Citizen Journalism: May 22nd through June 6, 2018, Whatcom County Council and Watershed Management Board Meetings

In Common Voices, News, Whatcom County Council by commonnw

Whatcom County like our State is better served when the ‘legislatures’ are on vacation or adjourned.   Our State Legislature is adjourned, so safe there for now; our Whatcom County Council is still in session and our County is still at risk.

5/22 Whatcom County Council

  1. County sales taxes are increased 12% thus far in 2018.  Preliminary County Capital Projects & facilities for next 5 year, $22,695,858.
  2. Bellingham is using ‘monitor bracelets’ in lieu of jail time @ $64/day, and figured a 64% savings in 2017, but upswing requiring Jail so far in 2018.
  3. Title 22, land use and building codes is being updated, one clarification:   after vesting, 2 years to begin construction, 5 years to complete, from date all State and Federal Permits are granted.
  4. Donovan moved to restrict the use of shorelines in the codes, failed 3-4.
  5. Council decided to create a ‘Business Advisory Board’, included members from WWU, and Bellingham Tech., and designated businesses and manufacturing.  ( WCC over 50 advisory boards, do they listen to them?)

New Councilman Byrd pushed a ‘hidden red button’ under the Council Diaz or work table and two Sheriff Deputies appeared at the back of Council Chambers.  Now all know the purpose of the hidden ‘red buttons’.

6/5 Whatcom County Council Meeting:

  1. Proposed: +10% over project payments allowed  by WC County Exec, much discussion but was finally passed with ‘3 year sunset’ provision.
  2. GMA and Lamirds discussed for Pt. Roberts and Wiser Lake, buildings limited to 1991 square footage.
  3. Homeless looking for County land to place ‘tiny homes’ and ‘lockers’; (homeless) estimate 3032 homeless people in Whatcom County,  200 5years old or less, 100 over 65 years old. (question is how many are from Whatcom County or Washington State?)
  4. Cherry Point:  Donovan/Browne, directed Planning  to eliminate addition of 4th pier, limit what can be shipped on present piers, and add regulations making improving/expanding use of present piers.( Browne brought up prohibiting shipping nuclear waste from piers,((fear tactics); (does this make good paying jobs at Cherry Point secure and growing??).
  5. 2+ hours of testimony and discussion re:mandatory garbage cams, at Pt. Roberts as there is a large littering-garbage problem.  WCC, passed 4-2,  mandatory cans for everyone on Pt. Roberts (even summer people and over 65’s).
  6. Brenner tried to propose an emergency ordinance that Whatcom County would provide county land for tiny homes for homeless, failed because an emergency ordinance require a written ordinance proposal, to qualify; Brenner proposal failed.
  7. Prolonged Pt Roberts hearings, and WCC meeting ended at 11:18 pm.

6/6 Watershed Management Board, 30 interested visitors, Items covered:

  1. Whatcom Floodplains by Design; Streamflow Restoration and 6091, Planning Unit work with timeline,
  2. North Fork Fish Passage Project (Bellingham taking out NF dam, used to divert water to Lake Whatcom, taken).
  3. Watershed Management Board ‘Five year Implementation Plan’.