County Councilman Jamie Stephens, District 6, talks about the first month in office.
How was your first month on the council?
Very busy, I’ve been over in Friday Harbor about four times a week. There is a lot of material to read. I am also serving on two council subcommittees; the finance subcommittee and the new solid waste subcommittee.
Has it been what you expected?
I was not sure what to expect, but this is what I would have liked to have happen.
Are you finding anything harder or easier than you expected?
Trying to keep up on being prepared (is a little challenging). I think some of it will even out, I am trying to figure out the schedule but I’m going to work hard to establish office hours on Lopez.
Does living on Lopez influence your approach to politics and issues?
Definitely, I knew nothing about solid waste or dumps before moving here. The things I’ve been involved with here I’ve not been involved with anywhere else. Just the way we do things here influences me. I have a better understanding of processes.
Have your views changed since moving to Lopez?
I knew very little about the needs for affordable housing and working with the Family Resource Center for so long you realize how many needs are in the community. And on the other side I’m amazed at how the community solves these issues.
What are the future challenges for the council?
The council current challenges and priorities are to finish updating the critical areas ordinance, developing a sustainable model for handling solid waste and recycling in the county, developing a sustainable budget model with reduced revenues, and maintaining ferry service levels. Challenges in the future will be completing the acquisition of Odlin South from the Division of Natural Resources, updating the shoreline master plan, converting the assessor’s office to annual property evaluations, and charter review.
What are you looking forward to?
Having Lopez office hours.