On Bobby Briscoe

Port commissioner Bobby Briscoe deserves your vote to serve another term.

A longtime resident of Whatcom County and a respected commercial fisherman, he was asked by his colleagues to run for port commissioner. Elected in 2015, he has admirably stepped up, learned the workings of a large port and its many initiatives and is now the president of the commission. He runs a fair and transparent meeting, applying his common sense and honesty to decisions while always maintaining his primary goal of carefully stewarding the public’s money. We all appreciate his willingness to listen and value the opinions of the people he represents. 

He deserves your vote so that he can continue the hard, collaborative work with all stakeholders to fully implement the initiatives that are in process. From installing broadband connectivity throughout our county to working to preserve our marine trades infrastructure so that living-wage jobs are not ousted by gentrification and looking forward to assisting our agriculture sector, Bobby knows there is much remaining work to get done.

He has earned the opportunity to continue applying his knowledge and practical common-sense approach to further developing the infrastructure and economic engine that the Port of Bellingham provides to Whatcom County. 

Deborah Rightmire Granger, Bellingham


Vote for Satpal Sidhu

Next month we vote for the position of County Executive, who together with the County Council, leads the Whatcom County government. 

I’ll be voting for Satpal Sidhu because he has the relevant experience and the depth of understanding we need in this position. 

Satpal understands what business start-ups require, having done two of his own. He connects with the ideas and needs of young people, first as dean of engineering at Bellingham Technical College and now as a board member for  Whatcom Community College. 

I have watched Satpal on the County Council where he is clear-spoken, even-handed and a practical problem solver. He is a bridge builder and will make the county government work for all citizens, not just one group. 

We especially need these traits in our next County Executive, who will have to deliver visible progress on affordable housing, water quality and the opioid crisis. He will also need to face the reality of climate change, bringing with it melting glaciers, more violent storms and sea level rise. Satpal’s proposals for reducing the county’s carbon footprint and planting one million trees to capture the emissions of 30,000 cars are practical things of merit the county can do. 

When you vote, consider the future health and safety of ourselves, our families and the next generations and vote for Satpal Sidhu as our next Whatcom County Executive. 

— Charles Bailey, Lummi Island


Joy Gilfilen for Sheriff

Joy Gilfilen, at JoyforSheriff.com, has answers and strategies to bring respect into our law enforcement system.

We know the Whatcom County jail has problems. For example, I know previously incarcerated homeless men being released from the jail in the middle of the night with no place to go, no one to meet them, no follow-up with social services, no way to get to probation appointments, no calendar to remind them of their next obligations, no money to pay their fees. That kind of disrespect circles back around.

It would be far better to help people with housing, mental health services and getting jobs. Keeping people in jail on high bail keeps the jail numbers artificially overcrowded to make it look like a new, larger jail is needed. Most of these folks are “legally innocent” and are there simply because they cannot afford the bail. 

I know tasers are used to threaten the accused defendants, often causing debilitating fear so that they can’t remember anything the judge says. My experience as a teacher is that humiliating punishment does not work.

Norway’s prisons model effective rehabilitation of people who committed crimes. We can do better here! Almost everyone who goes into local jails comes back out eventually and they should not be worse, for they come right back into our neighborhoods. Let’s reform, rehabilitate and help our fellow citizens. 

Vote for Joy Gilfilen, a person of integrity and strong ethics and thorough knowledge of Whatcom County’s justice system.

— Annie Shepard, Ferndale


Voting for Mutchler

This past month I’ve watched Ferndale Mayor Jon Mutchler handle the baseless allegations made against him. While under pressure he remained calm and rational. Being totally exonerated of these frivolous charges doesn’t reduce the pain he and his family have had to endure from antagonists. Mayor Mutchler truly is a man of integrity, honesty and even temperament. He consistently served our city well while under attack. 

It’s unfortunate that the petty charges leveled against him cost the city over $15,000, a needless expense by anyone’s reckoning.

Jon Mutchler is a civic leader and public servant we can all be proud of. Please reelect Mayor Mutchler for a growing and prosperous Ferndale.

— Erik Johnson, Ferndale


Satpal for County Executive

Satpal Sidhu is without a doubt the most qualified candidate who has ever run for Whatcom County Executive. I love Whatcom County and for 40 years I have been involved in efforts to ensure a healthy and prosperous county. I have worked with many smart, dedicated, caring private citizens and professionals on issues like Lake Whatcom, flood and stormwater management, water quality and quantity and farming. Progress on these issues has been painfully slow and many of them remain unresolved.

Satpal has been here for over 30 years. His work experience and community service involvement prove that he has a special ability to bring people together to find solutions and take meaningful action. He listens and considers the expertise and opinions of all those impacted. His intellect, honesty and kindness have earned the respect and trust of all who know him.

I am extremely concerned about the unprecedented growth we are experiencing, and the County Executive is required to make important decisions that can impact the future of our community for decades. Satpal’s accessibility, integrity and good judgment provide the foundation for sound decision-making.

I know Satpal loves our community and I have never felt more hopeful that, under his leadership, we will solve many of the problems that threaten our exceptional quality of life. Please join me in supporting Satpal Sidhu for Whatcom County Executive.

— Joy Monjure, Everson