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Home » Archives » September 2005 » Letters In Support Of Jamie Stephens

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09/16/2005: "Letters In Support Of Jamie Stephens"

ig_JAMIE_STEVENS-3 (11k image)

Wagner Endorses Stephens


I am happy to join Rick Larsen in endorsing Jamie Stephens. Rick is not someone who is manipulated. He knows the personally knows the elected PCO's who serve the party and tries to meet with us as often as he is in the District. Knowing us he respects our judgment. I know he has met with Jamie and talked with the PCO's about the selection and he firmly believes that the party's choice of Jamie Stephens by a very wide margin was the right one in this case. It is not he who has made this race divisive.

Jamie Stephens is the right candidate for commissioner. He has shown a willingness to take on important, current and controversial issues and the skill and perception to bring them to successful resolution. Three recent issues important to the Lopez Community have been: the Lopez Village Urban Growth Area, the Lopez Village water study (both required by the Growth Management Act) and a proposed skateboard park, wanted by the kids, but a possible source of contention with neighbors. In each case Jamie took a crucial leadership role in sorting out the complexities and then bringing the various, sometime contentious, interests together to produce excellent results. The Growth Management issues required a deep understanding of planning and Growth Management Act, while the proposal for a skateboard park required an ability to work both with youth and with neighbors concerned about the disruption that such a park might bring.

Jamie's empathy and concern for those less fortunate is clearly demonstrated in his work with the Lopez Family center where he volunteers. Because he has children in the Lopez Schools, Jamie has a deep and personal understanding of the problems confronting our youth and schools that has been lacking on the BOCC.

From my participation in the Democratic Party selection process and my own inquiries of people who have known and worked with him, I find that he brings the energy, level headedness emphasis on preparation, and consensus building skills to make an outstanding commissioner to serve all of San Juan County.

Stan Wagner

Jamie Is The Right Person For Job

I am writing to support the candidacy of Jamie Stephens for San Juan County Commissioner. Jamie's opponent is a man of considerable ability and would be a good choice for many jobs. Just not this one, and especially not now. Jamie is the right person for this job, with this particular board of county commissioners, at this time, and for our islands. Read the candidates' campaign literature, check out their web sites, get to know them, and then make an educated choice. You'll find out why eight of the Democratic Party precinct committee officers favor Jamie after extensive review and interviews of both candidates, but only two support his opponent (see the candidates' answers to the precinct officers' questions at: You'll also find out why four current and former county commissioners support his candidacy. What do they all know that you might not yet know? Well, this guy is the real deal. That's what they know.

I wasn't in Jamie's corner at the outset when I began examining the two candidates. Before I knew much about either of them, I favored Bob Myhr. Over the past two months, however, I've studied both of their positions, read their literature, and been involved in lengthy private and public group interviews with them. The more I learn about Jamie, his positions and his vision for our future, the more strongly I favor him as the next commissioner. This is based on his track record of involvement in the community, his expertise, experience, beliefs and personality. The man I support does not make assumptions without information. He has an open, not a closed, mind. He has real-world experience. His vision for the islands is of a vibrant, whole place where families and people of all ages thrive, not an affluent retirement community that somehow supports itself. He is humble, inquisitive, intelligent and energetic. He is learning all the time --- talking with individuals, and contacting community organizations, non-profits, and business associations alike. He has consistently requested in-person visits to learn more about the missions of these groups, their needs, and their hopes for the future of our community. I've run into him on several occasions away from interview situations and have enjoyed getting to know him. He has my vote.

Barry Jacobson
San Juan Island

Jaime Acquainted With Island Issues


We San Juan County Democrats are positively tripping over each other lately, disoriented by Rhea Miller's sudden departure and weighted by conscientious concern over nominating a replacement. Commissioner Miller deserves a generous measure of thanks for her hard work and committment to public service over the years. Her leadership in passing a resolution in defense of the Bill of Rights stands out as one fine example of that service, as does her recommendation of Jaime Stephens as a member of the Board of County Commissioners.

This might seem strange bedfellows indeed: someone with a strawbale house supporting a graduate of the Wharton School of Business. I too wondered what politics these two might find of common interest, until I looked closer at Jaime's experience and had occasion to meet him, as well as his eloquent wife Lauren. Jaime Stephens and family seem firmly enmeshed in this community; Jaime is acquainted with such perennial island issues as affordable housing, water-use, public school districts and social service administration. When you consider that roughly half of the county budget helps fund public health services, this kind of experience will be priceless in a member of the BOCC.

It would be a mistake for voters on San Juan Island and Orcas Island to assume they "have no dog in the fight" just because the open position is a different voting district, or seems to involve only Democrats. Whether it is support of local public health services or of national services such as the Bonneville Power Administration, our various levels of government can literally bring power to the people, but only if we elect someone who knows how to make it work for all of us, someone like Jaime Stephens.

