needed for housing plans

Five-story apartment complexes are dramatic structural changes for the City of Anacortes. Is this a serious attempt to help residents and Anacortes employees find affordable housing or a façade “get your foot in the door” proposal to allow developers to build huge complexes in our small town? Are taxpayers being fooled? Is the City of Anacortes government being fooled? Let’s be diligent here.

Homeowners in Anacortes will pay increased property taxes (proposed Ordinance 3047) to allow developers/landlords up to 12 years of city tax exemptions for these new, multifamily “affordable” projects. Therefore, the city taxpayers deserve to have the city monitor the landlords’ units and account monthly, in writing, in detail, at city hall and in the Anacortes American that the landlords are keeping the proposed units “affordable” for the entire lifetime of the building.

What happens after 12 years? Do the developers then pay city property tax? Who will monitor the start of this? Do the monstrously large buildings return to all “unaffordable” units again? Are current residents going to be searching for affordable housing once more? Ultimately, has the city solved the housing problem or kicked the can down the road 12 years?

There has to be auditable accountability and seriousness on this. We have to care about the original issue, which is to provide affordable housing in our city. The city should monitor the units, see residents’ tax records and paychecks regularly and be listing available open units at the city to help link apartment renters to available apartments.

Let’s really solve the problem. Make sure the landlords really care about helping the city keep apartments affordable. Make the apartment rents a set percentage of residents’ earnings (through tax records and occasional checks on paycheck statements). That is lack of privacy (like the Affordable Care Act), but it assures taxpayers, the city and landlords that the units are rented as intended. It also assures that these affordable units will be available into the future of our city.

Linda Anderson



Don’t glorify kids missing class time to protest

According to the front page story of the Oct. 2 Anacortes American, we now glorify the actions of students who protest rather than attend class.

First of all, this was not a “strike.” It was a protest. Wikipedia defines a student strike as “A common tactic of student protest is to go on strike (sometimes called a boycott of classes), which occurs when students enrolled at a teaching institution such as a school, college or university refuse to go to class. It is meant to resemble strike action by organized labour.” Again, this was not a strike, it was a student protest.

The article reports that the “strike” was scheduled from “11:30 to 1 p.m. spanning both lunch periods and part of fifth period.” With lunches being 30 minutes, that means that some of the students who “stayed for the entire demonstration” missed an hour of their education, some perhaps only missed a half hour. Does anybody care?

It costs $18 million an hour to educate the children in the state of Washington, according to the Lars Larson Show, KGMI Bellingham. And we are continually asked to approve more taxes so that the School District has more money to spend.

So how many minutes of education were missed? Were the absences marked as unexcused, or were they excused under School Administration’s broad exemption for “Other situations deemed appropriate by the administration?”

So did administration take the political opinion that action needs to be taken on climate change? Did the students face consequences for their actions? Does anybody care?

Pamela McCunn



Vote Fleming for council position

Beyond a doubt, Tor Dom Fleming is the most qualified candidate for City Council, Ward 2.

Tor brings to Anacortes a highly decorated background in finance and corporate management, as well as a deep commitment to public service, from his roots as a U.S. Army Ranger to his current volunteerism in schools and local mental health programs. If his resume doesn’t tell you enough, let me add that in the 10 years that I have known Tor, I have consistently seen his sincere commitment to social equity, healthy living and financial responsibility. A-town needs Tor on City Council because he will strive to find creative, fair solutions to modern problems.

Julie Gold



Fleming a great choice for council

Tor Fleming is running for a seat on the Anacortes City Council. I strongly support him for this position and encourage the community to do similarly.

Tor’s life and work experience are impressive. He cut his teeth in the military as a U.S. Army Ranger and completed an undergraduate degree and MBA at a top business school in Chicago. Tor has worked as CFO, COO, and in other leadership and corporate management positions for major companies like Microsoft and Morgan Stanley. Basically, Tor has a work and life experience designed for exactly what Anacortes needs: a person with experience directing a complex institution and ensuring it operates smoothly.

I was a board member and then president for the National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI) in Skagit County when we recruited Tor to solve complex organizational and strategic planning challenges. Our board members were awed as Tor carefully dissected, analyzed and solved these issues without cognitive or emotional biases. He is currently vice president of NAMI in Skagit County.

Anacortes needs a City Council member who is a natural leader and experienced in complex problem-solving. I believe Tor Fleming is that person.

Wirt (Andy) Hines



Fleming right choice for City Council

When casting your vote in coming weeks, please consider Tor Fleming for City Council Ward 2.

I have known Tor for many years, and he is exactly the person we need on the council — honest, hardworking, extremely capable, committed to our city and its reasoned development. His brings a depth of financial and management expertise, which meshes well with both current and future decision-making. His election would provide taxpayers with solid assurance that city financing and budgeting oversight will be consistent and meaningful.

Tor is a military veteran, a devoted family man and an avid volunteer. His vision on such things as affordable housing, economic development and preserving our way of life here in Anacortes is constructive and forward-looking. He will work tirelessly to continue to make our city a better place. He would do a wonderful job. Please join me in supporting his candidacy.

Mitch Everton


Vote Cleland-McGrath for City Council

Christine Cleland-McGrath is a perfect candidate for City Council position for Ward 2.

I believe that being born and raised in Anacortes is very important. It means that Christine is proud of her town, and while leaving only to extend her education, she will always live here to watch the city grow and thrive around her and her family and friends. Christine and husband, Travis, are raising a beautiful child, which is proof to me that Christine will do what it takes to make Anacortes the best it can be in all aspects. This city has her heart.

Christine is young and vibrant. She is one of the most hard-working and dedicated people I know. When on a mission, you know Christine will accomplish it. She is someone who sees things through, with attention to detail, no matter how much time is needed. She is an intelligent person who will thoroughly study any matter brought to the council and will not make decisions lightly. She will be open to any ideas the community would like addressed.

Please consider Christine as she will not let us down.

Jennifer Murray



Re-elect Hanesworth to School Board

In the 15 years I’ve known Marilyn Hanesworth, I’ve witnessed her serving in a variety of roles and circumstances. She is equally adept at problem-solving, “thinking on her feet,” collaboration, relating to people of all ages and facilitating technology. Marilyn is curious and visionary, has an open mind and is a good listener. I have direct knowledge of her skills and abilities in my own capacity of teacher, Anacortes School District supporter and volunteer, committee member and community advocate.

Marilyn has all of these characteristics, but I want to speak to her compassionate heart and willingness to help others.

Marilyn is an active, dedicated volunteer in the Kids’ Life Skills Program at the Anacortes Family Center, working with homeless children in the area of art. Most of these children have suffered trauma and are in a difficult transition. Marilyn’s gentle, caring nature provides a calm oasis of fun and expression on many nights while their parents attend Adult Life Skill classes. It has been a joy for me to be a volunteer instructor/mentor with Kids’ Life Skills, as well as assist Marilyn on “her” nights. She is a source of inspiration.

Her leadership and dedication to our town and to the School District, where she is a School Board member, cannot be overstated. Please re-elect Marilyn Hanesworth to the board.

Sherry Chavers


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