EDITORIAL: Cohen deserves four more years

Oak Harbor citizens would be wise to re-elect Mayor Patty Cohen when they vote on Nov. 4 or before that by absentee ballot.

Although her competitor, City Councilman Bob Morrison, brings an impressive amount of experience and knowledge to the race, he can’t match what Cohen has to offer the city.

Some say Cohen hasn’t accomplished much in her first four years, but that’s not so. She showed wisdom in hiring decisions, finding the city a high quality police chief and city manager, and instituted the “permit center” which promises to expedite construction and business projects. There’s still a long way to go in making Oak Harbor a more business friendly city, but the permit center was a good start.

Cohen is also a valuable city asset as the 2005 round of base closures nears. She knows the players in base closure matters and is a good ambassador for Oak Harbor in Congress and the Pentagon. If a closure decision comes down to a toss-up between two bases, personal influence can make a difference.

Cohen says all the right things about economic development, but she also shows sincere interest in making Oak Harbor a more citizen-friendly place, with improved trails and other amenities. That, too, contributes to economic development. She is willing to work with the school district and library district in joint projects to improve livability here.

Much of Patty Cohen’s first term was spent bailing out the ship of state, rather than steering it toward the future. Statewide initiatives sponsored by Tim Eyman blew big financial holes in the city’s budget by cutting the automobile excess tax and limiting property taxes. But with Cohen in the helm, Oak Harbor came through it in good shape and is now ready to tackle the future.

While Morrison is a good candidate, it makes no sense to bring in a new mayor at this time. Give Mayor Cohen four more years.

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