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Position Statements

This page features Kari's positions on key issues relevant to our island community. Kari continues to meet with constituents across the islands to hear their thoughts about what they believe are the county's strengths and needs. A brief summary of each priority is listed below.


  • Everyone agrees that our County desperately needs housing affordable to the people who live and work here. This is also true nationwide, and County government cannot solve the issue alone.  But we can and must partner with non-profits, private builders, State and Federal government to make it easier to create affordable housing units. 
  • We must staff and rebuild our permitting capacity to make building affordable housing possible, and we need to look at having pre-approved designs which could allow developers of affordable units to proceed with an expedited process.  
  • We must maintain our dedicated affordable housing REET, to help fund the creation of long-term, affordable housing for our workers and families.
  • As a community, we need to have honest discussions about where we can site more housing, and how these land-use decisions will affect our scarce water supply and other resources. Striking this balance is critical, so that we can remain a viable place for families to raise children and for our community to thrive.


  • Islanders are stewards of the amazing natural beauty of the islands, and we must protect our shorelines, wetlands, fields, forests, and farms for future generations. We can and must create balance between development and conservation, working effectively with our non-profit partners, private landowners, private philanthropy and public agencies. We must reauthorize the Conservation Land Bank and we must oppose I-2117 which would repeal the Climate Commitment Act.
  • Our environment and climate are also changing rapidly. We must adapt in many ways. We must create incentives for conservation of our scarce water. We must work together to mitigate fire danger as our summers become hotter and drier. We must work together to integrate renewable energy into our community in a thoughtful manner. We must come together and work as a community on resilience in the face of a changing climate.


  • For our island communities to thrive, we must sustain the resources, infrastructure, and transportation systems needed by all. This includes careful use of our scarce water supply, effective advocacy, and creative solutions for our ferries in partnership with the State, and fire prevention in partnership with landowners.
  • Sustainable community also means being open and honest with each other about the challenges of growth and tourism. We do need to manage the impact of tourism, without destroying the jobs that sustain our community. We can and must strike a balance.


  • Solving any of the challenges we face requires the bedrock of effective governance. To be effective we must improve communication across the board. We must work to prevent public confusion and misunderstanding and make sure that people feel seen and included. We must collaborate across all county departments as well as with our community partners to address these and all challenges. Last but not least, we must elevate our civic discourse so that we all feel heard and respected.
  • A responsible budget is the cornerstone for effective governance. We must prioritize our most pressing needs, examine our spending and plans with respect to those needs and our values, and communicate this clearly to the community. We must be honest about what resources the County needs to accomplish everything the community demands from it.

CNL2 Interview 

For more in depth commentary in these positions, please view the CNL2 interview with Kari.  View the full interview here. Fast forward to specific topics using the guide below. (Time stops are estimates.)

5:00 Kari’s Leadership/Administrative background (~ 2 min)
10:19 Budgets, Budgeting (~ 3 min)
13:36 The 32 Hour workweek, Valuing Staff
16:30 Listening Interviews, Valuing Public Servants (~ 3.5 min)
20:08 Engagement, Outreach, being seen and heard (~5 min)
25:08 Planning/Permits Department (~5 min)
30:20 Opalco’s Solar Array project on Bailer Hill (~ 5 min)
37:40 Town v County Water Issue, Relationship (~ 3 min)
40:25 Ferries, Relationships in Olympia (~ 7 min)
48:15 Ferry Taxing District (~2 min)
54:28 Affordable Housing, Effective Governance, REET, Middle Class, Shaw Housing, Capacity (~ 7 min)
60:02 Land Bank

Questions? Contact Kari

Committee to Elect Kari McVeigh
PO Box 2441
Friday Harbor, WA 98250
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