To the editor:
Wayne spent most of his career working at NPR in local, regional and national capacities, and began his tenure on city council the day after retiring from his long held position as president and general manager of KUOW. During the years leading up to his retirement he served on the boards of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial Association and the Arts & Humanities Council; he also helped establish the Marge Williams Office Center for Bainbridge nonprofit organizations.
Wayne and his wife Kathleen Alcala raised their son Ben on Bainbridge, and selected a home that allowed them to minimize their environmental footprint and walk to the ferry and downtown Winslow. They shopped locally before it was “the thing,” because it is embedded in their value system of supporting their local community. They have always been regulars at the farmers market, and Kathleen has written two books about the significance of our own local food system and its contribution to the fabric and health of our community.
We became friends with Wayne during Fortner Books days in Winslow, now many years ago! In 2003 he joined the Bainbridge Resource Group, an informal gathering of people we knew in the community. The group’s sole aim was to become better informed citizens/voters by seeking and sharing information about the activities of the various taxing districts on Bainbridge: city, schools, fire, parks and library. In those meetings, Wayne was the one who quietly listened to the facts and all points of view, and then helped us stay focused on the big picture by facilitating conversations in an inclusive manner to reach consensus opinions and decisions about what to share with a larger audience. His role in the group was invaluable, as we endeavored to separate fact from fiction and navigated and absorbed complex details, historical perspectives and emotionally charged issues facing the community.
Wayne is a thoughtful, pragmatic collaborator who weighs all sides of issues and seeks to move steadily forward in a progressive fashion to preserve not just the way of life that draws people to Bainbridge but also options for the future.
We not only trust Wayne to listen, hear and represent the many voices of the community, we trust him to be a calm voice of reason who builds bridges with constituents, not a reactive, single issue candidate. We need his wisdom, experience, credentials, and his steady voice on the council.