Bruce Orchid has officially filed for the District 4 position on the San Juan County Council representing Orcas West. Orchid traveled to his old job site, the County Courthouse, (having served as San Juan County Commissioner from 1989-1992), to personally file on June 6. Orchid has lived in the Orcas West district the entire 33 years he has lived on Orcas Island.
Orchid says he has no campaign promises, as he knows full well how difficult it is to accomplish the best ideas or plans as an elected official. He does promise to “continue to look at issues from all perspectives, to continue acting as a facilitator between citizens with opposing view points, and to use a fair and thoughtful process in reaching decisions.”
Orchid’s personal history and involvement in community service goes back to the late 1970s, the highlights of which are:
• Served on the Board at the Library and the Orcas Center
• Taught at Orcas Schools
• Helped raise funds, build, and became the first executive Director of the Orcas Center
• Served as an appointee of three governors on the Washington State Arts Commission for nine years, two years as Chair
• Served as San Juan County Commissioner, two years as Chair
• Served as a member of the Area Council on Aging
• Served on the area’s Regional Support Network for Mental Health
• Was the deciding vote to save Madrona Point from condominium development
• With Fellow Commissioners helped create the Land Bank
• Wrote the first grants for Early Childhood Education Assistance Programs
• Consulted on CDBG grants, which helped Community Land Trusts get started, e.g OPAL
• Initiated changes to the County’s attention to Eastsound, strengthening the role of the EPRC, and initiating the construction of curbs, gutters, and sidewalks in the Village, facilitating the acquisition of the Waterfront Park, Eastsound Village Square, and beach access
• Served as Interim Director of County’s first consolidated Health and Community Services Dept.
In 1993, Orchid returned to help his wife, Christina, at their restaurant in Eastsound. He served seven and a half years on the Orcas Island School Board of Directors.
Orchid has been approached over the past several years to run for the position of County Commissioner and now, County Council. Committed to helping Christina with her restaurant, Orchid continued to turn down those requests.
Recently, Christina sold her restaurant, and Orchid found himself free to pursue the Council position.
Orchid promises to continue to stand in favor of protecting our environment, strengthening funding for education by working with state leaders, and walking that fine line between conservation and growth, while helping young families and older residents remain in our community. Orchid can be reached for questions, comments or ideas, at email@example.com.