Slurry is not the answer

Well, the Anacortes genius bubbled up to the surface once again and gave us the slurry. Must have been the same genius that gifted us with freshly asphalt-paved streets before tearing into them to install the internet.

There is no doubt that several Anacortes streets are in the need of repair, and one would expect the city leaders to have come up with a master plan of some kind to address the problem over time and allocate funds to accomplish it as problems occur. It also makes sense to fix whatever repairs are needed in such a way that it materially reflects the character of the neighborhood. Many, perhaps most of our streets are made using aggregate materials that harmonize with their surroundings. And now we have the slurry.

Our street, made of concrete aggregate and in relatively good repair, without problems, smooth and well-kept, overnight became what can best be compared to an unpaved country road covered with tar. What was once a quiet ride now shakes the car, and the black color resembles a scar that cuts the neighborhood in two. It’s not entirely even, and water pools in spots when it rains.

Perhaps other contingencies have prevented the city to develop or carry out a street repair plan, and now the problems have snowballed. There is a need of some kind of a fix, and the slurry is a temporary solution. We all know that “temporary” is a relative term that may extend indefinitely. Seems to me that the money expended on this effort could have been better spent by properly fixing fewer streets, these that really needed it, but with matching materials to maintain the neighborhood integrity.

Covering up old mistakes by patching over them is referred to in some quarters as “putting lipstick on a pig.”

Joseph A. Vitovec



McIlmoyle has demonstrated skill for role

Having known Meredith McIlmoyle for years, we enthusiastically endorse her for Anacortes School Board. This role is vital to the success of our community and children, and it’s important to elect members who have demonstrated the skills and temperament that best fit that role – especially in these challenging times.

Meredith is a natural leader. She listens without judgment, looks for solutions in which everyone feels respected, and then works within a team to see a job completed. In her role as Anacortes Arts Festival director, Meredith is level-headed, creative and capable of skillfully managing the demands of producing a huge event, while garnering respect and loyalty from her staff and board.

Concurrent to her professional life, Meredith has been a constructive partner in the School District. She has volunteered countless hours in the classroom and found roles collaborating with other community members to support staff and enhance opportunities for students.

Meredith is kind and positive. She is tireless, and genuinely cares about the community. She is everything we could want in an effective, fair and productive School Board member.

Rita James



Support McIlmoyle for School Board

Meredith McIlmoyle is the right choice for the Anacortes School Board. She has 15 years’ experience volunteering in the schools and with parent organizations. Meredith is the executive director of the Arts Festival and has navigated this organization through the pandemic with a successful 2021 event.

Meredith does not have an agenda. She will listen to parents, students, community members and educators to make the best decisions for students. She will put student needs first and will not be distracted by divisive politics.

Meredith understands that focusing on the state mask mandate distracts from educating students. The School District needs to follow the law. She understands that problems can be resolved if we work together, which will make this challenging year a productive and positive experience.

She understands that all students need to feel safe and secure. Supporting equity and diversity is a strength and makes our whole community a place where we work to create a better future.

Meredith understands the importance of listening and focusing on students. She will support teachers, staff and administration, which is critical for students to excel.

Join me in voting for Meredith McIlmoyle.

Barbara Cooper



Miller right mayor choice

Friends have asked why I support Matt Miller for mayor. Here is my answer.

Matt is a retired USN officer having achieved the rank of commander. In the Navy, only the best leaders rise in the ranks where their leadership skills are honed by years of experience. Many, including Matt, retire in their prime working years ready to excel at careers in their civilian lives.

I saw this first-hand while working at Port of Anacortes for 12 years. Bob Hyde, USN ret., was hired as executive director at the port in 2006. Bob orchestrated a turnaround that changed the organization to one that serves Anacortes proud.

Dan Worra, USN ret., took over in 2015. He continues the difficult work of building and maintaining public trust while stimulating local jobs, commerce and public access. Though Dan would likely give his staff the credit, leadership is a critical component of a successful team. No matter how skilled the staff members, teams fail without skilled leaders.

I have known the Millers for almost 20 years. Matt Miller is the right person to serve as our next mayor.

Keith Rubin



Vote LaFleur

for Port

I would like to wholeheartedly endorse Mary LaFleur as a write-in candidate to Position 1 on the Anacortes Port Commission.

I have known Mary personally and professionally for almost 20 years. She has been our friend and marine insurance agent and has handled our business honestly and sincerely.

Mary has owned her own insurance agency since 1986 and has been a tenant of Cap Sante Marina since 1987. She served on the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce and was its chairperson in 2018. She also served on the Anacortes Marine Trades Committee for 10 years and chaired it for six. She served six years on the Anacortes Port Advisory Committee.

There is no one more experienced in local business and marine concerns than Mary, nor anyone who will work harder and strive for transparency for the community’s benefit.

She will be a tremendous asset to the Port and deserves the trust you will place in her.

