I saved this picture from a post Sam Crawford put up a bit over a year ago. It captures what being on the Whatcom County Council could be like. This particular meeting had a big turn out for folks on an issue that was not on the Council agenda. The picture also captures the scale of work that was on the agenda with the thick Council packet in the foreground.
Whatcom County has the only part-time legislative county government in the State. The part time nature of the work presents some challenges to work outside the County Council work. Sam apparently has a work opportunity that would not allow his continued staying on the Council so he is leaving the Council before his term ends.
I worked with Sam for eight years. While our views of land use regulations differed and Sam was a bit trapped like many County leaders by the Growth Management Act, I found Sam to be a very good council member. He provided outstanding and very insightful leadership on environmental issues outside of the regulatory and growth management realm. For example he was a steadfast supporter of the Lake Whatcom Reconveyance (one-of-reconveyance-heroes-sam-Crawford) and he took bold positions in supporting some critical services not normally expected from GOPers (whatcom-county-mental-health-back-story). Those two positions alone were legacy type votes where he put political tribalism aside and made Whatcom County a better place.