With all of the hugely negative political news everyone has been hammered with lately, it almost seems that a lot of people may be pretty apathetic about voting in the upcoming Nov. 5 election. However, I once heard that changing things on the federal level is a pretty hard thing to do while doing the same along local lines can at least sometimes yield changes that benefit the community.
Two well qualified candidates are running for Snohomish Council District 1, Bill Blake and Ken Klein. Ken serves the Arlington City Council and serves as vice-president of the Snohomish County Planning Commission while Bill has worked in Arlington’s Land Use and Permitting Division and now works as Stormwater Supervisor.
So who do you vote for? Do you vote along Party lines? Most people tend to lean that way. I think in this case though it’s better to look at how these candidates view how Snohomish County will look in the years to come. We all want a viable economy with a diverse economic base, a region that offers jobs and opportunities of all kinds. The question becomes then, how much do we want our physical landscape to change in response to this new growth. Do we sacrifice our rural lands in the name of development? Will our natural resources be put at risk? Should property rights take precedence over common sense preservation of rural resources? While Ken Klein has some experience serving in public office, I feel that Bill Blake has the advantage over him in other ways. Bill has worked alongside a variety of different groups and people, attending a large number of public meetings advocating for the preservation of sustainable AG land, promotion of sustainable forest industry jobs, and restoring the health of our waterways. Bill has spent hundreds if not thousands of hours of his after-work “spare” time not only meeting with advocates on all sides of these issues, but also actually walking the land with many of them. Bill understands the issues, he understands the land. He is well respected for his ability to reach out to those on all sides of an issue with positive results. While Ken Klein will someday be a great candidate for this position, I think he would do well to put on his hip waders and follow Bill’s footsteps through muddy fields, bushy wetlands, small creeks and rivers to see how everything interacts and to understand how critical it is to preserve the natural elements while also encouraging development in an integrated and responsible manner.
Bill Blake has that experience and a background that can provide the vision Snohomish County needs to move toward a sustainable future, a future where growth and our rural character are balanced.
Whether you are a Democrat or a Republican, please consider Bill Blake in your vote and be sure to check out his web site at www.voteforbillblake.com.