On Sept. 22, Frank Wood wrote in to The Vidette to express his confusion and perplexity over the candidacy of Ron Figlar-Barnes for the position of Port Commissioner. Clearly, Mr. Wood is neither perplexed nor confused, but rather desires to set up a straw-man to tear down. The only problem is that the person in question, Ron Figlar-Barnes, doesn’t resemble this straw-man in the least.
Wood says that Ron Figlar-Barnes “seems to feel that he has all the answers and solutions to the issues the Port is exploring to keep the Harbor moving forward…” where clearly Ron has made no such claim, and has often asserted just the opposite. Figlar-Barnes knows that there are multiple, complex issues, and he has commented on and taken clear positions on most — which is a fair sight better than many local politicians who sit on the fence or have no comment at all.
Wood rightly references Figlar-Barnes’ background as a biologist, and it is worth noting that someone with his background and experience, with issues that can affect the port is something that we as a community should pursue and value. It is those with the knowledge beyond what most of us have, who make good stewards of the natural resources that we enjoy and the existing jobs that they create.
And therein lies for me, the whole point of Figlar-Barnes’ candidacy and the need for us all to take a close look at the issues in this race: Ron is not willing to gamble our existing 20,000 jobs for what could turn out to be less than 20. Indeed, Ron believes that we could create many, many more than 20 jobs by thinking forward, not back.
Sadly, many are still unaware of the “progress” that the rail and out-of-state oil companies have made in slipping this project under the noses of the people of Grays Harbor. This has been done quietly, with little or no significant effort to ask the very people whose lives will be forever changed — if they want to live in Oil Town.
Wood seems worried that Ron will not be willing to meet the obligations required of a Port Commissioner, but this is absurd to anyone who knows the man. Figlar-Barnes is a dedicated and committed member of our community with the background and education to approach the future of the Port with open eyes, and with the overarching desire to listen and serve the needs of this community.
I am asking those who are thankful for all the natural beauty that we have in Grays Harbor and the community that it supports with its resources to take a close look at this situation and vote for Ron Figlar-Barnes for Port Commissioner on the November ballot.
While the present commissioner may be a very nice person, he has clearly taken a position in favor of turning Grays Harbor into Oil Town. I, for one, do not wish that ugliness on our residents. It is a bleak existence, with falling property values, reduced tourism, illness, pollution, endless traffic backups, derision in the media who already refer to us in unflattering terms, and potentially… vaporization. The tragedy in Quebec should give us all great pause.
Ron is not a one-issue candidate. However, he is aware and concerned about this pivotal issue for our community, and wants to give us all a voice in our future, as a true representative. Find out more at www.BalanceThePort.org.