It doesn’t take much time for news to travel. My phone rang last Wednesday evening, then emails. I listened to the concerns, read the news coverage and spent some time listening to the recording of the recent Planning Commission when the Housing Element plan suddenly appeared derailed.
Shannon Williams, recently appointed to the commission by Rick Hannold, spoke clearly that she did not agree with the intent of the housing plan and felt no commitment to housing affordability.
When discussing the importance of housing that people who work in this community can afford, it was apparent this was not a priority for this new commissioner.
I was disturbed by the blatant disregard for seniors seeking to downsize and stay in the communities they love. There was a lack of understanding that we are working for housing for those who teach our children, for the first responders who protect our homes and our lives, for the small business owners, the county workers, our retail and restaurant workers, our farmers, artists and many others.
These are the neighbors that make up the fabric of our community. They are the workforce that strengthens and diversifies our economy.
I am hopeful these were the views of a few, unleashed by one, and the alternative views of the many in our community will soon be heard. I’ve encouraged people to write in and to attend the special session on July 2 at 2 p.m. I hope we can recognize the importance of the planning and thoughtfulness that went into finding solutions for housing affordability that enable all of us to thrive. I know I will be working for this goal.
Janet St. Clair,
Candidate, Island County Commissioner Dist. 3