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Home » Archives » September 2005 » Letters In Support Of Bob Myhr

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09/16/2005: "Letters In Support Of Bob Myhr"

ig_BOB_MYHR-3 (9k image)

Upset With Larsen, Supports Myhr

Dear Representative Larsen,

I was very upset to open the paper yesterday and see your advertisement for Jamie Stephens for county commissioner of San Juan County. I can only imagine that you are not aware of the divisiveness of the current election and your part to further divide citizens and Democrats. I feel it was very inappropriate of you to make such an endorsement. As a supporter and voter of your own campaigns and a supporter of Bob Myhr, I was offended by your endorsement which I believe was ill conceived and lacking in the necessary understanding of the complexity of the current situation.

I am sure that Jamie Stephens' campaign people approached you and asked for your support and painted a picture that all Democrats must stick together for the good of the party. In reality the democratic process was almost aborted until the choice of who would serve as San Juan County's next commissioner was put to the voters. This is true democracy.

Bob Myhr, who you probably have not spoken to on this matter, is far more qualified to serve as commissioner. If this were not apparent to the Stephens campaign, then I can only assume that they would not be reaching far and wide to try and get endorsements to bolster their campaign.

I feel very offended that you allowed yourself to be manipulated in this way and have offended all of the Myhr supporters who are most likely (or were until now), supporters of you. Your actions will lead to further divide San Juan County Democrats at a time when we need to be pulling together. I believe that the responsible action would have been to support the democratic process and to keep yourself out of an election that you had no place stepping into.

I hope in the future you will get the facts before making such a decision and I believe you owe it to San Juan County voters to apologize for your actions.

Leave the decision to the voters - that is how democracy works.


Liz Scranton
Lopez, WA 98261

If You Are A Republican, Green Or Independent, You May Vote The Democratic Ballot

I am voting for Bob Myhr for the position of County Commissioner. The September 20th primary deadline is quickly approaching and County management and direction are on the line. Your involvement is needed. No matter if you are a Republican, Democrat, Green or Independent, you may vote the Democratic ballot. If you haven't already mailed in your ballot, I urge you to select the Democratic ballot and vote for BOB MYHR for County Commissioner.

Bob is fiscally conservative, energetic and has the ability to bring people with differing views together. Bob's extensive education, his work experience in the private and non-profit sectors, his long term involvement on Lopez, his extensive County wide participation, and his knowledge of all of the San Juan Islands and many of its citizens, clearly make him the outstanding choice as our next County Commissioner.

Look at Bob's résumé. Look at his list of supporters and contributors. Bob Myhr has what it takes and he has across-the-board support for County Commissioner.

Carol Hendel
Lopez Island

We Cannot Vote For Stephens


Bob Myhr is our choice for county commissioner based on his many years of experience in our county and community.

We cannot vote for a candidate whose biography is missing his experience previous to moving to the islands. His experience as a small business owner on Lopez was short lived, and we have concerns about his shoreline use policy. The Stephens' new home site at the mouth of Fisherman Bay is a prime example of shoreline misuse. Their silt fences were inadequate, with plumes of mud washing into the channel from the removal of part of the high bank.

Bob Myhr is the only candidate as far as we are concerned.

The Flynns,

Support Myhr

I would like to thank both Jamie Stephens and Bob Myhr for throwing their hats into the ring to become a county commissioner from Lopez Island. Both appear to be well qualified for that position. Also, I would like to thank Rhea Miller for her service to our county over the last few years - her leadership is truly being missed at this time.

This is the primary reason that I am supporting Bob Myhr for county commissioner - the lack of leadership on the board. I have known Bob for several years professionally and find him to be knowledgeable, compassionate, thoughtful, and inquisitive in our dealings. Bob is not afraid to ask a question in order that he gets a clearer understanding of all sides of a situation or issue. With these traits Bob would bring to the board of county commissioners what it seems to be lacking - the ability to discuss issues openly and to reach a consensus.

