Photo by Obi Onyeador on Unsplash

Photo by Obi Onyeador on Unsplash

Shepler beats incumbent; charter amendments passage a mixed bag

  • Fri Nov 5th, 2021 2:12pm
  • News

by Colleen Smith

and Diane Craig

Staff report

San Juan County voters turned out in low numbers for a robust Nov. 2 election.

A total of 36 percent of registered voters cast their ballots.

The Orcas Park and Rec Levy was approved wholeheartedly and two of the charter amendments were passed. In the only contested seat for Orcas, Patrick Shepler won his bid for fire commissioner, with 67 percent of the vote, beating incumbent Wes Heinmiller.

“I am humbled and inspired by the overwhelming support from the Orcas community,” he said. “Over 771 voters have placed their trust in me. I will do my best to honor that trust by helping your fire department return to a culture of truth, accountability, emotional intelligence. and mutual respect.”

Shepler also commented on a current personnel matter within the department: the hiring of an assistant fire chief.

“Chief Williams has been without an assistant chief for half a decade, ever since he was promoted from the ranks to the fire chief,” he said. “The board has announced in numerous meetings that they are now actively searching to fill this long-vacant critical position. The fire chief should have been supported years ago with an experienced command staff officer. However, rushing to pick a candidate without stakeholder input from the community, volunteers, paid staff, medical director, is unnecessary. It does not represent transparent governance. … The timing may, unfortunately, exclude me from the process.”

According to Williams, the two candidates — Holly van Schaick and Jeff Edmonds — will be interviewed this weekend.

“If things go well … we should be making an offer of employment to one of the candidates prior to Nov. 12,” he said. “We are hosting a meet and greet session for Orcas Island Fire and Rescue volunteers and staff.”

van Schaick currently serves at the City of Anacortes Fire Department as a firefighter paramedic. Edmonds formally retired from the City of Everett Fire Department in 2019 as Assistant Chief of Operations. Human resources consultant Kara Turner has assisted with the recruitment process.

Below are the full results of the Nov. 2 election.

Orcas Island Park & Recreation District, Proposition 1

Authorizing the imposition of a regular property tax levy of 15 cents or less per thousand dollars of assessed valuation for each of the six consecutive years beginning in 2022.

Yes, 64%; No, 36%

Charter Amendment proposition No. 1

Puts equal protection on the economy and the natural world. Adds an acknowledgment to the Coast Salish people and recognizes their ancestral lands and water, and treaty rights.

Approved, 48.15%; Rejected, 52%

Charter Amendment Proposition No. 2

Concerns the limits for council members. County Charter council members would be able to run for three consecutive full terms of office and after concluding the third term be able to file for the position of County Council member or be appointed to County Council member.

APPROVED, 73.36%; Rejected, 26.64%

Charter Amendment Proposition No. 3

Ensures provided oversight of the department of Environmental Stewardship regarding the department’s duties to protect the environment. This would include allowing executive or legislative action to the County Council regarding compliance with environmental laws, recommending new hiring for the director of the department, developing and conducting an environmental action plan

Approved, 39.08%; Rejected, 60.92%

Charter Amendment Proposition No. 4

Remove the requirement that initiatives provide for new additional sources of revenue needed to implement the initiative, to reduce the signature qualification requirement for San Juan County initiatives and referendums from 15 percent to 8 percent of county votes, and to add a display requirement identifying paid signature gatherers.

Approved, 28.77%; Rejected, 71.23%

Charter Amendment Proposition No. 5.

Would provide that the county will not discriminate in the provision of government services.

Approved, 51.72%; Rejected, 48.28%

Charter Amendment Proposition No. 6.

Would establish a new eleven-member commission appointed by the County Council to provide advice and support on matters concerning justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.

Approved, 36.44%; Rejected, 63.56%

Eastsound Sewer & Water District Sewer & Water Commissioner 3

Greg Ayers – Unopposed

Orcas Island School District No. 137 Director 1

Chris Sutton – Unopposed

Orcas Island School District No. 137 Director 2

Bridget Broderick – Unopposed

Orcas Island School District No. 137 Director 3

Linda Sheridan – Unopposed

Orcas Island SJC Fire Protection District No. 2 Commissioner 2

Patrick Shepler, 67.4%; Wes Heinmiller, 32.26%

Orcas Island Park and Recreation District Commissioner 1

Dennis Dahl – Unopposed

Orcas Island Park and Recreation District Commissioner 2

Bob Eagan – Unopposed

Orcas Island Park and Recreation District Commissioner 3

Barry Madan – Unopposed

Orcas Island Park and Recreation District Commissioner 4

Justin Paulsen – Unopposed

Orcas Island SJC Park and Recreation District Commissioner 5

Deborah Jones – Unopposed

Orcas Island SJC Cemetery District No.3 Commissioner 1

Patricia Resch – Unopposed

Orcas Island SJC Cemetery District No. 3 Commissioner 2

Leith Templin – Unopposed

Orcas Island SJC Public Hospital District No. 3 Commissioner 2

Pegi A. Groundwater – Unopposed

Orcas Island SJC Public Hospital District No. 1 Commissioner 5

David Zoeller – Unopposed

Orcas Island Port of Orcas Commissioner 2

Jason Laursen – Unopposed

Orcas Island Port of Orcas Commissioner 2

Michael D. Triplett – Unopposed

Orcas Island Port of Orcas Commissioner 4

Robert Hamilton – Unopposed