Write-in wins back seat on Holmes district

By Brian Kelly

Herald Writer

COUPEVILLE — With the last of 20,496 votes counted and certified, the dust has settled on a back-and-forth battle for a Coupeville Town Council seat as incumbent Philip Williamson prevailed over Roxallanne Medley.

And in the other big surprise in Island County’s November election, write-in candidate Bob Randolph has unseated appointed commissioner Don LaMontagne for a spot on the board for the embattled Holmes Harbor Sewer District.

Randolph won, 52-25.

The district near Freeland has been struggling to put its house in order since August when the state said commissioners had broken the law when they set up a special assessment district in south Everett and illegally sold $20 million in bonds that benefited a private developer.

All of the district’s commissioners resigned after details of the bond sale became public.

LaMontagne was appointed in late August to fill one of the vacancies. He will be replaced by Randolph, who was on the board when the bond sale was put together.

Randolph resigned in protest after he couldn’t convince his fellow commissioners to abandon the idea of creating the taxing district that led to the bond sale.

Randolph could not be reached for comment.

But Meg Wingard, chairwoman of the board, said the district would welcome his arrival. His experience and knowledge of how the bond sale was put together should be helpful, she said.

"I think in general, the comments that I’ve heard from other commissioners are very positive. They feel that he has some history that is useful to us," Wingard said.

"I haven’t heard anything negative about him," she added.

In October, the district and the former commissioners who signed off on the bond sale were hit with a class-action lawsuit by three investors who had purchased $5 million of the bonds. The investors said officials had committed fraud by not telling them the bonds were illegal.

Outcomes in most of the races in Island County, though unofficial, were pretty-much known before the final vote tally this week.

The other exception was the race for the Coupeville council. Voters gave Williamson, a retired Navy electronics engineer, a second four-year term.

Williamson won 250-229, and said his fiscal conservatism may have put him over the top.

"I watch taxpayers’ and ratepayers’ money as if it were my own," Williamson said.

"I want to thank those who supported me," he added. "And I’ll continue to fulfill the mandate of those who put me in office, as well as all the voters."

Complete official election results are available online at www.islandcounty.net/auditor/ election%20results.htm.

You can call Herald Writer Brian Kelly at 425-339-3422 or send e-mail to kelly@heraldnet.com.

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