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Diking District 1 foes find candidate

A group opposed to recent actions by Island County Diking District 1 has its own candidate to fill a vacant diking district commissioner seat.

District Commissioner Bob Kohlwes, 77, who had been on the panel since March, resigned Jan. 2, saying he was tired of the controversy surrounding a new drainage pump and other issues relating to the district.

Citizens in Support of Useless Bay Community (CSUBC) is urging Island County commissioners to appoint John Shepard to fulfill Kohlwes’ unexpired term.

Shepard owns property in Olympic View and on Sunlight Beach, has strong family ties to the area going back decades, is familiar with the district “and has made it a point to become educated about dike operations,” said Elizabeth Derrig, an attorney representing CSUBC.

The remaining diking commissioners, Steve Arnold and Ray Gabelein, said those interested in the position should send a letter to Island County Diking District 1, PO Box 1116, Clinton 98236. Candidates must be residents of the district and registered voters in the state of Washington.

Gabelein said he and Arnold hope to make a recommendation to the county commissioners next month. County commissioners appoint someone to fill the position until the current term expires, after which a candidate must stand election to retain the post.

CSUBC maintains that the current diking commissioner positions were improperly filled, Derrig said.

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