Editorial: Ballot short, but interesting

Ballots for the Nov. 3 general election will be in our mailboxes in several days, so it’s time to brush up on the candidates and issues.

The best place to do that is at one of two upcoming forums sponsored by the Whidbey Island League of Women Voters. There are only a few contested races in this off-year election, and the League deserves our thanks for bringing the contestants before the public.

The first forum is tonight, Wednesday, Oct. 7, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Oak Harbor Elks Lodge. Voters will meet the two Oak Harbor City Council candidates, Scott Dudley and Gerry Oliver, as well as the Fire District 2 commissioner candidates, Jerry Goen and Larry Morse.

The second forum is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 15, from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Coupeville Recreation Hall. Voters will hear presentations from Sue Cunningham and Tom Tack, who are seeking the same Town Council position.

Perhaps of more interest to the average voter will be two measures that will appear on the Nov. 3 ballot: Sno-Isle Regional Library is asking for an additional 9 cents per thousand in property taxes to avoid major cuts in library services; and Tim Eyman, professional thorn-in-the-side of the political establishment, is back with another anti-tax measure. Initiative 1033, if approved by voters statewide, would limit certain county and city revenues to the rate of inflation plus population growth. This could have a significant impact in Island County, and it will be interesting to hear the pros and cons presented at the League’s forums.

Also sure to pique the public interest is Referendum 71, in which a “yes” vote would endorse the Legislature’s decision to give same-sex couples and domestic partners the same rights, responsibilities and obligations as traditional married couples.

With no state or federal races on the ballot, this is not a high profile election. But it’s an important one, and our local candidates are working hard to earn the people’s vote. Do your part in the political process by showing up at a forum. If you haven’t been to one in the past, you’ll find them informative, fun and well worth your time.

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