Mail-in ballots must be asked for by Friday

WHATCOM ­— Incumbent Theresa Sygitowicz and challenger Valeri Wade are the candidates for a supervisor position with the Whatcom Conservation District. 

The election is March 26 and voting can be in person that day at the district offices, 6975 Hannegan Rd. Otherwise, the deadline for requesting a mail-in ballot on the website is this Friday, Feb. 8. Request cannot be made by phone.

Conservation Districts in the state of Washington are governed by boards of five supervisors who are all local residents. They guide programs to protect and enhance natural resources.


Theresa Sygitowicz is a fifth-generation county resident, raised on a dairy and then a beef farm. She believes in open and transparent government that respects civil and individual rights. She has served on the district board one three-year term.

The says she is committed to the well-being of farmers, residents and business owners. “We need to protect our resources, and use them responsibly, now and in years to come.”

Sygitowicz appreciates the traditions and values held by residents of Whatcom County and pledges to continue to work to protect quality of life in a way that will assure that “our community is safe and secure, with a prosperous economy that provides family living wages.”

She is retired from work at Peace Health St. Joseph Hospital and also was a Bellingham small business owner for over 20 years.

She served on boards related to county parks and recreation, open space, and river and floods advising. She was a state and local president of Washington Women in Timber and a volunteer EMT/firefighter for Whatcom County Fire District 16 (Acme).

She is a graduate of Mount Baker High School and Whatcom Community College.


Valeri Wade is a U.S. Army veteran. She has been a weatherization specialist with the Opportunity Council. She was a wholesale manager for a nursery for nine years and has kept a chalet going for 12 years. 

She earned a bachelor’s degree in environmental education from Western Washington University and considers herself an environmental advocate and educator especially in the areas of wildlife, plants and bee care.

Of Whatcom County she says, “We’re a varied group of people, building a sustainable future together. The land-use choices we make today are our gift to future generations; we must honor this responsibility as we improve conservation practices.”

The commends the Whatcom Conservation District for “serving the residents of the county admirably, helping people care for the land and water. The board’s role is to provide connection and direction among county residents, the WCD and associated organizations.”

Wade has spent 20 of her 30 years in the county “turning half an acre of swampy junkyard into a wildlife sanctuary: native plants, creek, pond, fruit trees and organic garden.” She grew up working on her grandparents’ farm in the Willamette Valley.

She believes she is a careful observer with deep respect for the natural world and is committed to listening to every voice in the community.