June 4, 2019
Meeting was called to order by Carol Johnson at 7:30am. Jim led the flag salute.
Luke Robins moved to accept May 21 meeting minutes, seconded by Julie Hatch. Motion passed.
Candidates Martha Cunningham, Charlie McCaughan, Keith Cortner, Connie Beauvais, and Sharon (?). Jeff Bohman from Olympic Discovery Trail and Jim Stoffer.
Chief Sam Phillips’ retirement party is June 27 at Vern Burton.
Colleen Robinson announced a Habitat event.
There is a memorial for teacher Karen Scott at First Christian Church on June 22.
Program: Rep. Chapman, Rep. Tharinger, Sen. Van de Wege
Rep. Chapman talked about moving forward with the Elwha River replacement and engineering for Morse Creek barriers. A letter by McKinley Paper helped push through HB 1324 which PABA supported, and was extended to 2025. Chapman voted with business for the Clean Energy Bill to create jobs and because McKinley Paper was in favor. Hydro is the clean energy source we can have.
Sen. Van de Wege talked about working on salmon and orca protection. He proposed a new home/car insurance tax to help with fire protection, which did not pass. He’ll continue to work on fire prevention and will keep watching the McCleary Decision. Every school district K-12 received money for special education, the state gives extra money to districts with small schools and no levies.
Rep. Tharinger talked about how a quarter of the budget is spent on school construction, and mental and behavioral health spending is due to the court case. They studied the best way to spend capital and decided on teaching and now have a vision for the crisis. They’ve helped with the Boys & Girls Club, William Shore Pool, Waterfront Arts Center, Audubon Center, Port Hadlock Sewer Project and Wooden Boat School. They’ve also spent money on chinook hatcheries and have had the first in the national long term care program passed which helps reduce state Medicaid.
Questions, Comments and Answers from members:
Sam P. asked about the possibility of a new law for groups interfering with the fire department, like law enforcement has. Sen. Van de Wege suggested bringing it to the WA Association of Fire Chiefs.
Randy asked why there aren’t more metrics about acres treated by controlled burning. Sen. Van de Wege said Hillary Franz is a proponent. State and federal laws prohibit some actions and what the DNR wants to do seems high.
Discussion followed about the WA college grant with free tuition for households of $50K or less and the need for trade jobs. College salaries will be strengthened and more investments will be made in communities. It’s a broad effort to improve opportunity.
Immigration is a federal issue per Sen. Van de Wege. They are working on homelessness and mental health and chemical dependency, also on creating stable housing. The ADU legislation didn’t pass, but they are seeing progress on homelessness.
Clallam County used to be penalized by timber revenue per student. Now those numbers are no longer subtracted and the dollars will be given to timber school districts, $22M across the state.
Bob F. said the biggest problem is illegal drugs coming in to the state. Sen. Van de Wege said the state is cracking down on prescription drug abuse. The county prosecutors have a right to charge how they want. When in prison, inmates are given tools to be successful when they re-enter the community and it is proven to work.
Carol said that it helps to see the results of our tax dollars spent and that is how PABA makes judgments. The legislators said they also all voted based on the value. Rep. Chapman said he will always fight for jobs.
Meeting adjourned at 8:30am.