Community council has great potential

I’m excited about the initiative to bring back the Vashon-Maury Island Community Council. I hope that the new version will be even more effective than the old.

We need a strong voice to ensure that the unique needs of our islands are addressed by the ferry system, the county and other government agencies. But I hope that the community council will also help us to build on our island’s many strengths. Could the council facilitate a community conversation that would result in a vision for our islands as a model of environmental sustainability? Could the council organize task forces to develop strategies for more mutual support, living wage jobs, opportunities for young people and better support for local farms, businesses, artists and musicians? Could it help to establish a community foundation that would provide more funding for local nonprofits while making giving more rational and allocations more effective? Perhaps it could even issue our own island currency.

Of course, this is much too ambitious for a community council as previously constituted. If its members simply stand for at-large election and limit outreach to public input at their meetings, the council will have no power and provide limited value to the community. But a council could be a tremendous asset if it sees its role as listening to, uniting and mobilizing the community’s many and varied voices and skills. It might work best if members each have a defined constituency with which they can be in regular communication and to which they are directly accountable. One way to do this would be to have each councilmember elected from a specific group of neighborhoods. Another would be to comprise the council of representatives of the many and varied associations that already do so much for our community. Let’s make the most of this opportunity!

— Jim Diers


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@vashonbeachcomber.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.vashonbeachcomber.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Opinion

We are The Beachcomber

We are not going to leave you without a newspaper in these critical times.

Help to hold hope in uncertain times

Human beings are being reminded in real time that we impact one another for good or for bad.

Full-day preschool an outstanding return on investment

We see ECEAP as a powerful return on our investment in children and a program to celebrate.

Now is a good time to start a garden

How we grow our food can make a difference in the long term.

Islanders, take COVID-19 seriously

Island doctors says no one was ready for the new pandemic; urges everyone not to spread coronavirus

Even with the pandemic, the morning light is lovely

Stories of the work of islanders shine bright in trying times.

Keep your distance, islanders. It could save a life

It finally hit us — in a little island wave, so to… Continue reading

Contribute to fund for workers impacted by virus decisions

Dear Friends and Neighbors, The Coronavirus is impacting our community hard. Many… Continue reading

Let’s not take more than we need during pandemic

Seeing empty shelves of items currently being sold out (toilet paper, for… Continue reading

Bad experience with Neighborcare Health

Dear Editor: I say that Neighborcare Health needs to be fired. In… Continue reading

Continue to read Beachcomber and digitally subscribe

We hope you will support the very specific, local journalism we are doing at The Beachcomber.

To our elected officials: Be bold, be consistent, be honest, be helpful

By Patrick Grubb, Washington Newspaper Publishers Association Governor Jay Inslee has been… Continue reading