Bob is, and has been for years, immersed in the San Juan Islands. He has served on many boards, he has been involved in many organizations, and he has successfully administered the San Juan Preservation Trust until his retirement a couple of years ago.

He truly has the best interests of the county as well as the residents of the county in his heart as he runs for county commissioner. Please join me in voting for Bob Myhr for county commissioner.

Kerwin Johnson

Republicans Can Be A Democrat For A Day

I want to express my hope that everyone in San Juan County will vote in the primary election that will end on September 20th.

This election is solely a mail-in ballot, which is the newly adopted system in our county. Ballots were mailed on August 31st, and all registered voters should have received one by now. If you have not received your ballot I would urge you to contact the San Juan County Elections Office. Everyone, Republicans and Democrats alike, can vote for 1 of the Democratic candidates running for District 3 County Commissioner. You must fill in the Democratic ballot to do so. If you write in a Democratic nominee on the Republican ballot, it will NOT count.

The County Commissioners have many important issues before them, and the outcomes will have an effect on us all, across the islands. Keep in mind that all 3 commissioners make decisions for ALL the islands. I believe that Bob Myhr's county-wide experience over the past 20 years makes him the best choice to represent us all. His background in balancing complicated budgets and his openness to differing views qualify Bob to meet the challenges that lay ahead.

For more information on Bob Myhr, please visit

Please remember: Everyone can vote! Be sure to mail your ballot in before September 20th.

Fred Ellis Jr.

Bob Extensive Experience Conservationist, Business , Leadership

I have known Bob Myhr for 6 years. He and his wife, Joyce, represent
what makes communities like ours pulse with life. Bob's passion for
the San Juan Islands is contagious!

Bob has extensive experience not only as an avid conservationist, but
also as a man with substantial experience in business and major
project leadership in the San Juans. Bob is a very competent, highly
regarded advocate for prudent and sustainable natural environments.
And his clear and positive understanding of the crucial need for
affordable housing on these islands must be emphasized. He is an
approachable leader, an excellent listener and above all an
experienced, ethical humanist.

Cynthia McLachlan
Lopez Island

Bob Has Experience In Government & Non-Governmental Agencies

We in District three are lucky to have two fine candidates passionately interested in representing us in the county commissioners' office in Friday Harbor. Both are good people. However, I will be casting my vote for Bob Myhr.

In addition to his many fitting qualities and experience already delineated in numerous other letters, Bob has something ELSE we badly need in these turbulent times: broad experience in governmental and non-governmental agencies; the ability to work with those who disagree with him and a cool head!

Let no one doubt Bob's willingness to work for ALL of us -- kids and families, working people, retirees -- every one of us fortunate enough to live here in the San Juan Islands.


Lorna Reese
Lopez Island

Bob Has Experience In County-Wide Matters

Dear Editor,

The San Juan Islands are fortunate that two strong candidates are running for County Commissioner in the upcoming primary election. In that sense, we are in a win-win situation.

But given the inexperience of the two current commissioners, what the San Juans most need at this point is a third commissioner with deep experience in county-wide matters and a proven track record in bringing disparate groups and points of view together.

By these criteria, Bob Myhr stands head and shoulders above his opponent. His level of county-wide involvement, concern, and accomplishment is unrivaled among recent candidates for County Commissioner. We are extremely fortunate that he is in the race.

Richard Fagen
Lopez Island

Bob Myhr Has Protected Working Farms In SJC

Dear Editor,

As a young, working family we have been watching the election this year with deep interest. San Juan county today is undergoing rapid and fundamental change. Much of this is entirely beyond the control of county government. Regardless of rhetoric, sloganeering or glossy ads, the county will continue to grow, property values will continue to soar, and working people will continue to struggle to maintain a foothold here. What can a commisioner do, really, to steer the county in a livable, economically diverse direction? Moreover, how can this be achieved in a way that does not sacrifice our quality of life and integrity of landscape? Of the two candidates, whose record better qualifes him to lead?

