Full slate of candidates on tap for voters event

By Meg Olson

The Point Roberts Registered Voters Association has a full guest list for its annual candidate’s night. The event will be held at the community center on Gulf Road from 7 to 9 p.m. on Monday, October 2.

Association president Joel Lantz said they had invited all the candidates on the ballot for Point Roberts residents as well as speakers for or against ballot measures.

Running for the at-large position on Whatcom County Council, incumbent Barry Buchanan is facing challenger Mary Kay Robinson.

Two of three spots of the Port of Bellingham board of commissioners are on the November ballot this fall and will be chosen by voters county-wide. In district one, Michael Shepard is challenging incumbent Dan Robbins. Ken Bell and Barry Wenger are running to fill the district two seat currently occupied by Mike McAuley, who is not seeking reelection.

Four of the six local positions up for election have unopposed candidates. Water district chair Scott Hackleman, hospital commissioner Robin Nault are unopposed while at the park district, Sonya Liu is on the ballot to replace Mary Edgley and Arthur Reber is running to replace Doug Shier. Both Liu and Reber have already been appointed to those positions by the board following resignations.

The fire district has more of a contest. Incumbent Bill Meursing is facing challenger Judson Meraw while Pat Harper and Donna Gillespie are both vying for the seat now occupied by Shannon Tomsen, who decided against trying to win re-election.

An increased operations and maintenance levy for the Point Roberts Park and Recreation District comes before voters this November. The ballot measure would replace the district’s expiring six-year taxing authority of approximately eight cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation with a new six-year levy at 21.5 cents per $1000 of property value.

Park commissioners ask for the boost to hire a manager for the district, build reserves and expand programming. “The current parks levy for maintenance of facilities and programs is low,” Rhiannon Allen said in the voter’s pamphlet voicing commitee support for the measure. She added it is not sufficient to keep the programs and facilities the community depends on operating smoothly. No committee against the levy came forward.

Whatcom County is back on the ballot asking voters once again to approve a tax to fund construction of a new jail. The proposal is for a new sales tax that would collect 20 cents per $1000 of non-food items sold in the county.

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