With many local seats up for grabs, the election season has the potential to be especially meaningful or even game changing on Whidbey Island.
But only if smart, motivated people take a chance and throw their hats into the political ring.
It’s not too early for potential candidates to begin mulling the possibilities. Candidate filing week is just two months away, May 15-19.
Two veteran Oak Harbor councilmen, Danny Paggao and Jim Campbell, announced they won’t seek reelection. They said they made their announcements because they want to give others time to consider running.
The other two council members whose seats will be on the ballot, Joel Servatius and Erica Wasinger, said they will see re-election.
A majority of commissioner positions on the hospital board will be decided in November. The seat held by Grethe Cammermeyer, of South Whidbey, and the one recently vacated by Georgia Gardner, of Central Whidbey, are up for election. Eric Anderson’s North Whidbey position is also on the ballot.
Two seats on the Coupeville Town Council are up for re-election, Dianne Binder’s and Pat Powell’s.
School boards also have the potential for change. In Oak Harbor, Corey Johnson’s and Ana Maria Schlecht’s seats are up for reelection. In Coupeville, three of the five school board positions will be on the ballot. They are held by Venessa Matros, Chris Chan and Kathleen Anderson.
Two of the three positions on the Port of Coupeville board will appear on the ballot, as will a majority of North Whidbey Parks and Recreation seats. Both North Whidbey Fire and Rescue and Central Whidbey Fire &Rescue have seats that are up.
For those who want to start small, there’s plenty of open seats — and a need for candidates — on cemetery and water district boards.
As for Paggao and Campbell, we commend them for their distinguished council service — a total of 36 years between them. They weathered controversy — and were involved in some big decisions — but are both known for having open minds and independent voices.
Let them serve as inspirations for the next generation of city politicians.