ELECTION VIEW: Buchanan running to protect legacy of Whatcom lifestyle


I'm Barry Buchanan and I'm running for Whatcom County Council to uphold our freedom, to protect our farmland and fishing and to fight for jobs and opportunity for our residents.

Before you decide who you vote for, I think you'd like to know a bit more about me.

I'm a fourth-generation Whatcom resident. My great grandparents came here for the same reasons that many of us came here and why we stay - great natural beauty, recreation opportunities, pure drinking water, fertile soil and abundant natural resources. I'm running to protect that legacy that we've been given so that our future generations can enjoy the same opportunities we've had.

My entire life, I've been motivated by how I can best serve our community. After graduating high school, I married my wife Judy and served seven years in the navy. I've worked for the last 30 years on everything from Trident submarines to the Hubble space telescope and other space shuttle projects.

Today, I own my own small business and Judy and I raised our family here. We have been very active in Trinity Lutheran Church, where I serve as worship team leader. I even served a term on the Bellingham City Council.

Across Whatcom County, I've also served in many ways. I co-founded the Bellingham High School Alumni Band and served on the boards of the Bellingham/Whatcom Chamber of Commerce, Northwest Economic Development Council, Whatcom County 911 Emergency Dispatch System and the Lettered Streets Neighborhood Association.

I'm not satisfied with the incumbent. She voted against funding domestic violence programs, a vote she now admits was wrong. She embraced the Tea Party movement. She took the single largest campaign contribution in Whatcom County history - nearly $20,000 - an action the state legislature has since made illegal. She hired Seattle lawyers at your expense to fight old land-use battles that we need to settle.

For our County Council, we must do better.

On the council, my word is my bond. You may not always agree with me, but you can trust me to do what I say I am going to do. I am running for County Council to make sure Whatcom County will always "look like home" and reflect our values - a place that offers freedom and opportunity to all who live here.

Coming up, we have a number of big decisions to make.

First, the SSA Marine proposal for a coal export terminal. While legal rules prohibit me from taking a firm position on the issue, I can tell you the criteria I will use to evaluate the proposal. First, I'll always consider the people of Whatcom County first - not outside interests. Second, the health impacts and impacts for our fishing industry are of concern to me, and I want to hear how SSA Marine addresses those issues. Finally, we must respect all of our local landowners - not just a few - and their property rights.

Second, we have a big decision to make on funding a new jail. And my position is that I want to protect our taxpayers by working for a safe, affordable facility that is not too big. In four years, the incumbent hasn't worked hard enough to protect our pocketbooks on this important issue.

Third, we must address once and for all clean drinking water in Lake Whatcom. This is a problem that has lingered on for too long, and it's time to solve it not just for today, but for generations to come.

Finally, as we consider these important issues, I pledge to be open and accessible to you. My my email is barrybuchanan46@aol.com. Feel free to contact me at any time, if you have a question or want me to work on a problem that you're having.

As you consider voting for me, I ask that you look at the incumbent's record and compare it to mine. Or consider our endorsements - I've been endorsed by Bellingham/Whatcom Firefighters, Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville, State Sen. Kevin Ranker, former Sen. Harriet Spanel, Teamsters Local 231 and State Rep. Kris Lytton.

My name is Barry Buchanan, and I respectfully ask for your vote.


Barry Buchanan is the challenger for Whatcom County Council, District 1, position A. Vote-by-mail ballots will be mailed Oct. 19 and the general election is Nov. 5.

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