July 17, 2018
Meeting was called to order by Matthew Rainwater at 7:30am. Michael Cobb led the flag salute.
Howard Sprouse moved to accept the July 10, 2018 minutes, Jack G seconded. Motion passed.
Matthew announced Black Diamond Junction concert to benefit Pennies for Quarters.
Peggy N: now is the time to become a member if you want to ask questions at the forums. Price is $35 for second half of the year.
George moved to extend the meeting by up to 15 minutes, seconded by John Brewer. Motion passed.
Program: Candidates running for House of Representatives, Position 1 – Rep. Mike Chapman and Jodi Wilke
Jodi Wilke (JW): A single mom, a nurse who listens to her clients and now the public. She worked with Prop 1 in Port Townsend where a majority of people voted against it. She started her own construction company, worked in mortgage industry and will not vote along I-5 lines.
Mike Chapman (MC): Passed a simple 3-page bill to lower state property taxes and is proud of bipartisan legislation, it’s how you get things done. Eight of 15 bipartisan bills he supported passed in to law. One helped small riparian forest owners, one helped wooden boat building in Port Townsend, one set up an advisory committee for marbled murrelet, another helped rural jobs. He also created a small business bill of rights.
How do you feel about the upcoming carbon initiative?
MC: It is usually a sign of inactivity in legislature. Our votes will be swamped by the I-5 corridor. He’s against initiatives as they don’t allow work on behalf of our district and doesn’t know why they jumped the gun. He would rather work through the legislative process.
JW: Climate change is happening. We need to be careful not to harm the environment. Whatever is put in place needs to leave communities economically strong and viable. Rural areas will be unfairly affected. The proposed plan to be carbon free by 2050 is a stretch.
How do you feel about changing the age of gun ownership?
JW: Not in favor of changing to the age of 21. People are considered adult at 18 and society needs to change how we teach youth to be responsible. It is a matter of mental health, and of the heart. In the old days of hunting, working the farm, etc., people were responsible. Legislation is the result of those doing wrong and the gun problem is behavioral. The answer falls with society.
MC: Supports the 2nd Amendment, owns firearms, and has a concealed carry permit. The pistol permit age is 21. It makes sense that other high capacity firearms should be the same. The debate should be bipartisan. The bill will also require safe storage and a waiting period.
JW: It’s a little more than supporting the 2nd Amendment. She would consider repealing the pistol law and agrees that safe storage but it should not be legislated.
MC: He didn’t support the ban on assault weapons. His district didn’t want it so he didn’t vote for it.
Where does funding come from for bills that are passed?
MC: It comes from the general fund mostly. The Community College Fund voluntarily allowed businesses to partner with the state through a higher education budget for high demand rural jobs. Weyerhauser works with a trucking company. Green Crow testified for the program. Business matches state dollars and the purpose is for unfilled jobs. Most other bills are from the general fund budget. Some had no cost at all. The Attorney General took on the small business bill of rights.
JW: The riparian loss of timber refund is good. The marbled murrelet bill is a cost to taxpayers. If we aren’t allowed to use our property as it was supposed to be used, it’s a form of theft. She would not run with smoke and mirrors.
MC: DNR is a state agency. The murrelet advisory committee was approved. Cutting property taxes is a good criticism. The Rainy Day Fund has more money today than ever before.
JW: The decision to take Rainy Day Fund money is in the constitution. To decide unilaterally is not a decision up for grabs.
How would you protect and advance women’s rights?
JW: Women are in pretty good standing right now. She’ll wait and see on the federal level. At the state level changes have been made regarding pay and work type studies and she would support studies comparing men’s and women’s wages.
MC: Equal pay protections were recently passed. The Reproductive Parity Act was passed; insurance has to prepare for early 3D mammograms. He helped provide childcare in Jefferson County The rural manufacturing tax cut being brought down to Boeing’s rate will help women owned businesses. B & O tax reduction will help also. Senior property tax exemption could help women and small property farm tax credits.
JW: Regarding the Reproductive Parity Act, businesses may not want to pay for abortions. There is no reason to take extra money.
MC: It was bipartisan legislation that cut taxes. They complied with constitutional requirements.
What is the solution to low yield due to a huge amount of property owned by entities that do not pay taxes?
MC: e need to work with the forest service to spur development of new manufacturers and utilize CLT. Thinning our forests will help. We need to create an atmosphere where it’s cheaper to manufacture here and get people excited to leave I-5. Lowering the tax cut 2 points will be huge. Rural manufacturing tax cut is his #1 goal this year nd will provide good family wage jobs.
JW: 2M+ acres of land are at risk of fire. She supports CLT and rural broadband. Tax cuts are important but we need also to support infrastructure and public/private partnerships to encourage infrastructure development.
How would you increase production and decrease unemployment?
JW: She’d make modifications to the Growth Management Act: limiting size of buildings, inability to add infrastructure has caused problems. She could help with storm water at the state level. We will need help to support the Elwha Water Facility.
MC: Recently there were over 50 jobs in the paper. Training of the next generation workforce needs to be funded. The nursing program at Peninsula College is being expanded. Manufacturing and skilled labor jobs are unfilled. We need to educate our own youth here. If we cut taxes for rural manufacturers it will spur those companies to move here. If our goal isn’t to match the metrics of I-5 what’s the point of a goal? Make people want to move here – invest in these workforce trainings.
What is the role of 21st century industries (high tech, modern business practices) in our county and economy?
MC: We will make huge investments in rural broadband. Many entrepreneurs in the community are thriving. He worked with CenturyLink to bring broadband west, most recently to Neah Bay where it’s a struggle to do things. WA is the number one state to do business in, this year number two. We are strong on trade and it will spread to our communities.
JW: We have a huge HR resource here and could partner youth with unions/private businesses. Rural broadband is a big deal. She met with someone who didn’t want to work because he’d lose his disability pay. We should change the way we think about working. Private industry can do a lot on its own, but we should get government out of the way if it limits what people can dream of doing.
MC: They were first in the state to protect net neutrality. It was a bipartisan effort for the new Elwha River Bridge.
JW: Although Mike has the advantage of talking about experience, she believes she can do more.
MC: Is in his 18th year here. He gives his number out, allows access to emails, etc. and continues to build relationships. He’s most proud of the home builder’s association, realtors, hospitality industry, small business owners, it’s our lifeblood. He’s in tune to what is important out here and will continue to fund education, lower taxes, and focus on forest products. He’s endorsed by the Forest Association.
JW: Has a history working for the private sector and can better relate to the community. His vote reflects only 5 votes against the other party out of 15. 59% of our legislators come from the I-5 corridor. She believes in transparency.
Gov Affairs meeting follows immediately.
July 24: Sheriff Bill Benedict and Mike McLaughlin
Meeting adjourned at 8:45am.