Fortunately, some trends offer new opportunites for islanders. We farm, commercial fish and are attempting to start a shellfish farm. Over the past five years, we have seen the economics of our pursuits change radically. Rising oil prices, rising ferry fares and greater awareness of food quality have made San Juan County food production competetive for the first time in generations. New, serious farms are springing up on all the islands, local fish are now available for much of the year, and increasing numbers of islanders are making livelihoods producing food. We can now realistically look forward to the county becoming a breadbasket, fruit bowl and meat locker again, at least for the local population. In order for this to happen we must protect the infrastructure of production in San Juan County. We must hold on to our fertile farmlands, rich bays and vigorous forests. We must maintain large enough parcels of land to allow for reasonable scale farming. We must not allow our irreplacable assets to be subdivided away and buried under a sea of retirement houses. Land conservation is often painted as an elitist project. This is false. Land conservation is a means to foster local food production for the long term, and offers the best hope we can see of building anything resembling a robust, varied economy in San Juan County.

Bob Myhr has done more than any single person to protect and conserve working lands in this county. He understands the deep ties that bind long time farmers to their land and the opportunities that today draw new people in. Many island farms owe their existance to the work that Bob Myhr and others have quietly done over the years. Many more will spring up, in years to come, thanks to these far sighted few. We are profoundly grateful for this, and wholeheartedly support his candidacy for county commisioner.

Nick and Sara Jones, Lopez Island.

Myhr Not Beholden To Special Interests

Dear Editor,

I want to express my enthusiastic support both for Bob Myhr and for
the democratic process (small "d") regarding the BOCC vacancy. I
first met Bob via the Lopez Audubon trips, but I am also aware of the
many important ways he contributes to our Lopez community. He is the
BOCC-appointed Trustee of the Lopez Library, a desk volunteer at the
library, and Treasurer of the Lions Club. Most important to me,
however, is his advocacy at the state and national levels
in favor of funding nature preserves on Lopez such as Chadwick Hill,
Watmough, and Pt. Colville, and his commitment to our county's protection of
natural areas amidst responsible development.

His qualifications are first-rate. He embodies all the things I want
in a county government. He is approachable, smart, qualified, open,
thoughtful, concerned, and industrious. He is his own man, not beholden
to special interests or party insiders.

I also want to voice my support for the decision to let the voters
decide the BOCC vacancy. It's the right thing to do. The
appointment/recommendation process was defended by those involved as
"open and ethical" but it's more important that it be democratic. I
am very glad that the voters will be able to express their support for
the candidate of their choice.

My choice is Bob Myhr.

Christi Carter
Lopez Island

Bob Myhr Is A Community Leader

Letter to the Editor:

My brother Steve Hoedemaker, my sister Linda Cline, and I have known
Bob Myhr as a family friend and a community leader for decades. We
support him fully for San Juan County Commissioner. It seems his
opponent in this race is touting certain virtues as if they were his
exclusively, with which we take issue.

We know Bob Myhr to have worked tirelessly as a community leader and
consensus builder here in the San Juans and nationally through the Land
Trust Alliance. Locally, in addition to his contributions to the Lopez
Library, Lopez Village planning, and the Lopez
Lions Club, it is through his efforts with the San Juan Preservation
Trust that nearly 9,000 acres of land in San Juan County have been
protected voluntarily-- without cost to taxpayers.

We hope San Juan County votes and voices will follow ours by supporting
Bob Myhr for County Commissioner.

John Hoedemaker

BOCC Needs A Ph.D. In Public Law and Government

Running for public office is not easy. Those who chose to do so are often subjected to personal scrutiny, criticism, financial strain and more. So we are lucky, as San Juan County voters, to continue to have talented, competent and well intentioned candidates from which to make our selections.

In the current race for Rhea Miller's vacated seat on the BOCC, Bob Myhr is our choice. Here's why:

Bob has the background in education: B.A. (cum laude) in Economics—Amherst College; M.I.A in International Affairs and Economics—Columbia University; Ph.D. in Public Law and Government—Columbia University; Fulbright Scholar.

