Miller has the leadership

Leadership matters.

I want to pass a sincere thank-you to Mayor Laurie Gere for her service to Anacortes. That said, and having listened to both current candidates for mayor, I will vote Matt Miller for mayor.

Pedigrees can be made to look excellent online; however, Matt Miller has the definitive leadership advantage. He has demonstrated superb transformational, transactional and functional leadership across numerous and varied spectrums. Demonstrated leadership skills matter.

“The most important endorsement I can receive is from the people.” — Matt Miller.

Matt’s online website endorsements are principally individuals and small local business owners. I would like to respectfully ask that local readers please view both candidate’s endorsements available on their respective websites and judge for themselves.

Fiber committee, port and city liaison committee, lodging tax chair, high school veteran’s memorial plaza co-chair, planning commissioner, family, and consummately focused on public safety, his list of accomplishments is lengthy and broad in scope. Matt Miller has the experience, local focus, community history and proven leadership acumen which will play a critical role in the future of our community.

Vote for Matt Miller.

Michael McClintock



Walters for mayor

What makes a great mayor?

When we consider who would be the best candidate to run our city, we want someone with integrity, knowledge and experience.

Someone who makes it a priority to connect with leaders of other communities, sharing ideas about what works and what doesn’t. These connections are of enormous value to our city.

That person has deep hometown roots. He knows the history of the city and what got us here today. He’s experienced the rapid growth and knows we must meet it head on and still support our small-town character. His ten years of dedication to the City Council has provided him with wealth of experience in all matters affecting the city.

He is already involved with housing needs and development, community design and preservation of our community forestlands. His leadership as the Planning Director for the Samish Indian Nation has been commendable.

His experience as an attorney with the court system provides him with invaluable insight into the problems of drugs, mental health issues and homelessness. His background brings in-depth knowledge of the law and its limitations. This experience is of extreme importance to our city.

Integrity, experience, and knowledge.

That person is Ryan Walters.

Dianne Moritz



Walters a known leader

Experience counts. Lifetime local experience counts more. Ryan Walters grew up in the Anacortes-Skagit County community, understands its problems and issues, its unique character. That’s why he’s been a recognized leader at both city and county levels.

Ryan has navigated the rough cultural and legal waters a small city faces every day. If elected, he’ll hit the ground running. Having forged solid relationships with county officials while a Skagit prosecutor and manager, Ryan also has already cultivated strong and necessary relationships with our elected legislators in Olympia — a huge advantage for Anacortes.

Ryan has 10 years’ experience on the City Council, giving him an in-depth knowledge of the workings of local government. He has led the way on many successful initiatives such as affordable housing, new regulations that protect neighborhoods, tighter financial and legal oversight of city contracts, and open transparent government and demonstrated again and again his ability to work with other members of the council on important issues such as the city’s fiber network; the inclusivity resolution; and open, transparent government.

Strong local experience is a must. Ryan has a lifetime of it. Vote Ryan for mayor.

Gene Derig



McIlmoyle for School Board

Education is not just a line item on the school board’s agenda — it is the only item.

School boards look out for students, preparing them for the modern world by ensuring equitable access and inclusion of all students in courses and programs. Boards sustain a robust team of educators through ongoing professional development and support.

They are accountable for the performance of their schools and for dollars spent on education. Successful board members work well with volunteer organizations, PTA members, foundations and parents.

I see these attributes and skills in Meredith McIlmoyle, candidate for Anacortes School District, Position 1.

She brings 15 years’ experience as a classroom volunteer. Meredith has proven expertise in direct budget oversight, in volunteer training and management, community networking, communications, project management and outcomes-measurement as executive director of the Anacortes Arts Festival. In this role, Meredith works with school staffs and administrators to provide arts education opportunities and funding for student groups (plays, musical performances, museum exhibits). These programs provide arts exposure for students who may not have other exposure to arts opportunities.

Please join me in voting for Meredith McIlmoyle for Anacortes School District, Position 1.

Jim Taylor



Vote McIlmoyle, Farnsworth 

A school board member needs to keep our kids, teachers and staff safe.

I am a retired public school teacher, and I know that a child cannot make progress unless they trust educators, have enough sleep, nutrition and care.

Those seeking election to the Anacortes School Board make decisions that impact all of us, and that’s why I oppose anyone questioning the use of masks and is intent upon kids “making up” for the lost learning during the pandemic.

