Keenan experienced choice for mayor
Bellingham is fortunate to have such a highly qualified candidate as Don Keenan willing to use his management skills, intelligence and civic experience to lead our city when there are so many important issues and decisions to be made.
I have known Don since he became the executive director of the Opportunity Council in 1978. As the agency’s finance director I worked closely with him for the 15 years he was there. I saw Don grow the agency from a small struggling nonprofit to a vital community action agency with many diverse programs to help low-income citizens. His expertise in financial management led to developing significant reserves which are so important for the longevity of a nonprofit. Don impressed me from the start with his ability to work with people, his integrity and his deep concern for everyone. It was a great privilege to work with him.
His seven years as Bellingham’s deputy administrator have prepared him to step into the position of mayor and start work immediately on all the important issues facing the city.
I strongly recommend Don Keenan for mayor to everyone who wants the best leadership we can get for our beautiful city.
Fairhaven developers promise ‘unique experience’
Dear Editor and Neighbors,
As the developers of the Fairhaven Highlands housing project, we want to bring you up to date on what is happening. We are committed to being open and honest about our plans and listening to your suggestions and concerns.
First, some history. Housing has been discussed for the 82-acre Fairhaven Highlands site for more than 20 years. Horizon Bank and Greenbriar Construction purchased the land in 2004 from another developer. When neighbors objected to a preliminary plan, we put it on hold and took a new approach.
We retained some of the top traffic, environmental, water quality, and geological experts in the region to review the site and assess the potential impact of development. In addition, we voluntarily asked the City of Bellingham to commission a full environmental impact statement at our expense. The city, operating independently, has commissioned a firm to conduct the study, which will begin soon. It’s one of the few times this level of analysis has been conducted in Bellingham on private property.
Our final development proposal will take into account all the information that has been generated to date and will be gathered over the next few months. This information will be available in our proposal to the city in 2008. We also plan several opportunities for the entire community to be heard. It is our hope that you will wait until these extensive studies are complete before making up your mind about the future of the site.
We write this letter now to assure you that the project plans are not already finalized. We encourage public discussion, but ask that you remember that complete information will not be available until early next year.
We know many people want the site to remain undeveloped and placed in public ownership, and we remain open to selling part of the property for that purpose. However, it is important to note that in three years we have not been contacted by any public agency with a definite plan to buy any part of the property or the funds to do so.
The site remains private property in an area zoned for housing. As the region continues to grow, it is inevitable that this site will eventually be developed. The question is who has the best team to do it?
We believe the answer is a local homebuilder and a local bank, with more than 70 years combined experience in the community. We have a strong commitment to our community — we live here and we care about its future.
We can create a unique local neighborhood experience at Fairhaven Highlands with a mix of housing, open space, and as much preserved land as possible. We hope you will work with us to make that happen.
V. Lawrence Evans
Chairman and CEO