Bangasser spends $1,500 in bid for community council seat

In what’s believed to be a first, Tom Bangasser — a candidate for the nine-member Vashon-Maury Island Community Council board — has mailed postcards to all Vashon residents, taken out advertisements, created a website and hopes to conduct an e-mail blitz before the Nov. 2 election for the volunteer position.

Bangasser estimates he has spent close to $1,500.

He’s one of 10 Islanders running for the nine spots. The other candidates are Hilary Emmer, Jake Jacobovitch, AnnaLisa La-

Fayette, Steve Luhr, Bill Rowling, Carl E. Sells, Mary G.L. Shackelford, Douglas Skove and Frederick Wood-ruff. None are similarly advertising.

Bangasser, 67, says he’s taking the unorthodox steps because he faces a lot of criticism for his confrontations with the community council. “We’ve got to get the word out. We’re addressing the issues here,” he said.

At the same time, his approach has raised a few eyebrows. His website,, urges Islanders to not only support his candidacy but also weigh in on what he calls Vision 2050, a look at the issues that could shape Vashon’s future. Under the tab labeled “Donate to Vision 2050” on his website, viewers were instructed to mail checks to Vashon College, the nonprofit Bangasser helped to create with several other Islanders. .

In an interview Monday, Bangassser said he believed it was appropriate to suggest Islanders donate to his effort via the college. “Any money that I get — it’s not going into my bank account. It would go to Vashon College. This campaign is about issues — whether I get elected or not,” he said.

Ted Clabaugh, a lawyer who chairs the Vashon College board, however, said he did not know that Vashon College was listed as the recipient and called it a mistake on Bangasser’s part. Clabaugh phoned Bangasser and told him to change the address. Later Monday, Bangasser’s name and his post office box had replaced Vashon College on the “donate” page.

“He’s hoping people will continue to be involved in that after this election is over. I told him it’s really not the role of the college to be a part of a political campaign,” Clabaugh said.

Meanwhile, Bangasser has submitted a request for the names on the VMICC’s e-mail list so that he can send out a final e-mail blast before the election. Chris Beck, a member of the council’s outreach committee, said her panel plans to honor Bangasser’s request but may not be able to meet the election deadline.

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