We must give our teachers, who are extremely competent, the freedom to teach with empathy, caring for each student by accepting them wherever they are in their learning, and giving students the tools to grow into adults that accept proven facts in science, medicine, and social development. We can teach them to be confident, to discern truth, and accept others that don’t look like them.

That’s why I’ll be voting for Diana Farnsworth and Meredith McIlmoyle for School Board. I trust them to vote for policies that protect all students, teachers, and staff, and keep ASD strong and vibrant, because my grandson at Island View is the most important treasure I have to keep safe.

Sally Pullen



Voting for Schorr

I moved to Anacortes this past May with my partner to work with Anacortes Kayak Tours and have quickly gotten to know the owners, Erik and Megan Schorr.

I am from Orlando, Florida, and my mother was on the Orange County Public School board for eight years of my childhood. She wanted to see changes in the school system for her children and community so she became the change. Which is exactly what Erik Schorr is doing.

It’s evident that his children and community are the most important things in the world to him. Erik is a critical thinker and sees the big picture. He stands up for what he believes is right, even when difficult. Since Erik’s children are in the school system and thus he has an vested interest in being on the School Board, you can expect that he will put everything he has into making the school system the best it can possibly be.

If I had children, I would feel lucky to have him represent my community. I am confident that Erik’s passion for helping others and success at bringing people together makes him the best fit for the position.

Kara Ardaman


Farnsworth has right approach

Diana Farnsworth has earned my vote for Position 2 on the Anacortes School District Board of Directors. I’ve come to know Diana well over the last few years and have grown to respect her commitment to our community, her own life-long love of learning and her deep sense of obligation to breaking down barriers for all learners.

Through her service in the community as well as during this campaign, Diana has shown what she stands for, not just what she’s against. She’s chosen positivity, collaboration and forward progress over negativity and empty criticism. This approach is precisely what our community needs as it continues to move forward and away from the disruptions of the previous two years.

There are areas and topics where Diana and I don’t necessarily agree, but I’m happy to endorse a candidate who sees things somewhat differently than me; that’s healthy for a community. I can do this because I trust her to listen, learn and place the interests of our children and faculty above any ideological or partisan preferences. I trust her to listen to proven and credentialed experts and to make decisions that are firmly grounded in dispassionate truth. I trust her to lead, and I trust her with my vote.

Jack Curtis



McIlmoyle right for schools

In my three terms as an Anacortes School Board member, I learned the importance of collaboration, equity, communication, team building, advocating for students.

In the upcoming election, Meredith McIlmoyle is the clear choice — a leader who listens and cares. As the executive director of our community’s largest annual event, the Anacortes Arts Festival, Meredith has capably 

guided the ship through the turbulence of the past two years, combining excellence with resource constraints, culminating in a successful 2021 event.

Meredith understands the importance of steady leadership in our schools — 15 years of volunteering in the classroom, a commitment to youth arts funding, the investment that comes with having one’s own children in the district. Her priority is on kids and their families in a culture of mutual respect — listening, proactive outreach, advocacy. She is a wonderful choice to meet the continuing challenges of public education, a steady hand in the years to come.

Please join me in lending your support to her campaign.

Mitch Everton



Elect Graf to council

As long-time Anacortes residents, we believe partisan politics has no place in our local governance. We do not want leaders who are beholden to a particular platform or who are saddled with conflicts of interest.

Anacortes is at a crossroads with concerns about development, infrastructure and taxes.

At this time, we truly require leaders who will do what is needed for Anacortes and not follow the talking points developed at the state or national level.

This is why we strongly support Jeff Graf for Anacortes City Council Position 4.

Jeff is a dedicated, committed and proven non-partisan leader who will serve our city well. He has 35 years of high-level military and civilian leadership experience.

We are confident that Jeff will hear the voices of community and city stakeholders, and develop solutions that will meet the needs of Anacortes.

He will ensure a balanced and fiscally responsible budget, and with his experience on the Anacortes Planning Commission, will find innovative ways to increase revenues without needlessly increasing our taxes.

If you study the views of all candidates, we are confident you will find Jeff Graf to be the clear choice for City Council.

Jeff Graf has earned our vote.

Amy Schnabel



Hubik for City Council

It is with confidence that I recommend Amanda Hubik for Anacortes City Council. Since choosing Anacortes as her home 16 years ago, Amanda has dedicated her professional skills and countless volunteer hours to our community. From her professional experience as staff member of the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce to her skill-building participation in Leadership Skagit to her ongoing local volunteerism, Amanda has demonstrated her passion for and commitment to Anacortes.

