With the upcoming County Council election on the horizon, it is extremely important that we all be aware of growth management issues and the need for council members to be elected who will comply with the Growth Management Act. Protecting critical environmental areas such as wetland habitats and geologically unstable areas is of utmost importance. It is also imperative that we protect our resource lands. Whatcom County is the fourth-largest agricultural economy in the state. Our cities all abut agricultural lands, and by increasing urban development we are impacting our resources areas. This calls for careful planning that will be cognizant of water supply and stormwater and police and fire services. It would be more practical to increase our downtown by restoring the abandoned buildings and protecting farmland from sprawl. When casting your vote for County Council members consider someone who is fiscally prudent, respects the environment and quality-of-life, and respects the law and is open to opinions of their constituents.