Thoughtful management for a successful future

 

December 13, 2023



Look around: We live on the edge of the continent, less than 35 miles due east of Victoria Harbor in one of the most idyllic communities on the west coast. Positioned as a safe passage for marine travel and tied to the to the salt waters of the Salish Sea, La Conner is the true gateway to the San Juan Islands. We are blessed with tremendous soil that produces some of the highest yielding crops per acre in the world. We are a regional, national and international tourist destination and have found success in this space, in part, because we offer diverse products that you are not going to find anywhere else. The Swinomish Channel accounts for close to 90 million dollars in economic activity per year and over 500 marine related jobs. The channel is also a subsistence fishing ground for two tribes. Frankly, I would put La Conner up against any other town our size, in the country. 

And as the community enters an exciting time, preparing to welcome our new mayor on Jan. 1, I trust the good people of La Conner will provide Marna Hanneman with much needed support as she engages her new role. The citizens of La Conner are very fortunate to have an individual of her caliber who is willing to accept the responsibility of leading and representing the community. As for the outgoing mayor, my wife and I are enormously enthusiastic about the opportunities ahead and have taken the past year to prepare ourselves for new endeavors.

As I write this, I am hesitant to officially inject myself into specific topics of discussion. The future is now for others to contemplate and advocate. But, as this piece was requested personally by the La Conner Weekly News’ editor, I will offer my opinion in a generalized sense. 

I have always advocated for a contemplative approach to government. In fact, governments are designed to work best when strong thoughtful processes are implemented. This is particularly important because there are inevitably issues and decisions on which individuals will disagree. A transparent and unbiased stance related to the implementation of established law has allowed La Conner to withstand any legal challenges over the past 16 years. And as the new mayor and council grapple with the landscape of the future, maintaining this posture will put them in the best position to continue that course.

With new challenges will come change. And although resistance is likely, it is only through new visioning that La Conner will be able to embrace what is needed to ensure on-going sustainability while striving to stay true to its heritage. While the community contemplates its future, let us be committed to vigorous and fact rooted debate on the path toward consensus. 

I often wonder what John Hayes’ (no known relation) thoughts were as he worked the trading post he established on the west side of the Swinomish Slough, watching the burgeoning town develop. Imagine if he could see us now.

Friends and neighbors, the best chance we have for success is to embrace inevitable change. Let’s make sure we manage our future, so our future doesn’t end up managing us.

Ramon Hayes is the longest serving mayor in La Conner’s history.,

Town of La Conner mayor

Look around: We live on the edge of the continent, less than 35 miles due east of Victoria Harbor in one of the most idyllic communities on the west coast. Positioned as a safe passage for marine travel and tied to the to the salt waters of the Salish Sea, La Conner is the true gateway to the San Juan Islands. We are blessed with tremendous soil that produces some of the highest yielding crops per acre in the world. We are a regional, national and international tourist destination and have found success in this space, in part, because we offer diverse products that you are not going to find anywhere else. The Swinomish Channel accounts for close to 90 million dollars in economic activity per year and over 500 marine related jobs. The channel is also a subsistence fishing ground for two tribes. Frankly, I would put La Conner up against any other town our size, in the country. 

And as the community enters an exciting time, preparing to welcome our new mayor on Jan. 1, I trust the good people of La Conner will provide Marna Hanneman with much needed support as she engages her new role. The citizens of La Conner are very fortunate to have an individual of her caliber who is willing to accept the responsibility of leading and representing the community. As for the outgoing mayor, my wife and I are enormously enthusiastic about the opportunities ahead and have taken the past year to prepare ourselves for new endeavors.

As I write this, I am hesitant to officially inject myself into specific topics of discussion. The future is now for others to contemplate and advocate. But, as this piece was requested personally by the La Conner Weekly News’ editor, I will offer my opinion in a generalized sense. 

I have always advocated for a contemplative approach to government. In fact, governments are designed to work best when strong thoughtful processes are implemented. This is particularly important because there are inevitably issues and decisions on which individuals will disagree. A transparent and unbiased stance related to the implementation of established law has allowed La Conner to withstand any legal challenges over the past 16 years. And as the new mayor and council grapple with the landscape of the future, maintaining this posture will put them in the best position to continue that course.

With new challenges will come change. And although resistance is likely, it is only through new visioning that La Conner will be able to embrace what is needed to ensure on-going sustainability while striving to stay true to its heritage. While the community contemplates its future, let us be committed to vigorous and fact rooted debate on the path toward consensus. 

I often wonder what John Hayes’ (no known relation) thoughts were as he worked the trading post he established on the west side of the Swinomish Slough, watching the burgeoning town develop. Imagine if he could see us now.

Friends and neighbors, the best chance we have for success is to embrace inevitable change. Let’s make sure we manage our future, so our future doesn’t end up managing us.

Ramon Hayes is the longest serving mayor in La Conner’s history.

 

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