Whatcom County Council Evening Meeting, Tuesday, 7/10/2018.
Whatcom County Council meeting had some ominous business, normal politics, and some enjoyable, humorous moments.
The ominous is the anti-growth anti-Cherry Point crowd, directed by the leadership within RE Sources and their apparent control of five of the WC Councilpersons. They have been working on the Cherry Point Urban Growth Areas (UGA) Comprehensive Plan update, which will directly change and affect the Cherry Point, as our properly zoned, heavy industry area. The ‘five’ on WC Councilpersons seek a way to restrict activity and growth at Cherry Point, by cutting out the fourth-pier, restricting to non-coal, the limitation and restriction to export unrefined or fossil fuels, penalize green house gas emissions, and limit/restrict future expansion of all Cherry Point industries; they are not through yet. Their plan is to complete the update by August 2018, the expiration date of the current Emergency Moratorium. The emergency moratorium which has been deemed an emergency for the past 2+ years.
The needed repairs for Courthouse exterior are on hold as a single bid was submitted for over $6 M, approximately four times what was expected.
WC Council is looking to remove public parking spaces near the courthouse to put in Safe Storage Lockers, for the homeless to keep their personal belongings in.
Report from ‘Juvenile Court, indicated they are utilizing outside-the-box things like; home monitoring bracelets, drinking and drug reading devices, and testing. Thus far it has reduced juveniles serving time in jail by 60% since 2004.
The appointments to the new Whatcom County Economic Advisory Committee ran much as expected with personal favorites getting votes and well qualified local business and commercial professionals garnering 1-or-2 votes. Elections matter!
The most humorous moment came when Chairman Rud Browne attempted to use decorum to change the seating. The Chair has always been seated in the center, Rud asked to be flanked by the past chair (Buchanan) and the vice chair (Donovan). Rud cited decorum and meeting efficiency as the reason for the change. Spending much time in discussion, Council member Tyler Bird, suggested the Chair move to the end seat for better visibility to run the meetings. Chairman Browne did not like this idea as the Chair is always seated in the middle. The result was that the other members voted to leave the seating as is and postponed further discussion to change the seating; Chair Rud Browne was not happy, but well deserved as this was seen as his attempt to not be seated next to lesser Councilmembers.
WATER-Planning Unit meeting
Our 7/10/2018, the Governance and Funding meeting was converted into a full Planning Unit (PU) meeting to allow for items to be voted and passed by the PU caucus reps. Two project matrix were presented, by RH2 and the other by Andy Ross of the PU staff team. The RH2 matrix of potential water consumption projects was accepted. RH2 will rank and pare this down to twenty projects.
An Ad Hoc committee was formed and voted to be headed by Skip Richards. The group will look at the five-year work plan being pushed forward by the Water Management Board.
Casey Cycler, presented a WRIA 1, Watershed Management Plan Update for ESSB 6091, with all of the deadlines that need to be met to successfully achieve the Legislatures completion date of February 2019; making additional Planning Unit Meetings essential.
There were many private individuals present as well which also included Eric Hirst (Hirst et al vs. Whatcom County) and Ollie Grah, of the Nooksack Tribe.
~ submitted by a Citizen Journalist for CTNW