Bob has the practical experience: Assistant Professor, Political Science, U of W; Manager, International Group, Weyerhaeuser; and we all know of Bob's amazing results as Executive Director of the San Juan Preservation Trust for 17 years when he had the opportunity to visit most of the islands—big and small—and understand the interests and needs of islanders throughout San Juan County.

Bob has managed the water system for the Davis Head Homeowners' Assn for many years and serves on the board of Orcas Power and Light Cooperative, giving him additional experience in working with issues of countywide significance.

And, Bob has proven his integrity and ability to forge compromises between groups that don't always see eye to eye.

To sum, Bob Myhr has the knowledge, the experience, the proven track record, and the dedication to join our Board of Commissioners in making our county government the efficient and responsive body we'd all like it to be. Vote BOB MYHR in the September primary!

Jim and Shanley Lett
Lopez Island

Bob Is The Person We Need To Represent Us


I want to urge everyone to support Bob Myhr for County Commissioner. I
have known Bob since I first came to work for OPALCO in 1988. I have
worked with Bob in a number of situations, working with state and
federal agencies like the Bonneville Power Administration and lobbying
with both our state and national congressional delegations on OPALCO
issues. Bob presents our local issues well to these groups and is well
respected by them.

He is a leader, not just at OPALCO but also in other
state and regional electric power organizations with issues that effect
our county.

He is effective. He makes things happen.
San Juan County is undergoing a dramatic change today and the future
will see even bigger changes. Bob is the person we need to represent us
in these challenging times.

Doug Bechtel

Myhr: Consensus Builder, Fiscally Responsible

Dear Editor,

I have known Bob Myhr for many years and admire and respect him. I first
met Bob many years ago on a San Juan County Audubon field trip that Bob had organized. Bob is an avid birder and is known for the many field trips and

lectures that he has organized. Bob has always cared passionately for the San Juan Islands and in his job for over 17 years as the Executive Director of the San Juan Preservation Trust (of which he is now retired); Bob worked hard to protect open space and farmland for generations to enjoy. Many of the vistas and open space we appreciate today were in a large part created because of Bob's hard work and perseverance.

When attending Audubon functions Bob often offered to give me a ride. These trips gave me the opportunity to really get to know Bob as a person who is much bigger in life than the hat he wore as the Preservation Trust director. What I discovered about Bob is his passion for life that has led Bob to be active in many community organizations and what I believe has led Bob to pursue the county commissioner seat. Bob is dedicated to community and to service.

Bob and his wife Joyce have children and grandchildren and therefore they know the difficulty of working families. Over the years Bob has volunteered and been active on many community organizations and committees. Most recently, Bob has been a member of the Lopez Lions Club where he has served for 18 years and is currently the Treasurer. Bob is both a volunteer at the Lopez Library and a Trustee of the Library Board. Most notable has been Bob's involvement on the OPALCO Board where he has been an important leader for 18 years. As an OPALCO Board member, Bob set policy and oversaw a budget that is similar to that of the San Juan County budget in size and scope. Bob has become known on the OPALCO board as a consensus builder and as being fiscally responsible. He can relate to all kinds of people and is able to listen and compromise in order to reach consensus. Bob is a person who studies the facts, talks to people involved and makes educated decisions.

The past 6 or 8 years in county government have been fraught with bickering and negativity. This environment has made it difficult to develop positive strategies and to move forward on important planning. Bob is most qualified to develop positive working relationships with the other commissioners and with the various employees and agencies related with county government. Bob will be a leader in creating an environment where consensus is the norm and divisiveness is a thing of the past.
Bob has a proven record and is knowledgeable about the complexities of county government. Bob cares about San Juan County. He cares about working families, the environment, individuals and community. I cannot think of a better person suited to fill this public office. Please join me and in voting for the man I believe to be most qualified, a man I greatly admire - Bob Myhr.


Liz Scranton
Lopez WA 98261

Bob Has Good Insight Into County Operations & Problems

Dear Editor:

We feel Bob Myhr is the superior candidate for County Commissioner because he has been involved in county-wide organizations for twenty years.

