) against Robert Connell (370).
“I am thankful the voters acknowledged that the board is on the right track,” Ghazel said. “We still have a lot to do in the next few years, so we are going to need support to ensure that our students can continue to be successful.”
Ghazel says the board will be working on the maintenance and operations levy and a bond for school improvements and a community learning center. Both will be on the February 2010 ballot.
“We’ll also be making sure that the state doesn’t get off the hook for fully funding education,” he said.
Incumbent Scott Lancaster ran unopposed for the Director 3 position, and received 1,398 votes.
SJC Fire Protection District #2
Incumbent Clyde Duke will continue his service to the San Juan County Fire Protection District as Commissioner #2. He received 1,008 votes against Henry “Duff” Andrews’ 748.
“I just want to thank all the people who voted for me and I appreciate their support,” Andrews said.
Incumbent Barbara Bedell will finish out the two-year unexpired term that she began this spring after commissioner Harvey Olson resigned. Bedell received 1,127 votes, beating Pierrette Guimond, who had 524.
“I am extremely gratified,” Bedell said. “I’m very honored by the response of the Orcas community. I hope that I can fulfill that belief people have in me as a fire commissioner.”
Bedell says she hopes this election sets a mandate for a higher level service.
“I want to sustain that. And I want to complete the Deer Harbor Fire Station,” she said. “It would cover Deer Harbor and everything west of it – not just the hamlet. It’s an area that is growing and has an older population. I’d like to have more than a shell, which is what we can afford now. I’d like to have an EMT stationed out there in the summer months.”
Bedell plans to run again after her two-year term ends.
“People voted for who they felt comfortable with,” Guimond said. “I want to thank the voters for supporting me.”
Guimond will continue to volunteer in the community, and she will leave soon for some world traveling.
“Since I didn’t get elected, I am out of here baby!” she said.
Eastsound Sewer & Water District
Gregory Ayers is the new commissioner 3 of the Eastsound Sewer and Water District with 569 votes. His opponent Harvey Aldort received 90.
“It was a mixed blessing for me,” Aldort said. “It was a seat no one wanted. I filed in good faith, and I believe I would have been a good commissioner. On the other hand I don’t really have the time, so I am not sorry I lost. I am firmly convinced Greg will do a great job. The community will be well served by Greg Ayers’ presence.”
Incumbent Carl Yurdin can unopposed for commissioner 4, and received 400 votes.