Port Angeles area voters have a choice during the next month between a candidate with deep and diverse experience and one with a narrow background of experience; between a candidate who has a record of collaboration in problem solving and one whose key experience is in the traditional role of a boss; between one who has served as a county commissioner and public attorney in the past and one who has no record of public service nor special knowledge of the law.
In each of these instances, the candidate with the broadest and deepest experience is Ron Richards.
Voters can expect Richards to work to attract new jobs in timber, tourism, and technology. His experience as a founder of Western Gas Resources and as a partner with Apogee Scientific, two heavily technological companies, would be invaluable as Clallam County courts CLT and monitors the CRTC.
Voters can expect Richards to help shepherd the Carlsborg sewer project as an engineer with experience in managing pipeline and pump station projects in the propane and natural gas industries.
Voters can expect Richards to understand and decipher legal issues as a lawyer who served Clallam County as a deputy prosecuting attorney, as a local lawyer in private practice for 18 years, and as lawyer and negotiator for Western Gas Resources.
Interested voters can look up Richards’ record as a county commissioner in Board of County Commissioner actions 1977-81, including constructing the present County Courthouse and Jail, writing the implementing ordinances for the County Charter, and maintaining a fiscally responsible government.
In addition, Richards is a family man, a part-time tree farmer and a commercial fisherman. Ron and Nina Richards have two grown sons and are proud grandparents. They own forested acreage in the Township Line area. Richards is the captain of the F/V Ocean Dancer, a successful salmon fishing vessel, and has fished off the coasts of Washington and Alaska for 18 years.
Against this, his opponent offers significant experience only as a logging company executive and as a participant in the county’s controversial Economic Development Council. The prospect of his election offers a return to the old style, top-down county board behavior that the voters rejected when they turned former commissioner Jim McEntire out of office.
Port O Call believes strongly that Port Angeles and the county will be best served by election of Ron Richards to the Clallam County Board of Commissioners as the representative for District 2.
Ballots will be in the mail later this month and must be cast by Nov. 8 to be valid.