In his years as Executive Director of the San Juan Preservation Trust he demonstrated great management and political skills; these are just the skills needed by our Commissioner. His time as an Opalco director and with the San Juan Preservation Trust have given him good insight into county operations and problems.

We both feel that Bob is by far the best qualified candidate for this position from any party!

Charles & Nancy Givens
Lopez Island

Bob Myhr Is The Better Candidate

Dear Editor:

We are fortunate to have two such good citizens as candidates to serve as one of our Commissioners. Here's why we have decided that Bob Myhr is the better candidate at this time..

Bob Myhr has worked for the entire San Juan County community for many years. His work with OPALCO and The San Juan Preservation Trust has had a critical long-term impact on the entire county. His responsibilities required leadership and an understanding of complex systems with very large budgets. These organizations, both serving the public good are very different and Bob was intimately involved with each. OPALCO is essentially a business able to charge for its services and is thereby accountable to its owners--us. The Trust required Bob to persuade people to help preserve our beautiful island environment. Both countywide experiences involved weighty issues affecting our everyday lives and our future together. He has demonstrated here, in our county, his ability to bridge the many differences of opinion in our diverse community. We can trust him to be independent and fair.

Bob Myhr has also played a full part in the Lopez community and is respected and liked. He is man of many parts and we strongly endorse him. He has balanced many political concerns in both his recent major tasks. He will bring to the BOCC intelligence, experience and commitment to the common good and will spend our tax money wisely.

We elected Bob to OPALCO and benefited from his leadership. Elect Bob Myhr again as our COUNTY commissioner.

Mike and Margaret Ellis

No Task Too Small Or Too Large For Bob Myhr

To the Editor:

For County Commissioner Candidate Bob Myhr no task is too small or too large. He is competant. He listens to all sides of issues.
He scopes out the long and short term results of decisions. He has vision. We are fortunate that Myhr is willing to put his energies
and experience toward the care and keeping of every feature of these precious islands.

Morry and Floy Dalton
Lopez Island

Bob Understands The Interests & Needs Of The People Of All The Islands

It's not often that all the people of San Juan County have an opportunity to
be so well represented by a candidate for public office. Bob Myhr has served
San Juan County in many capacities for the past twenty years and understands
the interests and the needs of the people of all the islands.

Bob's experience in management, both in the private sector and as Director
of the San Juan Preservation Trust, as a director of Orcas Power and Light
Cooperative, his work with the Housing Options for Seniors, Lopez Hospice
and Home Care, Lopez Senior Center, Lopez Community Land Trust, and many
other local organizations over the years, uniquely qualify him to represent
all islanders. His years of experience working with all levels of management
and government is an invaluable asset that Bob brings to the position of
County Commissioner.

I've known and worked with Bob Myhr for the past twenty years and know him
to be an ethical, capable person who listens well and will well represent
all of us, regardless of political affiliation, as our County Commissioner.

Diane Robertson
Lopez Island

Bob Myhr Most Impressive

Dear Editor:

One of the most impressive people I met after moving to Orcas Island over
12 years ago was Bob Myhr, then the Executive Director of the San Juan
Preservation Trust. Over the course of subsequent years I observed how
effective he was in dealing with the full diversity of residents of ALL of
the islands of this fragmented county. His accomplishments are almost as
numerous as his friends. I am delighted that Bob has chosen to run for the
open County Commissioner seat. The breadth and depth of his experience and
his unselfish service to a broad variety of organizations and causes,
ranging from the Board of OPALCO to his homeowners association, from the
successful and ground-breaking effort to ban jet skis in this county to the
breathtaking expansion of conservation easements overseen by the
Preservation Trust, make him an ideal candidate to serve his fellow
citizens as a County Commissioner.

I am confident that Bob will become a superbly effective County
Commissioner if you join me in voting for him.

