My name is Gary Harris and I am the mayor of Woodinville. I was asked recently by the Woodinville Weekly if I would like to write a monthly opinion piece for the paper. After some consideration I agreed, as long as we had a basic understanding of what I would write about.
The terms of our agreement are that I agree that I will never knowingly mislead or misstate the intent of the city council and that the paper will never misquote me or change my comments to suggest that I have said something that I did not say. If I have a comment that is not fact based, I will state that as only my opinion of a situation where there may be more than one solution.
I am a pharmacist (for nearly 50 years) and my reasoning tends to be evidenced based, although I will admit that sometimes the "evidence" received may be slanted. The intent of these columns will be to increase transparency in local government and build trust in our citizens that your city government really is focused on doing the best job possible.
I want to be an accessible elected person, so I have included a picture of myself (complete with my recent Covid beard). I tend to walk around town for exercise, or on the Sammamish Trail. I shop at Haggen's; I eat and drink wine at local businesses. If you see me about town, you should feel comfortable saying "Hi" or even asking me a question about current city events. I will readily admit I don't know all the answers, but I will listen and address your issues.
I plan to do my column from various locations within the city, depending on what is happening or what is being built. I will address the concerns of citizens living in those areas. I plan to do a review of what has happened in city council meetings during the last month and hopefully connect you to what is available on the city resources.
Personally, I hope to become a volunteer Covid vaccinator in the next month. If you are a retired or part-time health care worker who has vaccination training, I hope you will join me in this effort. Until the time when we have flattened the curve, wear your mask, be socially distanced, and get your shot when you are able.