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Carl Westling resigns from SW Parks board

South Whidbey Parks and Recreation Board Commissioner Carl Westling resigned his position on the board during the board’s regular meeting June 15.

Commissioners credit Westling as the guiding force behind the “Race the Rock” triathlon.

“With a degree of sadness and regret, the commissioners accept Commissioner Westling’s resignation,” said chairwoman Allison Tapert.

Tapert said Westling’s position will remain vacant until the general election in November.

Westling has served three and a half years of his four-year term. He was elected to his position in February 2002.

Westling’s involvement with the park district began while he was a teacher and cross-country coach at South Whidbey High School.

It was during that time that he worked with park officials to create the first loop trail through Community Park for the school’s cross-country team to practice on. This led to the first fun runs that took place in the park for several years.

The trail is still used by the cross-county team today.

Westling provided the energy behind numerous other accomplishments.

Curt Gordon, parks commissioner attributes the Race the Rock Triathlon to Westling.

Gordon said Westling talked him into participating in a triathlon. It was Gordon’s first attempt at this type of race.

“I was hooked on competing,” Gordon said.

Westling pushed to have this type of the event of South Whidbey. The Race the Rock Triathlon was born. Westling is still a dedicated volunteer at the race, where he hands out water and shouts words of encouragement to participants.

Westling earned the respect of fellow commissioners and parks staff.

“I was always grateful for Carl’s well prepared presence on the board,” said Art Burke, parks director. “He paid attention to details and offered good suggestions,” he said.

The No. 5 position of the parks board is scheduled for reelection during the upcoming general election on Nov. 8. Park commissioners serve a four-year term.

Interested candidates for this position must file their declaration of candidacy at the Island County Auditor’s office during the filing period July 25 through July 29 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

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