PUD measure qualifies for November ballot

It didn't take the Island County auditor long.

Only 27 hours after submitting a petition to form a local public utilities district, the auditor's office announced late Thursday that "People For Yes on Whidbey PUD" had collected enough signatures to qualify the measure for the November ballot.

Auditor staff, led by Michele Reagan, started counting and validating signatures immediately after the petitions were turned in Wednesday morning and notified "People For Yes on Whidbey PUD" today at 1:15 p.m. that the minimum number of 2,464 valid signatures had been reached.

As soon as the remainder of the petitions had been validated, Reagan notified the Island County board of commissioners so they can place a notification of a public hearing on the measure in local newspapers.

At the same time, the county prosecutor's office began writing the official language for the November ballot.

"It seems clear that Island County officials believe that this measure is something Whidbey Island deserves to vote on, and People For Yes on Whidbey PUD thank them for their expedient work to get this moving," said Ed Jenkins, a spokesman for "People For Yes on Whidbey PUD."

"This is an historical first step in gaining local control over our energy future. But we know the battle is far from over," he added.

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