Carol Tesson



Walters will get the job done

Ryan Walters gets the job done.

I have known Ryan for more than 20 years. I was president of the School Board when he was student body president at AHS, and I watched as he racked up a solid record of achievements like preparing a new student handbook that hadn’t been updated for 10 years, revamping student ID cards and writing new rules to make student dance royalty elections more inclusive. It was the most productive student body presidency I’ve seen.

During his 10 years on the City Council, I’ve watched Ryan work hard to make Anacortes a better community. He partnered with other council members to launch our fiber-optic network, to pursue real housing affordability through the Yes for Housing project and to create real transparency at City Hall.

Ryan creatively seeks opportunities and figures out how to make the most of them. He supports the local business community by patronizing local merchants and being responsive to their complaints, and I love his excitement about helping people open new businesses by streamlining the bureaucracy.

If you want the job done, vote for Walters.

Jean Fantini



Schorr for School Board

Open communication, full transparency, insightful and honest dialogue. Erik Schorr brings a lot to the table.

Having kids in the school district, being a business owner and active community member, Erik and his wife Megan know firsthand what the kids need and what the parents/guardians expect. Erik has a deep understanding of the turmoil of current world events and of the need for community involvement to help in the progression of our students.

Erik’s calm, cool demeanor and ability to lead gives me confidence that my children’s education and school experience will only benefit under his guidance.

Jerad Knutson




Help support the pool

Although I can barely do a flip turn, my daughter has benefited immensely from the pool’s existence. Like most toddlers in Anacortes, she learned to swim at Fidalgo Pool and Fitness Center and learned how to race there.

She learned how to persevere and how to push through pain and boredom and repetition — all things we have to do in life. Could she have learned those skills in another sport? Perhaps, but as a child with asthma, that was not an option. For many with asthma or arthritis, other sports are not conducive to their health.

Swimming competitively may not be part of most Anacortes residents’ lives, but I have supported the Public Library, which may be someone else’s thing. I have supported the local parks and playgrounds, which be someone else’s thing.

Once my daughter’s competitive career is over, my hope is she will continue to swim for her health and happiness. If FPFC helped instill that rigor and commitment to her well-being, then I am eternally grateful. 

Vote yes for the pool maintenance levy.

Silvy Yamazaki



McIlmoyle, Farnsworth for School Board

We are fortunate to have four good candidates running for the Anacortes School Board.

They are all good neighbors and citizens. Beyond that, I wouldn’t affix a label to any of them. It is too easy to label a candidate based on little information.

As voters, we must study candidate positions and motivations for running and make an informed decision. Read their campaign materials and newspaper interviews, and watch the candidate forums that were held, and two candidates will stand out. 

Meredith Mcllmoyle and Diana Farnsworth are both well qualified and are running out of a desire to serve our students and community.

Both women have been active in civic organizations, have a history of volunteering and have been involved with Anacortes schools. Both have served on various ASD committees. 

They are motivated from a position that it is a School Board member’s role to ensure that our students and staff are safe and supported, that the services provided are equitable and that all students have the same opportunity for success.

Bonnie Bowers


Vote yes on pool M&O levy

Please vote yes this Nov. 2 to continue the Fidalgo Pool & Fitness Center’s Maintenance & Operations Levy.

The FPFC is our community asset that has served the wellness and recreational needs of all ages for over 45 years. It is constantly being used for rehabilitation, group fitness, weight training, swimming, kayaking, scuba diving, water safety classes and public school aquatics.

Youth and adults have a place to learn how to swim, participate in swim training, enjoy aquatics exercise, receive physical therapy and compete in organized Thunderbird Aquatics Club youth and master’s level swimming. Families can share quality time during open swims, and seniors can engage in group water exercises to improve mobility and strength.

The levy is an ongoing obligation, not a new tax, and must have voter approval to continue.

The district is asking for the mil rate of 0.1138 cents per $1,000 assessed valuation in 2021, which is less than what voters granted in the November 2015 General Election for levy years 2016-2021. At that time, the district asked for 0.1394 cents per $1,000 assessed valuation. Help the FPFC continue its work to make us happy and healthy by voting yes.

Marilyn Stadler



Miller has what city needs

I’ve had the joy and privilege of working and serving alongside Matt Miller in various ways.

We understand the important skills learned from owning a business. Accountability (the buck really does stop here), discipline, leadership, compassion for clients, staff and community, courage and partnerships all form the basis for a successful business. Are the same skills essential for the next mayor of Anacortes? I think so.

Matt and I belong to the city’s Ferry Advisory Committee, working with Washington State Ferries, making sure that the interests of our local ferry runs are properly represented. Is this experience important for the next mayor of Anacortes? I think so.

