South Whidbey Record
Letter to the editor
from: Dean Enell
St. Clair would lead county into the future
With Earth Day around the corner and a commissioner election following, maybe it’s time to review the respective local candidates’ environmental views. In District 2 (Camano/North Whidbey) Janet St. Clair is challenging incumbent Commissioner Rick Hannold, and we have two very different candidates indeed.
Issue 1. Rick believes climate change is “overstated” (Whidbey News-Times 10/13/14) and that 408 parts per million of greenhouse gases we’ve pumped into the atmosphere has little to do with it. Unlike 97 percent of creditable climate scientists, he feels the changing climate is predestined, nothing we can or should do about it. It’s a safe bet he won’t be championing any county initiatives to address this issue.
Janet accepts the preponderance of scientific consensus and believes that we have the ability and obligation to incentivize steps to limit green-house gases. Steps like fossil fuel energy alternatives and reducing our collective carbon footprint, currently lacking at the county level.
Issue 2. Our local Conservation Futures Program began in 1991, it’s conserved over 3,200 acres of county rural heritage including public beach access — it’s popular and it works.
Janet recognizes the value of this program and would fully support it.
Rick likes to identify as a supporter but then consistently votes to reduce its funding in real dollars by denying the yearly 1 percent cost of living increase allocated to other county expenditures.
Issue 3. We’ve had a Growth Management Plan around here since 1998. It’s state-mandated and contains land use regulations that preserve those qualities of life that Islanders have identified as desirable.
Things like avoiding urban sprawl, preserving open space, beach access, vistas, and environmental qualities — in short “hang onto our rural character.”
Rick touts our GMA accomplishments but voted to spend our money for an outside attorney rather than just following the law. He also voted to spend even more to defend that private attorney when sued by our county prosecutor and again to appeal the unfavorable opinion received.
This appeal lost 13-0 before the State Supreme Court.
Janet supports state GMA Law and would fulfill our obligations using our qualified in-house legal department.
Issue 4. As for that noise around OLF, Rick states that “Life can cause illness and adverse health effects, the only way around it is death.”
Janet wants to promote needed discussion.
There’s considerable difference in these two candidates, but Janet has the background, credentials and inclination to decide issues on facts and data, to lead us into the future.