Letters to the Editor

Serving county was an honor

It has been an honor and a privilege to serve on the Board of Island County Commissioners. It has also been a dream come true for someone who covered government beats as a newspaper reporter and editor, but still wondered what else goes on behind the scenes.

I highly respect the people who serve Island County and there is much to celebrate after four years in office. At the top of the list is working with stellar professionals like Elaine Marlow, Debbie Thompson, Ingrid Smith, Pam Dill, Bill Oakes, Keith Higman, Bob Pederson, Dave Mattens, Mark Brown, Melanie Bacon, Greg Banks, Michael Merringer, Judges Hancock, Churchill, and Strow, Sheilah Crider, Linda Riffe, Dan Sherk, Timothy Lawrence, Phil Bakke, Betty Kemp, Jeff Tate, Tim McDonald, Mac McDowell, Don Meehan, Angie Homola, Judy Feldman, Mike Shelton, Helen Price Johnson, Jackie Henderson . . . and the list goes on.

I am pleased Island County stepped up to expand mental health programs. I am pleased we improved emergency management services on Camano Island and added an economic development specialist there. I was encouraged by establishing a Children’s Commission and saddened to see it disband due to lack of funding. I greatly appreciate that we obtained what may be the last public shoreline access for Camano Island and boosted Conservation District programs for both islands.

The Sustainable Whidbey coalition was a huge step. As difficult as it was, I am glad we solved a firearms issue for Deer Lagoon residents. And I leave knowing we did the right thing for the long-term benefit of all islanders by creating a Clean Water Utility.

I also commend commissioners Price Johnson and Homola for their strong leadership, courage, stamina and commitment. I wish both of them, new Commissioner Kelly Emerson and Island County staff the very best, and I look forward to working with them, and you, in a continuing spirit of teamwork and renewed hope for a better future.

John Dean

Camano Island

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