We are both Rotarians. Our motto is “Service Above Self.” We are guided by a statement called the “Four Way Test.” 1. Is it the truth? 2. Is it fair to all? 3. Will it build goodwill? 4. Will it be beneficial to all? Are these values important for the next mayor of Anacortes? I think so.

I encourage every voter to read Matt’s resume on his website and ask yourself, Will these skills, this experience and these qualities be important for the next mayor of Anacortes? I’m absolutely sure of it.

Duane Clark



Graf for City Council

I encourage all Anacortes residents to vote this November. When you do, select Jeff Graf for Anacortes City Council.

Here’s why. Jeff Graf is well qualified for this important position. A retired Navy captain, he’s held numerous leadership positions in highly diverse organizations and managed multimillion-dollar budgets with distinction and success. He is of high moral character and a goal-oriented, inclusive team member who will ensure fair and balanced outcomes.

He is nonpartisan and dedicated to fiscal stewardship. He will pursue a more disciplined approach to the city’s budget process and strive to spend our money on what we can afford and only what is most important to the residents of Anacortes.

As a long-time resident, homeowner and taxpayer just like you, he has a vested interest in working hard for you and ensuring a sound and prosperous future for Anacortes.

When you consider the challenges facing the city, the budget, affordable housing and future growth, we can count on Jeff Graf to make smart, reasoned and fiscally responsible decisions that will benefit our community for years to come.

I urge you to vote Jeff Graf for City Council.

Matt Cutter



Schorr has vision for schools

I would like to submit my most emphatic endorsement for Erik Schorr for the ASD School Board.

A 12-year resident of Anacortes with three children (one graduating last year), I am keenly aware of the impact that our publicly elected officials, especially our School Board members, have on our community. I say community – and not students – deliberately.

The decisions and policies implemented by our board not only influence and shape the education of our students here and now, but they shape and influence our next generation of community members – employees, scholars, educators, leaders, first responders, medical professionals, etc.

It is this long-term vision and perspective that often is lost in the fray of hotbed issues and current events.

Yet it is exactly this “long game” view that is absolutely vital to ensure our schools are providing our future generations of “societal contributors” (aka students) with the best education possible. Erik brings this perspective.

An involved community member and parent – read his mission statement on his website – it says it all.

Our students are our future, and Erik knows that when all students get the best education possible, we are all better off.

Jason Zaharris



Graf will bring focus to Position 4

Jeff Graf is a candidate who will bring lifelong leadership skills, focus and accountability to the Anacortes City Council. He and his family chose Anacortes as their home 17 years ago, and he has been an involved, energetic citizen ever since.

In the Navy, Jeff excelled in leadership at every level. From squadron command to the position of executive officer of an aircraft carrier, Jeff always brought a steady hand and a clear vision to those he led. Upon his transition to civilian life, he brought those leadership skills to bear in local industry and on the Anacortes City Planning Commission.

If there is a word that describes Jeff Graf, it is focus. I know he will keenly focus on his priorities of economic growth and development; quality of life; government transparency and accountability, and protection of our forestlands and wetlands.

Jeff will bring fiscal responsibility to the council. He has experience managing budgets of over $250 million and embraces best practices for responsible public spending. He will bring rigor, collaboration and accountability to the budget process.

Vote for a community-focused, pragmatic leader for Anacortes. Vote for Jeff Graf – City Council Position 4.

Bob Papadakis



Schorr brings unique perspective

I have known Erik Schorr for 20 years. Erik is firmly dedicated to scholastics in education. He will strive to foster a school system that will produce students who are not only knowledgeable but critical, analytical and sensitive thinkers.

I have observed Erik as an educator in his own business where he trains young kayaking guides to be sensitive to the desires of their clients, as well as observant biologists. He shares with them his own principles of love for the environment and the importance of cooperation among people of all ages and abilities. His young employees respect him for his work ethic and his even-handed and adaptable management style.

As a father of two boys, Erik also understands the needs of young women and men whom he employs. Therefore, I believe Erik has a unique perspective on what young people need to succeed.

He is a keen listener with well-thought-out perspectives. I don’t see him showing resistance to arguments that are counter to his own. He is open to diverse ideas and is willing to listen and learn.

A vote for Erik Schorr is the right vote for School Board.

Torolf Torgersen



Need Walters as mayor

Ryan Walters is the person we need for mayor of Anacortes.

His record on the City Council shows an extraordinary and clear understanding of how the city works and where we need to go. He has the same clarity and understanding of how Skagit County works. As an attorney for the county and as assistant director of the county planning department, he learned how the health and future of Skagit County and Anacortes are woven together, and he understands well how state laws affect everyone.

When he takes the seat designated for the mayor of Anacortes on the Skagit Council of Governments along with other mayors and the three County Commissioners, he will bring more skills to that job than anyone I know.

He will be great for Anacortes and Skagit County.

He is smart, hard-working and a good person. He is the best choice for mayor of Anacortes.

Mark Lundsten


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