Satpal response: “My first act right after I was certain I was elected was to reach out to them.  I reached out to BP and had a meeting with them.  I reached out to P66 and had a meeting with Jolie and Tim Johnson and reached out to Pam Brady at BP. I met before I took office in January.  That means I did not waste any time it was right after the November 26th Certification. And within three weeks of that I met with all of them.

What was the result of that?

From my perspective; very good; I told them that was middle ground. ” I told them:  You are part of the community an important part of the community.  And I was clear with P66 that their Bio-Diesel plan was a good transition policy. And I support that policy now.  The details of the Bio-Diesel plan; I have yet to see so I don’t know yet… I told them I would support it because if we want to transition from fossil fuels we have to have transition fuel. And Biodiesel is a transition fuel.  And this creates new jobs. ” 

So I think that’s my starting point with Phillips 66 ; it is common ground… … and the refineries then do everything we have written on their plan; I think these are points of common ground, there are certain things we can come together on and that are reasonable and, of course, I don’t have a vote on the council anymore… But I can encourage middle ground.

When asked what he considered were “crossover” issues in Whatcom County as a whole he stated:

“My message to Conservatives: I am County Executive of the Whole County… I represent every citizen; every resident of this county;  Please Reach out to me; if you have any doubt; don’t listen to rumors; don’t listen to political rhetoric… Call Me Up.  Call me for coffee.  And hear from me; I may not fit your profile; I may not fit your way of thinking but I will be transparent and honest.”

He believes that there are good ideas on both sides of the political spectrum but sees fault with the advent of the Trump administration “Since four years ago there has been much ‘black and white’ on issues.  “Before that we still had fighting and still had passion but still listened to what people would say: ‘yeah that’s a good idea let’s try it.’ we said and compromised.” 

Editorial Comment by the Fourth Corner:

There can be little doubt that Satpal Sidhu, our new County Executive is liberal, a committed “prevent climate change environmentalist”, “rid ourselves of fossil fuels”  and a “no new jail” public safety advocate.  My Interview simply reinforced that.  But he is also an affable politician who wants to work hard to “listen” to all of the County and compromise his views allow him to.

We disagree with the Bellingham Herald’s take because they seewm to make the key takeaway from the election that  he was only a “symbol of hope for minorities across Whatcom County” as quoted in this article in the Bellingham Herald; seems to demean the victory of a County Executive who seems to want to reach out to everyone especially not just minorities . 

In fact his first and last message in our meeting included everyone in Whatcom County not just minorities or liberals but the 49% of County voters who did not vote for him as well.