Politics & Government

Election Views: Charter commission candidates Nancy Metcalf, Bob Bandarra and John Lesow offer views

District 1: Nancy Metcalf

I will ensure the language of our county charter is meaningful for our community’s families, and the natural and industrial resources upon which we thrive. I will work to safeguard our right to vote on legally qualifying initiatives. I will introduce community rights to empower local decision-making on projects affecting all of our children, occupations, opportunities and resources.

I believe our county’s vitality is dependent on the structures which empower its governing bodies as provided the county charter. The charter provides for review so those of us who have - and who will - build careers, purchase homes and raise children may democratically add our voices to our government. In this way, we ensure an effective and relevant governing document which provides for ours and future generations.

I know many of you from my years participating in a variety of Whatcom’s communities. As I have added value to our various communities through spearheading and co-organizing projects, I will add rich experience to the commission. Divine spirit has blessed me with a strong public voice, political interest and personal development dedicated to business administration, management, organizational skills, cooperation and an editorial eye for design and language. My political skills are honed by these countless hours of work in business and volunteer efforts. For all this, I give thanks to the spirit, to my husband and family, friends, mentors and colleagues.

Elect me, Nancy Metcalf, to Whatcom’s County Charter Review Commission. I will ensure our county continues upon the path of leaving a fruitful legacy seven generations into the future. I hear your voices and volunteer my own to resound yours throughout the county.

May this election season and New Year be one which surely grounds our values, dreams and desires in reality.

Thank you for voting.

May peace dwell within you all.

District 2: Bob Bandarra

Why should I be elected to the Whatcom County Charter Review Commission?”

Everyone knows that Whatcom County is a great place to live, work, grow up and raise a family. I ask that you elect me to the Charter Review Commission because like you, I appreciate the rural character and outstanding quality of life afforded us by living here in Whatcom County.

The purpose of the commission is to have 15 local Whatcom County residents elected, 5 from each of the three districts, to review the current Whatcom County Charter. The charter, the foundation of our local governance structure here in Whatcom County, is reviewed every 10 years to determine its adequacy and suitability to meet the current and future needs of Whatcom County. If those needs are not being met by the current charter then it is the responsibility of the commission to recommend changes to the County Council.

I believe my experience as a past and current elected official, commissioner Lynden Regional Parks and Recreation District and previously mayor and city council member, City of Bothell, will provide me with both an understanding and experience in reviewing the current governance document. My communication style is one that fosters consensus building on possible high profile issues such as district voting for council members versus countywide voting.

There will be a number of other similar issues to be discussed as we try to address where we have been, where we are and where we want to be in the future. This vision must be addressed in the charter and be the template for current and future elected officials. Please help me to assure the life style we have all come to appreciate in Whatcom County continues by casting your vote to place me on the Charter Review Commission in November. Thank you for your consideration and vote!

District 3: John Lesow

In 1970, I loaded my worldly belongings into an old Chevrolet, left Michigan and headed west. I had no relatives on the West Coast, no job prospects and limited funds.

But I did have my military service behind me, a business degree and a lot of ambition. My plan was to live, work and raise a family in the Pacific Northwest.

Over the past 44 years, I have lived in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, building a successful career that has allowed me to travel and explore the Western United States and Canada.

Along the way, I have raised five children. We all share a love for this special part of the world.

Besides fostering a love of nature and the great outdoors, my late father impressed upon me the importance of public service. I served as a lobbyist for the Oregon Environmental Council during state legislative sessions in the early ’70s. I assisted in drafting and lobbying for passage of the bottle bill, which placed a minimum deposit of 5 cents on returnable beverage containers. I also lobbied for the bicycle bill, which earmarked a portion of state highway funds for the construction of safe and adequate bicycle lanes along major roads and highways.

Over the past 25 years, I have served on boards and commissions in Canada and Washington State, including the Whatcom County Planning Commission from 2005 to 2013, representing District 3.

Point Roberts has been my home for 21 years. I currently serve on the board of the Point Roberts Conservation Society. I am a committed environmentalist and supporter of responsible land use planning.

I am not running for Charter Review Commission to advance any partisan agenda. The commission was established to provide citizen review of our home rule charter and put forth responsible amendments for public vote in the next general election.

Those who know me from my years on the planning commission can affirm that I will respect and listen carefully to all points of view presented to the Charter Review Commission by the citizens of Whatcom County.

In the interests of transparency, I have posted my answers to candidate questionnaires on my Facebook page, “John Lesow for Charter Review Commission” and my website, www.johnlesow.net.

I would appreciate your consideration and your vote for Charter Review Commissioner, District 3.