La Conner Town Council

Clockwise from upper left, John Leaver, Bill Stokes, MaryLee Chamberlain, Glen Johnson, Rick Dole and Ivan Carlson

With three of five seats up for election, the La Conner Town Council could potentially have a much different look after the Nov. 2 general election.

Another seat is currently vacant because of the resignation of Jacques Brunisholz. The council is expected to review applications and appoint a member to that vacant seat.

Position 2

Incumbent John Leaver will face challenger Ivan Carlson.

Lever said he’s well suited to tackle the town’s upcoming challenges, such as improving its relationship with law enforcement, dealing with large infrastructure projects and finding ways to attract tourists and small businesses.

He said he hopes to strike a balance between those eager to preserve La Conner’s small-town feel and those who see change approaching.

“We must be flexible enough to look at and embrace possible change and find ways to make it work,” Leaver said.

Carlson, a local business owner and fourth-generation La Conner volunteer firefighter, said in the county voters guide he’ll be a voice for residents.

“I respect my neighbors and it is a priority to me that they are heard. I would like to be a local voice for La Conner residents. I am passionate about this community and I would like to see progress while preserving the town’s character,” he said.

Position 3

Challenger Rick Dole will face incumbent council member Bill Stokes.

Stokes, a member of the council since 2013, said infrastructure, public safety and further improvements are among the most pressing issues. He cited the need to replace the town’s water main, improve its sewer treatment plant and bolster the fire department’s equipment.

He said his experience, both on the council and before that as code enforcement officer, make him well qualified.

“This (experience) makes me very well versed in the local government and the issues we must deal with. Serving on the council’s finance committee these past nine years, I understand the complexities of our municipal funding, and the state laws that govern it,” Stokes said.

Dole is a member of the town’s planning commission.

He said the issues he’ll likely focus on as a council member include the pursuit of affordable housing in La Conner, working with law enforcement to improve services for La Conner residents, and working to help the town hire a code enforcement officer.

“I intend to bring a lifetime of service and experience to the table. My goal is to listen to the people of the town and to serve their needs to the best of my ability,” he said in the voters guide.

Position 4

Incumbent MaryLee Chamberlain is facing challenger Glen Johnson.

Chamberlain served on the town’s planning commission before joining the Town Council in 2014.

She said in the voters guide that infrastructure, cultural diversity and economic viability are among the issues that must be addressed.

“We are small but mighty when you consider the dedication of outstanding staff and an involved citizenship. Our job as your elected representatives on the town council is to engage in collaboration while balancing a range of needs with an informed view of both budget constraints and funding opportunities,” she said.

Johnson is the former owner of Mother Flight Farm and a founding board member of the Festival of Family Farms.

In the voters guide, he advocates for “thinking globally, while acting locally” and writes in favor of a ring dike to protect the town against flooding.

Reporter Trevor Pyle: 360-416-2156,, Twitter: @goskagit,

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