That is why I am campaigning here on San Juan Island for Jaime Stephens: if we work for Jaime now, come election day he just might have a chance to work for us.

Steve Grandle
Friday Harbor

Jamie Committed To The Whole Community

Dear neighbors and fellow islanders,

I have resisted expressing my political opinions in letters to the editor. During election times it seems as though there is a competition to see which candidate can get the most letters of support. I sincerely doubt that a letter to an editor ever changed a vote.

However, as I hear misinformation and inflammatory rumors being spread about Jamie Stephens, I feel compelled to appeal to my fellow islanders. I sincerely hope that we all can be conscientious when seeking information about candidates in the upcoming commissioner race. It is so easy on our islands to listen to someone we trust and make a decision based what we are told is "fact". As I have talked to those I know on other islands about Jamie, I have learned that there are a lot of misleading statements being made about him and accepted as fact.

I have known Jamie and worked with him for many years. I have observed the commissioners in their process to decide whether to follow the democratic process and nominate Jamie. I have talked with Rhea Miller who served us well for so many years.

I have carefully chosen my vote to go to Jamie based on these experiences.

I know Jamie to be committed to the whole community. He absolutely understands and works well with many diverse groups of people of different ages, is able to listen respectfully and act based on what he hears. He is willing to seek information about any issue he may not know about and look thoroughly into all sides of a question. I have seen him in the midst of conflict situations and found him to be quite capable of zeroing right in on priorities and find common ground. He has never been someone who thinks he is better than anyone else. He has worked tirelessly for children and families on Lopez in the school, for the Skateboard Park and serving on the board of the Lopez Island Family Resource Center. He has a working knowledge of the issues facing families living in the islands.

It is crucial when looking at the future of our county that we have someone who has Jamie's level of energy, experience and willingness to learn.

I have watched Jamie with the other two commissioners and I feel strongly that he is the one to provide an ideal balance among the three. Until I went to the hearings, I did not understand how significant this issue would be.

I urge each of you to go to the forum on your island and ask questions and decide for yourselves based on your own experience. We have a chance here in these islands to rise above the mudslinging that has become common in political races. Let's take that opportunity now.

Nancy Ewert
Lopez Island

Democrats Support Stevens

As a Precinct Committee Officer from Orcas Island, I was very involved with
the San Juan County Democratic Party process of interviewing candidates for
county commissioner as required by the WA State Democratic Party. I
participated in developing a questionnaire and reviewing the candidates
answers and resumes, I read letters from the candidates supporters, and I
observed the candidates in public forums. From this process I was one of
the eight of twelve PCO volunteers from four islands who selected Jamie
Stephens as the most qualified candidate.

After Alan Lichters announcement of his support of Bob Myhr, I carefully
reconsidered the qualifications of the remaining candidates. I re-read
questionnaire answers, resumes and letters, investigated further by talking
with people from Lopez and from other islands who had familiarity with the
candidates contributions to their communities and by watching video of the
commissioners interviewing the candidates. I talked briefly with the
candidates, and even visited Lopez to see in person what was happening in
the village. What I found only deepened my support of Jamie Stephens for
county commissioner.

While I feel great admiration and gratitude, as do many county citizens, for
Bob Myhr's many years of work to preserve local forest and farm lands and
for his other substantial community contributions, I am not convinced that
he is our most qualified candidate for county commissioner.

Jamie Stephens is entering this campaign actively engaged in maintaining a
diverse population in the county by contributing to the well-being of
children, working families, and small businesses on Lopez Island. He has
recent and successful experience with challenging issues that are directly
related to county governance, acting as co-chair to negotiate a location for
a skateboard park and as chair of a group creating a coordinated water
system plan for Lopez Village. He has generously shared both money and time
with the public school, the community center, and the family resource
center, and worked to improve village infrastructure for small businesses,
and he is currently engaged in plans to secure affordable senior housing in
Lopez Village. In addition, in response to written questions, in public
interviews, and in personal conversation, it is evident that Jamie has been
actively studying current county government process and structure by
attending county commission hearings and meeting in person with county
department heads.

I find Jamie Stephens leadership style to be open, engaging and dynamic.
In conversation I get a sense that he is truly listening and considering my
perspectives, and he is able to make reference to current county government
programs and opportunities that are relevant to my questions.

I am more convinced than ever that Jamie Stephens is the most qualified
candidate for county commissioner. Jamie Stephens is entering this campaign
with momentum from current involvement in challenging community issues,
responding to the needs of his community, and he has demonstrated a working
knowledge of our current county government. Please take the time to review
Jamie's resume and community involvement at I trust
that Jamie Stephens will bring competent, responsive and dynamic creativity
to the position of county commissioner.