In my former role as director of Leadership Skagit, I had the opportunity to observe the energy and careful work Amanda brings to each endeavor. She has the intelligence, experience and values we look for in a community leader and does not hesitate to take on difficult challenges and to find the best, most innovative solutions. Intelligence and compassion are a powerful force for good decision making, both of which she possesses in abundance.

Most importantly, Amanda thrives on input, is a good listener and asks the right questions to develop policy and programs that are needed now and in the future. Choose Amanda Hubik for City Council and know with confidence, as I do, that she will act without hesitation to advocate for the common good.

Kathryn “Kate” Bennett



Elect Jeff Graf to council

Councilperson Jeff Graf … sounds right to me!

I’ve only known Jeff a short time but am convinced he is the right person to replace Matt Miller on the Anacortes City Council. The council today embodies many diverse personalities and goals: some altruistic, some feel good versus real good, and many genuinely needed. All come with varied to spendy price tags that we the taxpayers must ultimately pay.

What impresses me most about Jeff is his nonpartisan focus on fiscal accountability and, more so, responsibility. He focuses squarely on what a city must do with the money entrusted to it by us; in other words, it must do as we do with our household budgets…spend wisely and never spend what we haven’t got.

Miller was a strong fiscal voice on the council, so too will Jeff be when he takes his place. I encourage you to vote Jeff Graf for City Council to help assure we the taxpayers continue getting the most responsible and accountable bang for our buck.

Jim English



Graf right choice for council

In the upcoming election for Anacortes City Council, Position 4, the choice of Jeff Graf on your ballot is clearly and easily the better pick. Having known and served with Jeff for decades, he is the ideal selection for service on our City Council.

Jeff’s years of outstanding and selfless service to our community on the Anacortes Planning Commission has been essential to maintaining our community’s high quality of life while encouraging responsible growth, protection of our natural resources and the much-needed updates to our city’s Comprehensive Plan and Development Codes, which will bring more affordable housing to our city.

While Jeff’s opponent for the position may seemingly possess worthy qualities and experience, they pale in comparison to Jeff’s stellar leadership and success in both the military and private sector. I am certain his service on the City Council will surely produce similar and superior results.

Jeff Graf, with his highly effective and collaborative leadership style and demonstrated fiscal responsibility, is the most qualified candidate for City Council.

Please join me and our neighbors in voting for Jeff Graf for Anacortes City Council, Position 4, in this fall’s election.

Tim Miller



Support our pool

It’s that time again. The Fidalgo Pool and Fitness Center is going through the process to renew its Maintenance and Operation Levy, and Anacortes citizens will be voting on it Nov. 2. Some people may think “ Who needs a pool?” I don’t use the pool. Why should we have a pool in Anacortes? Here’s our story:

After 35 years in construction, my husband’s shoulder was kaput. The local orthopedist did a beautiful job rebuilding the joint and when the time came to participate in physical therapy to get that thing moving again, it was suggested he swim. Swimming is a fantastic low-impact exercise. That winter, my husband swam laps daily. His range of motion returned, and he was able to return to work. He did not quit swimming. He found that he enjoyed it and joined the Masters adult swim club and met new friends.

This Maintenance and Operation Levy is critical to keeping our pool open. Its cost to homeowners is about $11 per $100,000 assessed value. For pleasure, exercise, medical rehab and for giving our youths a wholesome social outlet, our pool facility is a gem and needs our support to pass this levy. We simply just can’t afford not to. Vote yes for the Fidalgo Pool and Fitness Center levy.

Elizabeth Ray



Community needs its pool facility

Voting yes to renew Fidalgo Pool and Fitness Center’s Maintenance & Operating Levy means supporting an asset that makes Anacortes a special place to live. User fees pay for swim and fitness program costs, and the M&O Levy is used to help maintain and operate the facility.

As a participant in masters swimming, I appreciate the opportunity to compete with others in my age group and maintain a balanced fitness regime. Much more importantly, masters swimming has provided me, and all of us who participate, with the foundation for friendships and business relationships in our community spanning all ages and backgrounds that will last a lifetime, and that extend beyond the pool.

Keeping pool and fitness center programs affordable with funding assistance through the M&O Levy is the key to making the facility accessible so that a true sense of community can be created. More than a place to purchase a service for a fee, the Fidalgo Pool and Fitness Center has been a special space for over four decades and has earned its continuing request for support.

David Hansen


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