August 9, 2016
Meeting was called to order at 7:30am. Kevin Van De Wege led the flag salute.
Guests: Will Johnson, Allison Van De Wege, Hannah Fritz, Jennifer Ciarlo, Bill Glink, Todd Ortloff, and more.
Dan Gase moved and Bill Feeley seconded acceptance of the minutes for August 2 and August 8 (Board Meeting). Motion carried.
DNR White Paper – Trust Obligations to Counties & their Taxing Districts:
President Brewer distributed copies and said a draft letter would be presented to the membership at the August 16 meeting.
John introduced and presented membership certificates to Rev. Trisha Burson-Johnson and Rev. Clancy Blakemore from the Center of Leadership.
County Fair Board Member, Carol Johnson, invited all to the Fair (Aug 18 – 21). She said the Fair Kitchen, which uses all profits for Fair projects, is in need of volunteers.
Marc Abshire, Chamber of Commerce, thanked all who participated and helped with the “Ride to the Ridge”. He said the Chamber will have its monthly luncheon on Wed., August 10 at 12pm at the Red Lion Inn. Dr. Luke Robbins, President of Peninsula College, will lead a discussion on how the community can come together to “build a single voice in Olympia”.
Andrew May moved and Edna seconded extending the meeting to 8:45am. Motion carried.
Andrew introduced the two candidates for State Senate, District 24, to replace retiring Jim Hargrove: Kevin Van De Wege and Danille Turissini.
Kevin, a State Representative for 10 years, and the Majority Whip, said he enjoyed the time as a Whip, and thinks it has helped fund projects on the Peninsula. He said he is running for this position so he can go back to spending his time on local issues and concerns. Job Creation is his number one concern, but he is also proud of several issues that he pushed:
- Maritime Tax Holiday that helped local industries such as Westport and Platypus;
- Music Licensing that helped small businesses from the constant badgering and harassment of fees;
- Electrical bus usage on State Road.
Kevin has also been a paramedic/fireman with Fire District 3 since 2001.
Danille Turissini, from Port Ludlow, said she felt her background working on elections, campaigns, newspapers, as a Representative Aide, Pink Leadership Program and as a consultant have all helped her to meet with, talk with tribal members and small businesses and thus learn all sides of issues and their needs as a small business.
Q & A Period
Bill Feeley: The Government is “killing small business with taxes”. Where does all that money go? What are the purposes of the regulations?
DT: Feels Government is working against small businesses. The minimum wage ($9.47) is part of the problem. Democrats are part of the problem. There is a need for all to work together.
KW: Tax revenues go to fund roads, bridges, education and safety nets in case of job loss and L&I expenses. Manufacturing is where the jobs are and what the economy is built on. Groups need to work to influence Legislature if they want a lower wage than is being proposed in the Initiative. Sick leave is also important.
DT: Minimum wage should be a tiered system to fit what communities can stand.
Young Johnson: Do you think that $11.00 per hour with a rider for sick leave will help? What is your concept of a living wage?
KW: Wants to see that people are given the tools to get an education and training for employment. Sick leave should be at least 4 days per year.
DT: $15.00 is not a living wage. Business owners need to know how to adjust to fit in sick leave. Tips should be used as part of salary. Tiered system is important.
Kaj Ahlburg: Taxation too low? Taxation too high? How do you feel about carbon tax, capital gains tax and income tax?
DT: Don’t default to taxes when money is needed. Government is taxing things that are not Constitutional. Money is being wasted on special interests.
KW: Recession, which saw loss of jobs and income, is slowing turning around. Contact your legislator if you feel money is being wasted. McCleary is slowing being funded and implemented. All Day Kindergarten, K-3 class size reduction, buses, teacher pay and prep for college bound students are all included. He is not in favor of an income tax, but okay with Capital Gains tax.
DT: Does not want an income tax or a capital gains tax.
Dan Gase: Sick leave? Should owners have the same benefits as employees?
DT: Owners should get what employees have. BO should be on gross not on net.
KW: B&O should be open to discussion.
Next weeks’ speakers are Steve Tharinger and John Alger, candidates for House Representative, District 24.
Meeting adjourned at 8:48am.