Opinion

Voters should retain Kirk Pearson

The candidates running against incumbent Kirk Pearson for the 39th District Representative, Position 2, are not nearly as well prepared as those who are taking on Barbara Bailey in District 10.

Both are residents of the south Arlington, east Marysville area, but the similarities end there. David Personius takes a clear Democratic Party line, while Samantha Hicks is proud to be independent.

Pearson seeks his fifth term, getting his early training working as an assistant to Jack Metcalf. Pearson shows up at every event across his large district, including Arlington's Fourth of July Parade and every ribbon cutting. He fights for the safety of his constituents safety from traffic accidents and predators both. He keeps offices in Index as well as Sedro-Woolley, trying to cover his huge district, north of Marysville through Skagit, up to Whatcom counties and then east to the crest of the Cascade Mountains.

Both Personius and Hicks offered single-sentence answers to questions about sources for funding transportation, strategies for preserving agriculture and solutions for training young people.

Hicks is all about property rights and reducing government. She believes all projects funded by taxes should be voted on locally, that the raising of property values has got to stop and that gas taxes must be spent wisely.

Personius says the obvious solution to gas prices is to increase transit and alternative energies.

Pearson recognized the frustrations of the people, having allotted $285 million for ferries with no new ferries on line yet ­and another $2.8 million toward the viaduct and no progress on that, either. He thinks there may be too many engineers and too many studies being done.

On the Growth Management Act, both Personius and Pearson agree that the GMA was created by the people and has feedback mechanisms built in. Sure, it needs some tweaking, Pearson said, especially around water and sewers. Hicks sees the tremendous sacrifice landowners and farmers must make to meet its requirements that contribute to preserving water quality.

To encourage agriculture, Pearson and Hicks agree, there are too many regulations. Personius sees too many imports and wants to encourage local growers.

On Arlington's proposed annexation of Island Crossing, Hicks was not aware of the situation, Personius is for preserving what agricultural land we have and Pearson noted the land along the I-5 corridor ceased to be farm land many years ago.

All are in favor of the Marysville site for the proposed four-year campus.

All agree kids should be encouraged to consider vocational skill training as an option to college. Personius sees a European model where kids may choose a career at age 14 - 16 and Hicks suggests exposing students to many options.

It's easy enough for Hicks and Personius to criticize Pearson for not getting more roads built or fixes done, blaming it on the governor or not fighting hard enough to get our fair share. Pearson knows from experience, there's a big pie out there with lots of forks and the cost of materials keeps going up.

Only Kirk Pearson has a Web site, www.leg.wa.gov/house/pearson.

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