The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions


HeraldNet Headlines
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Saturday, January 26, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Guest Commentary / Senator's farewell

A privilege to represent the 10th district

My dear friends and neighbors,
For 30 years, you trusted me to represent you as a senator in the Legislature, and I wouldn't trade those 30 years for anything. It was a lot of hard work, but even more than that, it was an honor and privilege.
Some people approach the Legislature as a stepping-stone to something bigger. Not me. Not for one second. I once had a chat years ago with my 10th District Republican predecessor, Jack Metcalf, who went on to serve in Congress. Jack told me I had the best job there was, and I agreed. That opinion hasn't changed.
Representing our district has been a privilege and a responsibility I have always taken very seriously.
As your elected representative to the Legislature, first in the House and then in the Senate, I've been able to fight for farms, for seniors, for education, for ferries, for each and every concern you brought to me. I took that responsibility very seriously and worked as hard as I could, because I knew you depended on me.
I worked to protect farmland from development, from encroachment by salt water, and to spare farmers from unnecessary regulation or interference. I fought to preserve ferry runs others sought to eliminate, and I worked to find funding to build new ferries to replace our aging ferries even when others said there was no money to be found.
I fought year after year to repeal the nursing home bed tax, shrinking it a little each year until I finally got it repealed completely, because I saw how it exhausted the savings of families who had parents in nursing homes.
I strove to preserve and restore our natural beauties such as Cama Beach State Park, the Keystone spit, and the Admiralty Inlet preserve on Whidbey Island because I wanted our grandchildren and their grandchildren to be able to enjoy the same lush district that we have.
I fought for over 25 years until our region got a four-year campus that provides a local option to students young and old who can't afford room and board at schools across the state.
I worked on behalf of precious local icons ranging from the Ebey's Landing National Historical Preserve, to the Greenbank Farm, to the Whidbey Island Game Farm, to the Utsalady Ladies Aid Hall.
None of these fights were easy. But, like the scores of other projects I've fought for over the years, they were more than worth the trouble because of their value to our district. It's amazing to look back, really, because at the time I would simply finish one legislative battle and immediately move on to the next. It's only been recently, as a variety of people have gone out of their way to thank me for my efforts, that I've taken a look back to truly consider the scope and number of projects that have filled these 30 years.
Above all, I want to thank everyone for all their letters and thoughtful words and actions in recent weeks. A lovely reception hosted by the Skagit County Commissioners, for instance, was absolutely overwhelming. Hearing so many people say so many kind things, I almost felt like I was at my own funeral! In a similar light, I was tremendously touched when my colleagues in the Senate honored me with a resolution recognizing my legislative contributions last month.
In the days to come, I look forward to seeing more of my family and getting to spend more of my time enjoying our beautiful district; it truly is a treasure and I feel fortunate to call it home.
As always, it's been an honor and a privilege to serve you.
God bless and best wishes.

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.


Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor:

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer:

Neal Pattison, Executive Editor:

Josh O'Connor, Publisher:

Have your say

Feel strongly about something? Share it with the community by writing a letter to the editor. Send letters by e-mail to, by fax to 425-339-3458 or mail to The Herald - Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We'll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 250 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it. If your letter is published, please wait 30 days before submitting another. Have a question about letters? Contact Carol MacPherson at or 425-339-3472.