The future of San Juan County:

I've been serving as the chairman of the San Juan County Comprehensive Plan citizen advisory committee for Orcas Island for the last several years. The county, by participating in the Growth Management Act, is rewriting its vision of its future. I've been finding myself animated about the future of the island, the future of the county, and, in general, the future of beautiful places throughout the world as I've watched my committee, and the community, struggle mightily with the idea of seeing what they love be threatened, if not trashed, by their own difficulty in resolving largely unarticulated, tho deeply felt, personal/community boundary issues. I've written several essays which discuss the growth issues facing San Juan County, and by extension almost anywhere, and suggest possible routes to their solution. Should you find any of this material interesting or useful, both for contemplation or for application to your situation, where ever you live, I'd appreciate your feedback.

The essay here suggests a solution while reminding us that there's no free lunch.

The essay here describes why regulation is a response to both growth and the characteristic that many of us have to not do the right thing; the piece starts by reflecting on the white striping lines in ferry lane parking lots.

The essay here discusses the idea of buying our future, of being proactive rather than inactive or reactive.

The essay here points out that all the effort being devoted to keep things as they are will, if successul, result in nothing visible, nothing tangible, nothing new. As a result, who can get excited about working hard to achieve what we already have?

Joe Symons