Election results of interest to local residents are still coming in, particularly in the races for Superintendent of Public Instruction and Public Lands Commissioner. But, other campaign results are in and we can see there will be change – or the possibility of change – but how profound that change will be depends, in part, on the degree to which citizens can keep alive their enthusiasm for participatory democracy.
Although the final numbers are not yet it, we’re likely to find that we had record turnout among voters in the election held earlier this week. Throughout the state, and in Thurston County, elections offices reported record numbers of registered voters. Organizations such as the Griffin Neighborhood Association will be challenged to convert that enthusiasm to vote into an ongoing interest to participate in government.
Click here to view the current vote counts.
The election of Sandra Romero to the Thurston County Board of Commissioners bodes well for those of us expecting the Commission to strike a better balance between the property rights and controlled growth crowds. We hope Romero will bring new ideas and new excitement to a Commission which has for too long spent public money in court, defending its indefensible land use policies. Here, within the boundaries of the Griffin School District, we find ourselves in the cross-hairs of a lot of development without adequate oversight from the County. The Commission will need to take on a lot of tough issues if we’re going to be assured our wells continue to pump clean water, habitat is preserved on the Steamboat peninsula, and our beaches front on a healthy Puget Sound.
Despite criticism of lackluster service in the office, Cathy Wolfe has won re-election to the County Board of Commissioners.
We wish to congratulate, in particular, Griffin Neighborhood Association Board member and local resident Fred Finn, for his success in the race for the House of Representatives in the 35th Legislative District. We expect Fred and Kathy Haigh, who easily won re-election, will prove to be worthy and effective representatives, in the House. Given the 35th LD spreads across 4 Western Washington counties, it’s a real treat to have Fred, a representative who so keenly understands our concerns, working for us.
The Griffin School District Technology & Capital Projects Levy is passing, with a vote 59% in favor. The “Yes for Griffin Kids” Committee has done a terrific job of gathering support for critical funding necessary to maintain our effective and independent local school district. The Committee deserves our thanks and our continued support. For more information and to join the “Yes for Griffin Kids” Committee, call Rhonda Fry at (360) 432-2337.
Kathy Haigh has taken a real leadership role, in the House, on issues related to educational funding. Fred Finn has served on the Board of the Griffin School District. We hope these two will work hard, in Olympia, to fulfill the requirements of the State constitution and fully fund quality public education.
As we right this article, incumbent Terry Bergeson and Randy Dorn are locked in a tight race that is yet to be resolved. With 51% of votes counted, Dorn leads Bergeson, but there are many votes yet to be counted, particularly in King and Pierce counties.
UPDATED: Late Thursday, enough votes were counted to convince Terry Bergeson to concede defeat to Randy Dorn. Dorn ran heavily on a promise to reform the WASL – indeed, to entirely replace the WASL – so we can expect some big changes in that testing regime.
Another important race still hanging on the vote count, particularly in King and Pierce counties, is the race for Public Lands Commissioner. Much of Peter J. Goldmark’s support is expected to come from particularly King and Snohomish counties. Goldmark supporters are cautiously optimistic, what with Goldmark’s slim lead over Doug Sutherland.
UPDATED: Late Thursday, the Associated Press determined that not enough votes were left un-counted in counties expected to support Sutherland. The AP has announced Goldmark has won. However, Sutherland has not yet conceded.
The next legislative session begins in just 2 months. We’ll soon have a new Commissioner, in the County. Whether you tend to see things as a Republican, a Democrat or an independent, you’ll probably agree there’s a palpable feeling of change in the air. Not just on a national level, but on a local level. We hope this sense of change – and of hope – will translate to new participation among citizens.
What are you looking forward to, with these changes in local government? Click on the comments link below.
— MARK MESSINGER