Vote for Bill Watson for County Council


October 28, 2016 by David Dehlendorf


The above county press release in the Journal of the San Juans on 1/27/16 discloses the cost to the county, and to all of us as taxpayers, of a series of events set in motion by Bill’s opponent, incumbent Bob Jarman, when he inappropriately intervened in a land use dispute involving a friend and neighbor in Portland Fair Estates on San Juan Island.

By David Dehlendorf, Chair, San Juan County Democrats, October 28, 2016

There are several good reasons to vote for Bill Watson for San Juan County Council. Bill is a software engineer with 36 years experience with a variety of tech companies, including 20 as manager of small development teams and major business units at Microsoft and elsewhere. He understands how to manage within a budget. Bill also started his own consulting business which he continued after he moved to San Juan Island ten years ago. He was also a program coordinator for our county’s Economic Development Council. Bill is a sharp guy and a quick study.

There are also several good reasons NOT to vote for Watson’s opponent, Bob Jarman, including the fact that during his four years in office, Jarman did nothing meaningful to address the most important issue facing our county – the affordable housing crisis.

Recently I listened incredulously to Watson’s opponent at a candidate forum state that he would serve the interests of all islanders. Jarman’s record belies this claim. Instead, over the last few years he participated in the appointment of officers of the extremist Common Sense Alliance (CSA) to the Planning Commission, including at a time when the CSA had a lawsuit pending against the county. Jarman is beholden to property rights extremists.

In 2014, Jarman inappropriately and unethically intervened in a land use dispute in favor of one of his neighbors in Portland Fair Estates on San Juan Island. Instead of informing his neighbor that he must go through normal channels to lodge his complaint, Jarman and the county administrator, also a resident of Portland Fair, ignored due process and overruled a county staff determination. This led to a lawsuit that cost taxpayers more than $50,000 in settlement costs and legal fees.

We urge you to vote for Bill Watson. He will give us open, honest government and will truly serve all county residents, not just his neighbors and property rights extremists.

In a joint letter, Bill Watson requested endorsement from both the San Juan County Democrats and Republicans. The San Juan County Democrats have endorsed Watson’s candidacy. Our understanding is that the Republicans have not acted on his request.


One thought on “Vote for Bill Watson for County Council

  1. San Olson says:

    The above case where a Councilor and County Administrator interfered with a routine permit application and the lame excuse given by the Council for their action was when I lost all confidence in the present council members.

    I was not surprised that Mr.Jarman was a principal participant and that Mr. Hughes was also to some degree, but I was very disappointed that Mr.Stevens joined in what to me was a coverup to protect the council’s reputation. For me, the reputational result was just the opposite.

    I find that to this day the stench of corruption still lingers in the council chamber. I am sad that our local governing body has so disappointed me and perhaps other voters. I had hopes for more transparency and accountability.

    Councilor Watson will help restore some of my disappointed expectations.


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