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Oak Harbor mayor will run again

The race for Oak Harbor mayor is on.

Following word that he officially announced his candidacy at a Rotary of Oak Harbor meeting last week, Mayor Jim Slowik confirmed Friday that he will seek a second term this November in the general election.

Slowik, who was elected in 2007, owns a used car dealership on Midway Boulevard. He will face off against Oak Harbor City Councilman Scott Dudley, a financial advisor for Edward Jones Investments.

Dudley was elected in 2009 and is in the second year of his first term. He threw his hat into the ring in March.

Mayors are nonpartisan, which means candidates do not declare a political party. The office carries a four-year term and, in Oak Harbor, pays $51,408 a year under the 2011 pay scale.

Several times since Dudley announced, Slowik said that he’d not yet made up his mind about whether he would run for re-election. On Friday, he said the delay was primarily due to his wanting to ensure that he was in good health and ready for a second term. He confirmed that he has no underlying health problems and has gotten the green light from his physician.

“I’m fine and ready to go,” he said.

Slowik said he’s running again because he wants to see several projects through to their finish. If elected to another four years, he said he plans to focus on repairing the city’s streets and their infrastructure, continue to work on the proposed new sewer treatment plant, and improve water quality in the bay.

“There is just a lot left to do,” Slowik said.

Although Slowik has for months been mum about whether or not he intended to run, Dudley said he wasn’t surprised when he finally announced. He also said he was glad that Slowik did so because now voters will have more than just a single name to choose from in the general election.

“This furthers a choice, and in this case they will have a clear choice this November,” Dudley said. Dudley has opposed Slowik on numerous issues, from making Pioneer Way a one-way to using certain funds for the project.

Filing period begins

The number of candidates is not limited to just two, however. The filing period for all open elected nonpartisan offices in Island County begins Monday, June 6, and runs through the end of the week. Additional candidates could also run for mayor.

In Washington, races with more than two candidates are narrowed down in a primary election held August 16. The top two proceed to the general election, November 8.

In all, 18 major nonpartisan positions in eight public agencies are up for grabs on North and Central Whidbey. In Oak Harbor, three city council positions will also be decided. The seats held by city council members Jim Palmer, position 1; Beth Munns, position 2; and Rick Almberg, position 3; are all up for election.

All the positions carry a four-year term.

So far, the only race is between Paul Brewer and Mark Wiggins. Both are contending for position 1, as Palmer has confirmed his intention not to seek re-election. Almberg is hoping for a second term and Munns has yet to make any kind of announcement.

Dannhauer out in Coupeville

In Coupeville, Mayor Nancy Conard’s term is up along with town council members Ann Dannhauer, position 1; Bob Clay, position 2; and Molly Hughes, position 3. They all also carry a four-year term.

Conard is running for re-election. However, no challengers had come forth as of Friday. Hughes said she plans to run for another term and Clay, who was out of town Friday, could not be reached by press time.

Dannhauer confirmed that she will not run for a second term. She said her decision was based on time constraints and that she has put in many hours over the past four years with “not much accomplished.”

Schools lose their McCool

Multiple positions in several school districts are also open. In Oak Harbor, director position 1, held by Peter Hunt; position 2, held by David Sherman; and position 3, held by David McCool are all up for election.

Hunt said he will seek to retain his seat. Both Sherman and McCool said they are planning to sit this one out. Sherman is strongly considering a run for county commissioner in 2012 and said he didn’t want to shortchange the school board by leaving mid-term. As for McCool, he said it was time for a break.

“I’ve done two plus terms and I think it’s time to give someone else a chance to serve the community,” McCool said.

In Coupeville, just two director positions are up for grabs: position 1, held by Don Sherman; and position 4; held by Carol Bishop. All school district terms are for four years.

Sherman is seeking re-election, while Bishop was out of town and could not be reached.

McDonald takes leave of Port

In fire districts, North Whidbey Fire and Rescue’s position 1 commissioner seat, held by T.J. Lamont, is up as is Central Whidbey Fire and Rescue’s position 1 commissioner seat, held by Paul Messner. Both carry six-year terms.

Both Lamont and Messner hope to retain their seats by running for additional terms.

The Port of Coupeville’s District 3 commissioner seat, held by Ann McDonald, is also available for the taking. It carries a six-year term as well. McDonald is not running for re-election.

“It’s time for a change,” McDonald said.

Finally, Whidbey General Hospital has two open commissioner seats. Grethe Cammermeyer, position 1, and Anne Tarrant, position 5, are both up for reelection. They carry six-year terms.

Both Cammermeyer and Tarrant plan to seek second terms.

Filing for public office can be done in person at the Island County auditor’s Elections Office, 400 N. Main Street in Coupeville from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It can also be done online at wei.secstate.wa.gov/island/Pages/default.aspx.

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