Orcas Island citizens hold the most important public office

It seems that no sooner had the school funding crisis eased, than Rosario’s future became more uncertain than ever.

And while fuel prices have declined this summer, we are told to expect them to rise sharply again this winter; the County is nearing a deadline for compliance with the Growth Management Act this October; and OPAL is breaking ground on a new project off Mt. Baker Road.

When hearing complaints about all the demands of home maintenance, an observor remarked, “You wouldn’t have those problems if you were homeless.”

Well, the ever-turning tide of challenges of life on the islands is like that – nothing is ever settled “once and for all” and we need to keep working on fixing problems, doing maintenance, budgeting for the future and anticipating the effect of foreseen changes.

The price of our freedoms and our good life is care and vigilance.

The San Juan Islands are blessed with conscientious, honorable and resourceful people who are willing to do their part to protect the environment, support the schools, maintain reliable ferry service, provide affordable housing, honor our history and contribute to our social and cultural life. Witness the recent primary election for the Orcas West County Council position – anyone who studied the candidates and heard them speak couldn’t fail to be impressed with the strengths each of the four candidates would bring to the job.

While the strength of our community lies in our willingness to help each other both on the personal and the public level, it’s obvious that we rely on our representatives, both on public boards and in the public audience, to communally represent our interests at meetings where local issues are discussed and decided upon. The voice of the citizen is necessary to bring about good government for us all.

We’re entering a harvest season, not just of natural growth, but of a growth in public affairs – issues such as planning, water safety and water rights, environmental protection, basic education, affordable housing, and government will be in the forefront of the news this fall.

Many meetings are scheduled in the coming weeks that will both enrich the attendees and affect the general public public. Some of the get-togethers are celebrations of the work of specific communities within our larger community that keep our lives safe, active and caring.

Here’s a reminder of some of them coming up in Eastsound unless otherwise noted:

Eastsound Planning Review Committee – Sept. 4

Golf Classic benefit for Orcas Center – Sept. 6

“Island Grown, Island Raised” benefit dinner/auction for Kaleidoscope Child Care Center – Sept. 6

Summit Bike Challenge at Moran Park – Sept. 7

FEAST Harvest dinner – Sept. 7

Orcas Library Board of Trustees meeting – Sept. 8

School District retreat/public workshop – Sept. 9

Chamber of Commerce Retirement Planning seminar – Sept. 11

Community Foundation’s Report to the Community – Sept. 11

Transportation Summit – Sept. 17 in Friday Harbor

Conservation District Commission – Sept. 17 and 18 in Friday Harbor

SJ Islands National Wildlife Refuge meeting – Sept 23 in Friday Harbor

Local planning course – Sept. 25

Friends of the Orcas Library annual meeting – Sept. 27

Ferry Finance meeting – Oct. 6 on board the interisland ferry run

Get involved, make new friends, and become more important than you already are.