A Community Website by Lopez Island
Started by Vicki Leimback
Orcas Island
Jul 30, 2022
Lincoln Bormann and Cindy Wolf
Jul 30, 2022
Cynthia Brast-Bormann

Please DO feel free to share!
I’ve been sitting on my hands with my lips zipped, but I am stressed to the point I can’t take it anymore. For all of you reading - and especially local islanders (and anyone in my bug group), I have to disclose that recent and upcoming events may necessitate my taking these groups down. Why? Well, some of you may know already, but my husband is the Land Bank Director (his name is Lincoln). He recently pulled off this amazing and highly COMPLICATED transaction to acquire a waterfront property for Orcas Island. It will be one of the very few public beaches for county residents. Every single other candidate property is already developed and held by private owners. He worked on this deal for over a year, negotiating with the estate attorney charged with selling the property. It was nothing short of a miracle acquisition. By the way, he has worked for San Juan County as Land Bank director for 17 years with over 35 successful acquisitions for public preserves. The situation is this - Orcas councilwoman, Cindy Wolf, has decided she wants to FIRE my husband because he didn’t make her rural cluster of 8 homes for COUNTY WORKERS happen. Her idea was just that. An idea. This would have been a development in the middle of a nature preserve. Who here thinks that is a BAD idea? Well, it’s even worse. My husband had already received feedback from one of the affordable housing groups on Orcas that this parcel in the MIDDLE of a Nature preserve didn’t have suitable water. On a 5 acre parcel in any part of the county, water availability can be an issue - even for ONE house, never mind 8. So, also, Cindy never secured a council vote to make her idea a priority. This means her idea was undefined and unsupported - a “wish.” Meanwhile, my husband is jumping through fire rings to try and put everything together (from grants to partnerships with the San Juan Preservation Trust) while piecing together adequate funding to make the purchase. The purchase was a success, except now, my husband - instead of receiving a “thanks,” is receiving hostile blowback from council because he somehow has “mislead” them in the acquisition. I want to express again how complicated and dynamic this transaction was. Many things were changing at the very last minute. In spite of this, it all came together - except for Cindy’s county worker housing idea. So, over the past two months, my husband has been in the hot seat. He has been told he needs to apologize and admit to what he did “wrong.” Wow! That’s pretty unbelievable, given he did something that was nothing short of a miracle for residents of Orcas and San Juan County, and the environment. We have been back and forth with the county telling him he is going to face disciplinary action and has to appear in executive session. Over the past 2 weeks, there have been conversations relayed that he is going to be fired, and he won’t be fired, and then he will be fired. It is literally making me sick. I am heartbroken for my husband and the way he is being treated by council and the county. It hard not to think there is a much larger agenda here. I will share this. If you care about conservation and retaining our island’s special places, you may want to note, that if my husband is fired (and we have to move off island because we can’t afford to stay here), you may lose more than the two of us as part of the community. You could lose multiple Land Bank properties that could be sold off to pay for stewarding the remaining selected ones. The issue of the Land Bank continuing is also something you could consider since it is a voter approved organization. I am feeling a range of emotions here. My health is deteriorating over this. I’m very angry that Cindy Wolf is taking these destructive actions and I really hope she will reconsider. She has refused to talk to my husband when he reached out to respond to her concerns. It is my opinion she is not of a community mindset and only wants her own way. I believe Orcas residents especially should be considering how you want to be represented, and by whom. If you feel inclined to write letters, here are emails for our council reps and for Heather Spaulding at the Journal. I think it is important for the public to be heard. Christine Minney christinem@sanjuanco.com
Cindy Wolf cindyw@sanjuanco.com
Jamie Stephens jamies@sanjuanco.com
and Heather Spaulding at the Journal editor@sanjuanjournal.com There is background information on this at : https://theorcasonian.com/special-land-bank.../...
Comment by Vicki Leimback
Orcas Island
Jul 30, 2022
This is a letter written by Brian Weise of the Land Bank that I am posting here: Friends and supporters of the Land Bank"
On next Tuesday’s County Council agenda, the Council has planned an executive session
disciplinary hearing ... Read All