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Bakke has no conflicts
Let’s do some comparing and contrasting of the two candidates for the position of Island County Commissioner for District 1.
Phil Bakke has pledged that he will not vote for any new taxes. On the other hand, his opponent has a voting record of raising taxes while on the school board. South Whidbey School District now has three special levies with plans for a $20-million bond. Enrollment in the school district has gone down dramatically (and projections are that this decrease will continue), one of the buildings is being closed, yet the budget has gone up. The balanced budget and reserve at the school district, as touted by Phil’s opponent, was mostly achieved by increasing the taxes paid by the local taxpayers.
Phil Bakke does not and will not have a conflict of interest, while his opponent would have a direct conflict of interest the day she took office – with her family’s building business. A county commissioner votes directly on hiring and firing all unelected department heads (Building, Planning, Public Works, etc.) who are in charge of issuing building permits, etc., to her family building business. If elected, she would still be married to the business owner, making her a half-owner and creating a direct conflict of interest in running county government and business.
Phil Bakke has years of experience with the issues that currently face the county and which will continue to be facing the county in the future – land use, zoning, critical area protection, protecting our ground water supplies and keeping the budget balanced without raising taxes.
Phil Bakke also has the education that qualifies him for the job of county commissioner. Phil has a bachelor’s degree from Western Washington University in planning and economics and has earned a master’s degree from the University of Washington in public administration. What education and experience does his opponent have to match his?
Compare his opponent’s conflicts of interest and a history of higher taxes against the education and experience of Phil Bakke. It’s not even close. Phil Bakke is the right person for the job.