Jan Zehner

Orcas Island

Bob Myhr Has My Support

Bob Myhr has my support for the position of San Juan County Commissioner. I have known Bob and his wife Joyce for 15 years. He has the qualities the job requires: knowledge of each of the Islands and of the people living there, applicable work experience inside and outside of San Juan County, enormous energy, wide ranging education, broad understanding of local politics, and ability to work with all groups. He has the support of people from diverse political and social organizations. Best of all, Bob has the ability to calmly analyze complex problems under fire and bring diverging points of view into perspective.

Bob is a team player and has served these Islands in numerous capacities for many years. I believe that he will bring this County's fiscal problems under control without emptying the taxpayer's pocketbook. Bob Myhr is well known and respected, has a broad base of support, and will be an extremely effective County Commissioner.

Larry Hendel
Lopez Island

I Will Be Supporting Bob Myhr

Dear Editor and Neighbors,

I have just woken up to the fact that regardless of who is appointed to fill the Lopez County Commissioner position this month, we vote on a replacement candidate in early September, just over three weeks from now. Every voter in the county may cast a ballot for this position.

I will be supporting Bob Myhr, who I have known for many years. Bob is a thoughtful and fair person of discretion, with long experience in business, managing budgets, and mindful of the details that really define any project. Bob is a man who cares deeply about the environment and associated social issues including affordable housing, trying to maintain the life style that many of us treasure as peculiar to the San Juans and worthy of our protection.

Bob has demonstrated his ability to work with others on committees as well as in positions of leadership for decades in this community and I believe that he would serve us well and with great care and wisdom as a County Commissioner.

Claudia Mills
San Juan Island

Myhr: Head And Shoulders Above The Rest

Bob Myhr is without a doubt the only qualified candidate running for the position of County Commissioner. It is simple, a real no brainer, Bob has a BA Degree in Economics, a Masters Degree in International Affairs and Economics, a PhD. in Public Law and Government and has lived on Lopez for the past 20 years.He has served on numerous boards throughout the County and State and received a host of Fellowships and Awards.

If qualifications and ability truly matter and you want the best person available, then the only choice is to vote for Bob Myhr. The voters of San Juan County are blessed to have man of Bob's caliber willing to serve our community and I urge everyone to support him in his campaign,

Ray Bigler
San Juan Island

Bob Myhr Is A Consensus Builder

I am writing this letter in support of Bob Myhr in his candidacy for the open position on the Board of County Commissioner.

I have gotten to know Bob on a working basis when I was a board member of the San Juan Preservation Trust. Over the years, I have been amazed by his knowledge of the land in the county. He knew where there were ponds, meadows, open rocky knolls, shoreline and farmland. He knew the history of ownership, the owners themselves and of course, the kinds of birds you would find there. I realized he knew everyone – key players in political arenas, the environment, social issues; farmers, everyday people; and most importantly, the neighbors. His office door was always open. He demonstrated how his balanced opinion brought people to consensus, which is not an easy thing in a county with such outspoken opinions. Bob managed a large budget with the Trust and helped the organization grow into a major private land conservation organization. The bottom line is he got things done.

As the current president of San Juan Islands Audubon, I have found Bob to be an outstanding treasurer. He has always responded to our chapter's financial questions in an efficient manner and managed our money well. Not only has he served as Audubon president a time or two, he leads many field trips, is the main birding contact for Lopez Island, helps line up classes and speakers and he is one of the people I rely on for feedback on various birding and Audubon issues. He has created great interest in the nature world for the folks on Lopez and the San Juan Islands. These things he does as a volunteer and continues to demonstrate his commitment to our community.

Barbara Jensen
San Juan Island

Bob Myhr's Qualifications

The"race" for County commissioner is very odd. Bob Myhr's qualifications, which include many years in the county, are so superior that it's hard to understand why there is a "race". While not obvious in the record, his diplomatic abilities also are outstanding. I've personally seen him settle difficult situations amicably on several occasions. He has the skills, experience, & background to be a superior commissioner & we would be lucky to have him.

T M Green

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