Rena Patty

Stevens Man Of Intergrity & Compassion

Dear Editor,
I am supporting Jamie Stephens' bid for County Commissioner. I have known Jamie for several years. I am so impressed with his passion for and the energy he gives to our community. I watched Jamie give many hours to the skate park on Lopez( by the way neither of his children use the skate park). Jamie has been on many boards where his generosity of time and spirit has gone well beyond anyone's expectation. He is a man of integrity and compassion. His actions demonstrate his support for families and small businesses. He is someone I trust to make decisions that will affect all of lives directly. He will continue to be a steward of our environment and help to promote an economy that can support families to live here. Some people say all the right words Jamie does all the right things. Please join me and support Jamie to be our next County Commissioner.


Alice Campbell
Lopez Island

Jamie Stephens Leads the Way

Jamie's active involvement in San Juan County and especially in the Lopez community is well known and appreciated. He is a leader in many organizations. One of the community services he has participated in for the past five years is taking the leadership of the Lopez Lions famous Fourth of July parade. He has shown his ability to organize and bring together many diverse groups. Furthermore, this task takes time and a good sense of humor in addition to bringing order out of chaos to produce a very successful event.

The above is just one small activity in which Jamie has shown his skills of leadership, volunteerism, concern, and thoughtfulness for all walks of life in our community. While he invests some of his time in local island activities he also addresses many county-wide concerns, such as planning for affordable housing, water issues on the islands, and the environment.

I have seen and worked with Jamie in many projects over the years. I trust his ability to focus on the issues and take leadership.

Tytti Langford
Lopez Island

Writes To Support Jamie Stephens For County Commissioner

I have had the privilege of knowing both candidates for several years and am pleased to consider each a friend. Each has qualities that can serve this county well.

However, I favor the election of Jamie because of the persistent depth, breadth, and effectiveness of his commitment to serve our island community.

For years Jamie has given his time, energy, and talent to enhance the lives of so many. For example:

He filled a key role on the board of the Lopez Community Center during the critical time soon after its opening. As chair of the Operation Committee he was most instrumental in formulating and implementing procedures and policies which have helped to make the facility the vital part of the community it is today. In this capacity he often dealt with state officials and regulations. He was even willing to remain in this position an extra year beyond his scheduled time of retirement from the board.

Jamie was also extremely dedicated to meeting the needs of the youth. He was one of the driving forces behind the establishment of Lopez's skate park. He helped plan the project; he used his considerable interpersonal skills to find a solution to the "NIMBY" resistance; he assisted extensively with the fund raising efforts; and he showed up when sweat equity was needed to complete the project.

His commitment to youth continues with his service on the board of the Family Resource Center. And he is also demonstrating his concern for the needs of senior citizens and those with limited income through his active involvement with the Lopez Housing Options (LOHO) project.

Because of these, and many other endeavors I am less familiar with, I urge a vote for Jamie Stephens.

Mac Langford

Jamie Stephens Has My Unwavering Support

I would like to let people know of my personal discovery of what a
thoughtful and generous person Jamie Stephens is. The Stephens purchased an
old run down home in the village with the intent of tearing it down to build
themselves a new house. Knowing that as an artist I was building a studio on
a limited budget, Jamie offered the old house to me for all that I could
salvage from it. This included the apliances, mahogony cabinets, doors and
frames, trim, entrance panel, framing lumber, etc.

Needless to say, it was a great help to me, and Jamie was delighted that
nothing would go to waste. He even staved off the demolition crew for a
couple of months so that I could have time to work. Once demolition
began, Jamie spotted some deck railing material that I had overlooked,
loaded it into his truck, and delivered itto me. I am aware of similar acts
of kindness and generosity on his part that have benefited other Lopez
families and individuals. He has my unwavering support.

Daniel Lystrup

Jamie Stephens Best Person For BOCC

I want to offer my support to Jamie Stephens as District 3 county
commissioner. I cannot imagine a better person than Jamie to take up the
challenges facing San Juan County.

I first got to know Jamie while working on Rhea Millers 2002 campaign.
During that campaign, I saw first-hand his managerial skills and innate
knowledge of the process. I was particularly impressed by his ability to
turn Rheas friends and supporters into an effective campaign staff. And we
had a great time doing it, in no small part because of Jamies outstanding
leadership skills, a great sense of humor, and plain old hard work.

Since that time Ive had the opportunity to get to know the Stephens family,
and feel myself lucky to be considered a friend. When Jamie told me he was
throwing his hat into the ring for the commissioners seat, I said, Just
tell me what you want me to do, and Ill do it.

I urge you to see for yourself. Take a look at Jamies record and his
experience on his website, Im sure youll come to
believe, as I do, that Jamie will make an outstanding county commissioner,
and will represent our people and our islands with grace and respect.

Lynne Keeley
Lopez Island

Tom Bauschke
John Evans
Mary Kalbert
Ron Keeshan
Gordy Petersen
Janice Peterson
Bruce Sallan
Terra Tamai
Amy Wynn
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