Politics & Government

Election Views: Charter commission candidates Bob Hall, Susan Gribbin and Richard May

District 1: Bob Hall

I am seeking election to the Charter Review Commission, District One.

I have been a close observer of Whatcom County government for 34 years.

I taught high school history and government for over 20 years.

In 1975, as a freeholder, I helped fashion a home rule charter for Clallam County, the second in the state after King County’s. It differs from Whatcom County’s in that it provides for an administrator to manage county affairs on a daily basis.

I have no axes to grind and I tend to agree with the old adage, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

I do not intend to campaign for this office but it would be a distinct honor if my fellow citizens should choose me to represent them on the commission.

District 2: Susan Gribbin

I hope you will consider voting for me this November for the District 2 position on the Charter Review Commission. My job is to listen to you, gain an appreciation for how county government works for you and carry forward worthy proposals that will keep our county vital.

I have lived and worked in the county since 1984 completing a master of business administration at Western in 1991. My partner of 30 years, Joyce, and I have raised two adult daughters who also live in Whatcom County.

I have worked professionally in the nonprofit sector in programs providing mentoring, education, crisis intervention, community health and more. My service includes working across the county in rural and urban areas. Currently, I serve on the Bellingham/Whatcom Housing Authority Board and the City of Bellingham Community Development Advisory Board. I previously served on the Citizens’ Transportation Advisory Group of the Whatcom Council of Governments.

I ask for your support to keep our charter a clear and relevant guide for our future.

Please vote for Susan Gribbin for the District 2 candidate for the Charter Review Commission this coming November.

Thank you for your time and consideration!

District 3: Richard May

Once every 10 years, a group of 15 Whatcom citizens is elected to scrutinize our county charter (the document that serves like a constitution for Whatcom County). My name is Richard May, and I am running for one of the five spots that will be elected from District 3, the third of the county West of Guide Meridian (includes Ferndale, Blaine, Birch Bay, Lummi Island and more).

Of the possible issues for review, one I firmly support is to still require the auditor to print and mail the county voters information pamphlet each year. For the low cost, it is valuable for all our voters to receive information about the candidates and initiatives on their ballot.

For most other issues, the key to this process is transparency and accountability. Our home rule charter can hold a delicate balance about infringement, whether it’s outside authority infringing on a property owner, or that property owner infringing on his community and neighbor’s health, safety and property values. I am committed to ensure that no undue advantage is held by any player in this fragile partnership. If the charter ain’t broke, don’t fix it, and if it’s broke, hear every possible argument before making any adjustment.

In my work, play and public service all around the county, I learn the concerns of our rural, city, business, agriculture and diverse population. I volunteered with Habitat for Humanity, and Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association salmon resoration, and currently serve on the Blaine Planning Commission, the county Appeals Board, and on the board of directors for Communities In Schools Whatcom: a nationally affiliated dropout prevention organization. I organized and won public support for bipartisan local issues including countywide library funding and better traffic safety in Bellingham by stopping a poorly concocted red-light camera program which voters rejected by 68 percent. I served as president of Everson Nooksack Chamber of Commerce while owning businesses with 20 employees, so I understand the needs of small business. My family enjoys our coast and lakes, picking berries at local farms and we are involved in local clubs and church groups.

Through these experiences, I have learned that Whatcom residents care about jobs, natural resources, transportation, culture, rights and livability. I would be very responsive and put in the extra hours to get this charter review done just right. Please visit richardmay.us and contact me with any questions or issues you are concerned about.