April 10, 2018
Meeting was called to order by Matthew Rainwater at 7:30am. Rep. Steve Tharinger led the flag salute.
Jodi Wilke (Port Townsend), Eric Marks (new owner Landing Mall)
Jack G. moved to accept April 3 minutes, Julie Hatch seconded. Motion carried.
Pennies for Quarters community event at Hartnagel this weekend building a tiny house for homeless veteran awareness.
Monday, April 16: Boys & Girls Club is hosting a breakfast at 7:30am. Members who are interested in hearing about Club expansion and programs, please contact Julie Hatch at Sound Community Bank so they can prepare the right amount of food.
An Elwha River Facilities letter has been written on behalf of PABA to the Dept. of Interior in support of finding equitable results for the transition of the facilities to the City of Port Angeles. Kaj moved that the letter be submitted to the City, seconded by Andrew May. Cherie Kidd abstained, but was in favor. Motion passed.
George B. asked if the Park Service has been asked to come speak.
Mike Sturgeon of WAVE Broadband was presented with a Member Certificate.
Program: Steve Tharinger, State Representative
Capital Budget Committee notes – K12 is 60% of their budget. There is a new task force to re-evaluate the school construction formula. For example, Seattle schools and rural schools should not use the same formulas to build. With CLT, a classroom can be built in 3-4 days and could be used more often. $800M has gone to higher ed. Effort has been made to coordinate operating and capital budgets. A lawsuit has been costing the state millions with fines coming out of the operating budget. Investments are being made in clinics and hospitals to make the more effective. They have made investments in the local community, broadband, and an economic revitalization program. A bipartisan work group worked on an existing, but drained, revolving fund with about $97M going to rural projects in this public assistance account, important for rural areas.
Health Committee notes – Pres. Robins, Jefferson Healthcare and OMC made a joint effort to have the state expand a program to help train for local needs. $500K was contributed by the state to provide for instructions, etc. and private donors/ foundations added funds. The challenge is in finding and maintaining employees. There is about a 60-70% chance they’ll stay once trained. OMC/Grays Harbor have been designated as sole community hospital and receive 150% Medicaid reimbursement. The committee is exploring alternative structures for rural healthcare.
Discussion followed including:
To fund McCleary they lowered a levy losing money for the county. Indigent defense caused $300 – $500K to be taken from the County. There was no county representative included when talking about water in the county, no one on task force representing the county.
Rep Tharinger believes there should be a judicial review of requires to avoid frivolous requests.
Kaj moved to extend the meeting up to 15 minutes. Andrew M. seconded. Motion passed.
Further discussion by Rep. Tharinger: you can’t mitigate water that you can’t get, there is bedrock in higher areas of WIRA. Water is not a property right, the people of WA own the water, therefore, you have to get permission to use the public’s water. He believes the boundary lines are based on watersheds determining where you can drill a well and that he remains a liaison for these comments and concerns. With Rayonier, establishing risk/cause, and with parties having huge exposure, determining who is responsible just takes time.
There is confusion as to what the actual state support will be when it comes to school levies. He believes the community may be more supportive if we used our own timber or CLT. It will be easier once there is CLT production available. All is done on CAD. In BC a 6 story dormitory went up in 6 mos., on time, with a third less employees. Carbon requesting would occur if our timber was used, there is a need to create a production chain for our area
Millions of dollars in fruit is sent to China. Grays Harbor with its rail and port would be seriously impacted by China tariffs. Government approach seems to be symbolic, they are not looking at expenditures. Regarding VIMO, the state is trying to integrate medical, mental and substance abuse with the idea that it will provide better care leading to wellness. Again, use him as part of the discussion of what’s not working. VIMO takes Medicare, changes impact them. There are a lot of transients here providing managed care is difficult.
A solid DNR timber production number is needed moving forward. Sen. Van De Wege has this as a priority and to collaborate with a rural jobs initiative by Hilary Franz. Port Angeles Hardwood can’t get enough hardwood locally. Possibly thin roadways? From an investment perspective, people need to know the supply chain will be there in the future.
Initiatives are not a good way to use policy regarding gun control. There are things we can do to not impact the second amendment. WA will not have an incomes tax but the lower 20% pays higher taxes than the upper 1%. We’re a regressive tax state and it needs to change to address current methods. Carbon tax is huge for younger politicians. He thinks the debate is over, and the science behind it has been funded by special interest groups.
Apr 17: Matt Acker, Owner Lefties Baseball
Meeting adjourned at 8:45am.