Ryan Palmateer is running for San Juan County Council, Position 1. Palmateer is a community organizer who works with local environmental groups and serves as the Executive Board Secretary of the San Juan County Democratic Committee. He is also vice president of the Washington Association of District Employees. Palmateer's platform includes restoring the local economy, finding innovative solutions to the affordable housing crisis, and supporting balanced vacation rental permitting. He wants all decisions the council makes to be guided by environmental conservation.
Palmateer is running against Christine Minney, Steve Wehrly, Sharon Kivisto, and Daniel Miller. Minney is a small business owner and treasurer of the San Juan Historical Society Board. She built her own home through the Homes For Islanders program and wants to advocate for affordable housing as well as achieve a balance between providing services people need and want with what the county "can maintain". Minney says she is an environmentally sensitive candidate and wants to preserve the natural resources and cultural value of the San Juan Islands.
Wehrly was a lobbyist in Washington, D.C. working with the smokeless tobacco council, casinos, and insurance and beer companies for almost 30 years. His campaign includes modifying the county budget to survive the economic impacts of the coronavirus and mentions funding the budget but nothing about where the funding would come from. Wehrly has also proposed bringing a state route with a bike lane to San Juan County.
Kivisto is a journalist and program coordinator for the Frederic Whitaker and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker Foundation. She served on the San Juan School District Board from 1995-1999. Kivisto wants to discuss limits on the amount and location of vacation rentals and feels the "proliferation" of vacation rentals undermines neighborhoods.
Finally, Miller is a far-right conservative who is not running a strong campaign.
Palmateer is the most progressive choice for San Juan County Council, Position 1.