Submitted by Toni Knudson.
Hi. I’m Toni Knudson, and I’m running for Fire Commissioner 1 on Orcas Island because it’s time for a change! Orcas needs a Fire Commission that’s as good as our amazing firefighters, paramedics and EMTs. We need to restore civility and transparency and elect commissioners who will work together for the good of the people they serve.
The community has seen constant turmoil, infighting, and resignations at the Board of Fire Commissioners in recent years. Four out of the five of our serving fire commissioners have been appointed, rather than elected by us, the voters of Orcas Island. It’s time for new leadership that listens to Orcas residents and to our first responders.
The incumbents have failed to hear the people when they approved the huge fire levy tax increase that’s on the current ballot. I oppose that levy and favor a smaller levy crafted with real input from Orcas residents, our firefighters, paramedics and EMTs. The levy on the July ballot represents an 82% tax increase — a huge burden on Orcas families.
Orcas Fire’s current funding is good through the end of 2024. This means there’s time for a better levy proposal to be approved. We can both fully support the volunteers and staff of Orcas Fire and still vote NO on this levy lid request on the July ballot.
I run a small business, Buck Bay Shellfish Farm and Bistro. My vision and management skills have helped create a highly profitable island business that has also provided over 40 jobs on the island. Previously, I was a building inspector for the county. I helped owners and builders get their projects through to completion where I became an expert on the fire code. I have an accounting degree from Shoreline Community College and have a proven ability to manage complex budgets. I’m a good listener with strong people skills and the ability to work effectively with people of different views.
Give me the opportunity to serve our community as your Fire Commissioner!
To learn more about me and why I’m running, go to toniforchange.com.