I am Thomas Gill, and I am running to continue my position on the Langley City Council. It my desire to help the city grow, diversify, and become a welcoming city for all to live, work, and play.
Thomas Gill was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, and spent his first 4 years there. After his father retired from the US Navy, the family returned to the mainland and traveled from Los Angeles to Halifax, NS, and settled in the small town of Flora, Indiana for about 6 months. His father earned a job at Boeing, so the family moved to Whidbey Island, thanks to his adventures there while serving in the Navy. The family move into Langley in the Spring of 1989, where they continue to reside today.
Attending the South Whidbey Schools, Thomas learned about the history of his community, and through interactions with several community organizations he was compelled at a young age to serve his community. In middle school he used the accumulated knowledge about computers and electronics to assist teachers and students in having functional equipment in their homes. This drove him to begin to make computers part of his future studies, including officially working for the school district (albeit simply for class credit) in repairing the district’s new and aging technological infrastructure.
This work encouraged him to attend Kettering University and study Computer Engineering. The experience greatly increased his knowledge of computers, while extra studies focused on history, economics, and psychology. During this period, he spent time in school in Flint, Michigan, and worked at different companies in Lake Orion, Michigan; Franklin, Michigan; Carlsbad, California; Hillsboro, Oregon; and White Salmon, Washington. While living in these different communities, he learned about different government structures, city planning, and budgeting. During this time, he continued to keep up with the goings on in his hometown of Langley, and began to become interested in doing what he could to give back to his community, wherever he landed after college.
Upon completing his studies, he returned to Langley, intending to start his own computer consulting business. However, city staff confusion about the nature of the work and poorly worded home-occupation ordinances made the prospect not cost effective, and he instead began work at Whidbey Telecom. However, he did not let the promise he made to himself, to get involved in the community fade away. He soon-after began to attend city council meetings and workshops, and eventually began volunteering to assist the city in matters relating to the city’s neglected computer and networking systems. By investing a small amount of capital, he was able to upgrade the city’s network’s speed by 100 times. Additionally, he assisted the city in upgrading the council chamber’s audio system to modern facilities, and eventually worked to get meetings recorded for podcasting and broadcast on the local Low-power AM radio station.
He was asked by Mayor Samuelson to serve on the Planning Advisory Board as an alternate. He served for a few months before becoming a full member. After Jim Sundberg was elected to the City Council, he was appointed Chairman of the PAB, and oversaw the completion of the shoreline master plan, finalizing the tree protection ordinance, creation of an affordable housing ordinance, mix-use building code, and was influential in the design of the 2nd Street reconstruction.
He was elected in 2013 to serve on the City Council. He was then appointed to the Library Board, and guided that group through proposing several upgrades to the Library building to such a point that the group voluntarily folded for lack of need. He still serves as the Library Representative to the Council, and works closely with the Library to inform the city of building maintenance needs.
He began to attend the Island County Law and Justice Council meetings of his own accord, and eventually became a representative to the Island County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition. After the completion of Mayor McCarthy’s term as Mayor and chair of the Coalition, he was elected to that position by the coalition, and position he continues to hold.
Thomas is running to continue his position on the City Council in order to help the city grow, diversify, and become a more livable community that everyone can enjoy.
For the last 8 years, I have been a constant fixture at city council meetings. As such, I have an institutional knowledge that my opponent does not possess. I have been the chair of the Planning Advisory Board, and worked closely with city staff in that position. I spent 3 years as the volunteer Information Technology Manager for the city, upgrading and maintaining the city’s technology infrastructure, and continue to do so when requested. I have spent the last three years as a contributing member of the Island County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition, where we have worked to identify the problems in our community, and learned what actions our law enforcement teams and our treatment teams are undertaking to attempt to eradicate this disease from our community.
My opponent does not have this level of experience, and we need council members who know what is going on in the city, have good relationships with the city staff, and show a willingness to reach out to other civic leaders to address issues.
There has been a growing trend in our community, and the world at large, where civility has begun to disappear. Civil discourse has to be the cornerstone of a functioning society. Lies, outlandish claims, name calling, and negativity have no place is a functioning society. We are all in this together and need to listen and understand others points of view, because no one is always correct, no one has all the answers, we must work together, civilly, in order to move forward to the future.
I have been working at promoting civility for much of my adult life, being a member of a community organization that has been promoting civility in our communities for more than a decade.
More Information can be found here: http://www.masoniccivility.org