Communicate – When I think of communication I think of the many ways this word applies. It’s the process that connects us to each other by developing common understanding. It's the way we converse with one another to exchange ideas, share disappointments and embrace experiences. And it’s a methodology to convey information through meetings, get-togethers and public announcements. I envision a county government that welcomes routine and open communication – communication that is clear, inclusive, provides discussion of dissent and minority opinions, and encourages participation of all county citizens. When our fathers wrote “We The People” in essence they meant all of us, and not a structure that builds an “us versus them” mindset. As a council member I represent you.
Through effective communication I’m able to garner your opinions, understand your frustrations and shepherd your dreams.
Independent– By being independent I’m free to make choices and consider alternatives without encumbrances of party affiliation or group association. I envision a county government that is non-partisan and non-dependent on any party philosophy or ideology. A government that does not automatically assign labels to ideas as “good” or “bad” just because they are proffered by the “left” or “right.” A government that considers actions based on the merit of the ideas following thoughtful, considered, measured analysis of benefits, opportunities and drawbacks.
This type of analysis ensures that smart actions are taken and decisions are not made just because “we’ve always done it that way.”
FOR SAN JUAN COUNTY COUNCIL #2
Vision keeps us moving forward, even when faced with overwhelming odds. Vision is a powerful motivator. If it's vivid, if it’s meaningful, people will do astounding things to bring it to fruition. Most people can relate to a personal vision, what they want in life. But when two or more people agree to work together, such as forming a local government, the difficulties of arriving at a meaningful vision multiply.
For me, I see four primary aspects to my vision for county government as we try to build for the future:
To achieve this vision, I keep in mind four concepts to ensure that actions are aligned with vision:
Simple – Most citizens do not violate codes or regulations out of a desire to flaunt the rules; they do so because they don’t know any better. And the goal of county government should not be to enforce rules and levy fines, but to facilitate activities to help the citizens of the county achieve their goals. I envision a county where our codes are simple and easy to understand. You should not have to be an engineer or lawyer, or to pay an engineer or lawyer, to understand the rules. Think of the clarity of a Stop sign. By its shape, color and single bold word it is simple, clear and easy to understand. We may not be able to build that level of simplicity and clarity into all of our codes, ordinances and regulations, but by having that as a model, we can improve their understanding and with that, improve compliance.
Coupled with simplicity, all codes and regulations should be evaluated on a regular cycle to insure they are needed, current, effective and easy to follow.
Local – As a county served exclusively by the ferry system, we are at risk of service disruptions for various reasons. Because of this risk, I envision a county where a majority of goods and services can be sourced locally. In addition to mitigating risk, the effective use of local resources creates several benefits for the people of the county. Local means real jobs for real people – jobs for farmers, carpenters, tradesmen and entrepreneurs. Our limited financial resources remain and circulate throughout the county. We are confident in the quality of those goods and services, and there are local providers we can see to voice our dissatisfaction or express our gratitude. I envision a county government with a customer service focus that helps local businesses thrive through ease of interaction with agencies and effective application of clear regulations, and encourages new and existing mainland businesses to locate to the county. This multi-dimensional economic system provides a backbone to sustain our traditional industries of tourism, construction and real estate.
Local also means we continue to discourage chain-type businesses thereby helping to retain our rural character and conserve the uniqueness of our islands.