EDITORIAL | Public service: the opportunity is now

Residents in the Langley area take notice: the Port of South Whidbey Board of Commissioners is down by one and it’s your representative.

District 2 Commissioner Chris Jerome resigned from his position last week for a new job in North Carolina. The offer came up unexpectedly and was apparently too good to pass up.

Jerome leaves four years into his first six-year term, but he can step away proud of the work he did as a commissioner. His crowning achievement, in the eyes of The Record at least, was his role with phase one of the South Whidbey Harbor expansion project. And while his departure comes on the eve of the project’s completion, it’s a legacy that will endure nonetheless.

Thank you, Jerome, for your service to South Whidbey and we wish you well.

As for District 2 constituents, they remain without a representative on the three-member board, and the task of appointing a replacement is now left to the port’s two remaining commissioners — Dennis Gregoire and Curt Gordon.

That may be no easy task. Elected office is a tough and often thankless job, and many of those who would serve the position best know it. The hours are long, every decision is endlessly scrutinized and pleasing everyone is an impossibility. Those challenges — and did we mention you don’t get paid — are why it’s called public service.

The Langley City Council had several seats up for grabs last November, and all ran unopposed. One could argue that it was a testament to work well done, but the hurdles mentioned above were also a likely factor. Whatever the case, uncontested races are unfortunate. The democratic process is always best served when there are multiple candidates to choose from.

Have an opinion about the marina project? Do you think the port can do more for economic development or beach access? Then apply for the position. Don’t wait until the right time, put your name out there. Even those not selected add to the discussion by bringing to the table ideas not previously considered.

Incidentally, this is also one of the best times to seek a port commissioner seat. Rather than having to convince thousands of voters of your qualities and vision, you must convince only two.

Don’t wait. The public needs to hear from you now.

Langley District 2 covers from East Harbor Road to north of Surface Road including parts of Craw Road. Candidates must live within these boundaries to qualify.

To apply, mail a resume, letter of interest and statement of qualifications to Port of South Whidbey, PO Box 872, Freeland WA 98249, or by email to molly@portofsouthwhidbey.com or by fax to 360-331-5414. Materials can also be submitted in person at the port office, 1804 Scott Road, Ste. 101 in Freeland.

Deadline is 4 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7.

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