I have thought a lot about each candidate on the ballot, especially the mayoral race. In part, because of my research and in talking with others, I actually changed my mind about who I will be voting for in the Oak Harbor mayor race. One candidate runs about like a show pony while the other, Ronnie Wright, is doing important work for the people and business of our town and by extension our county.
I came to my decision in part by looking at the level of and history of each of their involvement in local organizations. From my point of view, Ronnie Wright has an established history of selfless donation of his time, not for the purposes of building a resume, or of shaking the right hands, but instead to serve our community out of a desire to work for its betterment. In other words, Ronnie is walking the walk, not just talking the talk.
Here are just a few of the many ways that Ronnie Wright has been quietly and selflessly giving his time and talent to several of our local nonprofit boards: Greater Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce (past president and financial chairperson); Northwest Hearts and Hammers (treasurer/financial chair person); Oak Harbor Creative Arts Foundation (treasurer/financial chair person); PBY Memorial; Whidbey Golf and Country Club (past board); STEPS, formerly known as Toddler Learning Center (treasurer/financial chairperson).
You may see that he serves as treasurer and/or the financial director for many of these local nonprofits. What you don’t see, nor would you ever know, is that he offers those services either at no charge or at a significantly reduced rate, allowing the nonprofit to be able to direct more of their money to the causes they, and by extension, Ronnie support.
Ronnie has also given of his time and expertise, and yes, his money, to support local events and organizations like; Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Island County; Oak Harbor Music Festival; Oak Harbor Education Foundation; Oak Harbor Athletic Booster Club; Habitat for Humanity; Lions Club and the Chamber of Commerce.
Did you know he sponsors a stage at the music festival, was one of the main sponsors to help bring back the carnival to Holland Happening and his sponsorships help bring the fireworks to us on the Fourth of July and at New Years? Oh, and something else, he also sponsors holes in local golf tournaments, which benefit many of our local charitable organizations.
In the past, he was a volunteer for the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society, teaching our young troops the skills they need to effectively budget and manage money in planning for a sound financial future. He is looking forward to doing that again.
It’s a long list. Ronnie Wright has more than demonstrated to me that in running for mayor, he is not simply a political opportunist who says what he thinks people want to hear but is genuinely motivated by the opportunity to continue his quiet work in making Oak Harbor a better place for all of us. In case it wasn’t clear, I will be casting my vote for Ronnie Wright to be the next mayor of Oak Harbor. I hope you do too.