Hizon, Brewer best for finals | Editorial
August 9, 2011 · Updated 1:45 PM
An old face and a fresh face are the best choices for Oak Harbor voters to send on to the general election in November.
A field of four candidates seeking the one open city council position will be trimmed to two in the Aug. 16 primary election, the ballots for which were mailed out two weeks ago.
The “old face,” belongs to Paul Brewer, who at 66 isn’t particularly old in years, but he is old in the sense that he served 12 years on the council before voluntarily stepping down in 2007 when he unsuccessfully ran for mayor.
The “new” face belongs to Tara Hizon, who at 32 is by far the youngest candidate, but nevertheless has been active for years in the Oak Harbor business, arts and animal welfare communities.
Also in the running are Mark Wiggins, a longtime member of the Oak Harbor Planning Commission and other city boards, and Martha Yount, a business owner long active in various community groups.
Wiggins and Yount both have the experience to be solid city council members, but neither threatens to jiggle the apple cart, let alone upset it. The council needs some new perspectives. Brewer we know can offer this because of his long history as an independent soul on the council, and Hizon will bring a fresh perspective due to her youth. When she was born, all the other candidates were already adults.
Brewer carries negative baggage, including his volatile temper and poor past relations with some fellow council members. But he is a proponent of open government, which the city isn’t serious about addressing. Brewer has an innate desire to stand up for the “little guy,” and he’s fearless in speaking up.
Hizon, despite her relative youth, has the support of some of Oak Harbor’s movers and shakers, but she appears to be independent-minded enough to make her own decisions. And she represents a generation that is largely left out of the decision-making process in Oak Harbor.
Of the two, Hizon appears preferable at this point. But Brewer and Hizon going head-to-head in November would provide a great, issues-based race that can only benefit the residents of Oak Harbor. Hopefully, they’ll be the two still standing after election day.