Opinion

Bring back Mac as commissioner

Republican Mac McDowell has more than his share of critics, but the veteran Island County commissioner from Oak Harbor deserves to serve another four years in the District 2 position.

Governments at all levels are facing financial turmoil in the coming months. Federal and state coffers are hurting, and the same is true at the local level. Island County will have less money coming in next year, certainly not enough to keep pace with inflation, and McDowell’s steady hand is needed during the budgetary process. Island County has the lowest county tax rate in the state. One reason is that it’s been impossible for department heads to convince McDowell that they always need more, regardless of the fiscal realities. Island County’s senior commissioner has a long history of saying no to unreasonable requests. Still, he usually knows when to loosen the purse strings. He supported a small sales tax increase last year to improve services to the mentally ill. He’ll meet the public’s needs, but not department heads’ desires. At a time when the other commissioners will be relatively new, McDowell’s experience and effectiveness are needed to guide the county through stormy fiscal seas.

McDowell’s opponent, Democrat Angie Homola, has been very effective in her role as a community activist on environmental issues. She knows her stuff when it comes to critical areas and growth regulations and she can best continue to serve the community in that capacity. A commissioner has to work with a wide variety of interests, but Homola doesn’t have a record of working well with others.

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