South Whidbey votes for change

South Whidbey voters supported change in Tuesday’s election, and Langley residents voted strongly in favor of a bond issue to improve water, sewer and stormwater infrastructure in the city.

As of Thursday night, Craig Cyr held a wide margin over incumbent Langley City Councilman Bruce Allen with 461 votes, which is about 77 percent. Cyr said he thought the results showed the Village by the Sea responded positively to the contrast he drew between himself and Allen, who had served on the council for eight years.

“I think that speaks for the progressive voters voting for a progressive candidate,” Cyr said. “I think people understand I really was listening to them. I think that’s one of the reasons it went to so well for me.”

A candidate who promised change has a healthy lead over an incumbent member of the South Whidbey School Board.

Brook Willeford has 3,365 votes, which is nearly 61 percent, while school board President Linda Racicot has fallen behind. During his campaign, Willeford focused on the need for a new voice on the board and to repair what he saw as a rift between the board and community.

“It looks like the community likes what they’ve heard from me,” Willeford said.

Langley Mayor Tim Callison said he’s “very pleased” with the strong support for the city’s water management system improvement bonds. Approximately 80 percent, which was 482 people, voted “yes” on the measure. It required a 60 percent supermajority to pass. Engineering, design, permitting and contracting are slated to occur in 2020 for a range of projects to improve and replace water and sewer lines and storm water infrastructure, he said. Construction should begin in 2021.

The city will be able to issue $4 million in general obligation bonds, which will increase property taxes by an estimated 58 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.

The bond issue’s successful passage also means the city will receive a $3 million Rural Economic Infrastructure Grant from Island County. The money will pay for sewer and water extension and storm water improvements in East Langley and was contingent on the voters approving the bond.

South Whidbey Parks and Recreation also passed a successful bond, with 4,410 votes cast in its favor, which is approximately 73 percent. The five-year, $379,000 bond will go toward the district’s purchase of two properties in an effort to save a trail system on 40 acres of forest land off Maxwelton Road.

Jennifer Cox, who was appointed to the parks board earlier this year, will continue to serve in the position. Cox received 2,952 votes, or about 69 percent, over opponent Dawn Tarantino.

Incumbent Port of South Whidbey Commissioner Curt Gordon looks like he’ll retain his position with 3,694 votes, which is almost 74 percent.

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