August 30, 2016
Meeting was called to order at 7:30am. Nina Richards led the flag salute.
Edna Petersen moved and Bill Feeley seconded acceptance of the minutes for August 23. Motion carried.
John Halberg praised rowing at the Rio Olympics and expressed hope of a University of Washington Rowing Team repeat at the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
Andrew moved and Edna seconded extending the meeting to 8:45am. Motion carried.
Ron Richards and Randy Johnson, candidates for County Commissioner District 2, presented their qualifications and interests for the position.
Ron Richards, a Commissioner from 1977 to 1981, a Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, a Chemical Engineer and a Fisherman, presented five reasons he is running for Commissioner: Experience, Respect, Economic Development, Environment and Working together on State and Federal actions. He is also concerned about homelessness, workforce, Carlsborg Sewer Project, fighting fires, sports fishing and emergency regulations.
Randy Johnson, retired from Green Crow, past Chamber President, on YMCA, EDC and 4-H Boards, said he has also been a smoke jumper, worked with the Corps of Engineers when he was in the service in Vietnam. He praised the EDS for its work with Cross Laminated Timber, Co-education with business, Lincoln Welding in Sequim, and expansion of the Kokopelli Grill. he said he wants to work with retirees, veterans, DNR, infrastructure and the Carlsborg Sewer Project.
Q & A Period
Dan Gase: How would they spend an extra million dollars?
RJ: Behavioral health, homelessness, unfunded pensions and costs to train new employees.
RR: Fund ongoing programs and on substance abuse.
Bill Benedict: What would they cut or close to make up $700,000 in budget?
RR: Better economy and increased business means that taxes are going up which should help with the shortfall. He would not increase taxes and would not cut law enforcement.
RJ: Not cut law enforcement. Make sure there is enough in reserves to cover one months’ payroll. Does not want to increase taxes.
Kaj Ahlburg: Cut timber on State Lands?
RR: Endangered Species Act and steps to meet it. Private landowners should be able to cut their own timber. Green Crow has exported over 92,000,000 of timber from the County. PABA White Paper does nto answer why timber has not been cut. County should not take over management of timberlands. Wait for report from Trust Land Advisory Committee.
RJ: Habitat conservation is important. He likes how NOAA, Fish and Wildlife, Department of Ecology, Government, etc., have been working on the problem. Green Crow always gives local manufacturers first chance to purchase logs. Size of logs plays a big role. One mill closed because it could not get size of logs it needed. Logs from DNR lands cannot be exported.
Edna Petersen: Most important and least challenging before us?
RR: Jobs and better economy. Timber, medical, boat building and tourism are important.
RJ: Budget, infrastructure, YMCA and Opportunity Fund.
Bob Forsberg: Where is money coming from to pay for infrastructure?
RR: As a fiscal conservative he likes the idea of keeping surplus funds put aside as did in 1977 with Bob Clark’s idea of money left over from building the new Courthouse.
Harry Bell: What is your position of Carbon Tax in County?
RR: Essential for future even though hard to college and allot. County is not now dependent on an oil and gas economy.
RJ: Makes sense conceptually but not in reality. Need to insure that tax does not put businesses out of business.
RJ: Fiscal sound management, working with other governments, infrastructure, veterans and state trust funds.
RR: Legal business, roads and working together.
Next meeting, Sept. 13, will feature State House race.
Meeting adjourned at 8:46am.