I didn’t vote for Rick the first time he ran for County Council. I thought he’d be too business-oriented. I was wrong.
As a planner with San Juan County and, for the last 20 years, a land use consultant, I’ve known and worked with every County Council since 1989. Over the years, I’ve found interest in observing the newbie Councilpersons, how they arrive perky with fresh ideas and enthusiasm, most not really knowing what the job entails, but ready to take it on. It doesn’t take long before the new Commissioners realize that the wheels of government turn slowly and that comprise and the ability to work together as a team is often needed to bring dreams to fruition.
In my observations, there are two very simple things that make a successful County Councilmember – having a balanced perspective and passion for the job. Balance because there is not a president of the council (someone who can make unilateral decisions), just three people who can choose to work together or not. Bringing a balanced perspective, not one driven by a personal agenda, gets things done. Rick brings balance, integrity, connections with state, federal, and private organizations, a very strong working knowledge of how County government works, and an ability to help move the Council toward accomplishing goals that benefit the community.
Passion, in my opinion, can’t be learned. It’s there or it isn’t. Driven by a sense of caring, of doing something that will help the community thrive, and finding pleasure in accomplishing community good, even if at times what seems like a good idea bumps up against a wall. Passion is getting up and starting over again. Recently, while listening to the candidates speak at the League of Women Voters forum, I heard Rick say, “This is the best job I have ever had”. I believe him. When I was a member and Chair of the Eastsound Planning and Review Committee (EPRC), Rick would attend each meeting, share what the Council was working on and what he hoped to accomplish. His commitment, energy, forward-thinking, and passion for the job impressed me.
Another thing I admired about Rick is how accessible he is to his constituents. He will meet with others, listen with an open mind, and, foremost, he cares about individuals and the common good of the community. I’ve come to appreciate Rick’s easy, welcoming smile, and his willingness to meet and talk with others. During these very difficult and divisive times, we need the stability, knowledge, and connections that Rick will continue to bring to the Council.
Yes, Rick is a businessman. But over the years I’ve come to realize that he’s much more. He truly cares. If you have not met Rick I encourage you to do so.
Please join me in voting for Rick Hughes.