In my second interview with the candidates for Cortes Island’s Regional Director, I became aware that they have a very different vision of how the island should be governed. The current Director, Noba Anderson, portrays herself as an instigator, who “convenes conversations that would not otherwise happen.” Many of the island’s best known projects came about through her direct intervention. Though George Sirk chalked up a similar list of accomplishments during the nine years he represented the island (1996 – 2005), he stresses the idea that there should be more of a separation between the Regional Director and specific business projects. In this morning’s episode, I ask, why re-elect George Sirk as Regional Director?
Some vital issues undergird the impending Cortes Community Housing fund raiser, on July 14. According to David Rousseau, one of the principal organizers, “We are slowly slipping towards a community of older people who can not afford to be here. And the people who want to come here; live here; raise families and work here are slowly being squeezed out.” He points to Hornby Island as an example of what could happen. (The population average is a decade older than on Cortes and most trades come from off island.) Cortes Island Seniors Society’s purchase of a 51 acre parcel close to downtown Mansons Landing is a significant step towards addressing the Cortes Island Housing Crises.