September 25, 2018
Meeting was called to order by Matthew Rainwater at 7:30am. Kaj led the flag salute.
Dick P. moved to accept Sept. 18 meeting minutes, seconded by Jack G. Motion passed.
Cherie Kidd announced the city is moving forward with the downtown property sale and hopes to have a wonderful hotel. City Council voted to remove the word “hotel” and change “shall” to “intends” to build.
Matthew reviewed the forum rules and Julie H. will moderate.
Program: County Commissioner candidate Mike Dougherty and incumbent Bill Peach
Bill Peach (BP): He asked for our votes and stated it is important for him to generate trust through transparency. He added video for commissioner meetings with online viewing soon. Financials are online with monthly forecasts. He said all current commissioners work well together and the Local Teamsters #589 recently endorsed him.
Mike Dougherty (MD): There are still glitches in the criminal and justice system. He has learned how to work with legislators, has testified, worked on bills, and been on a number of advisory committees. He has protected the interest of Clallam County and knows the potential of the office.
Carol asked their opinion on I-1631?
MD: Will vote for it because something has to be done. The county is at risk and legislation can tweak it in 2 years. The climate change evidence is clear and a two-county study with Jefferson lists potential strategies.
BP: Will vote no. There is tremendous exclusion for large companies and it is a fee not a tax that the working class will carry. It’s a political maneuver and an elite group should not be making the decisions.
MD: The last bill is not the same as this one which is an international model. The county has not made enough progress, for example, with electric vehicles.
BP: They retired their electric vehicle and that it was a poor decision. It is in its infancy and has not reached the point of being of cost effective, reliable and ready for taxpayer dollars. Citizens believe it is for the elite.
Dick P asked about steps to eliminate the opioid problem.
BP: People are fed up with stealing. Better role models are needed for kids a long with places like William Shore Pool and 4H. He’s a fan of drug court and wants to secure funding to do better for individuals that want to change.
MD: They have to do a lot more anduse a criminal justice committee for funding and strategies. He knows how to make effective funding choices from previous experience. A NASA grant shows that he can do a good job.
BP: Agreed it takes different approaches.
MD: Being involved in the state budget is important.
Kaj asked if they would vote to increase taxes, and if there is too much or not enough regulation.
MD: No taxes in mind. He voted for the 1% general fund but it doesn’t keep up with the cost increase. Technology helps bring efficiency and regulation needs more function. There are some areas where environmentally we need regulations, but it depends on the topic.
BP: He didn’t vote for an increase in taxes and voted to decrease sales tax. They need to manage money prudently and now 21 departments have access to the checkbook. They are about to complete the shoreline management plan and he he worked to preserve property rights. He supports regulation to enhance family wage jobs.
MD: He presented an alternative plan to PABA, city staff wants to work on a housing study, and now is the time to submit comments.
BP: They don’t have the money to expand where the concentration of people is according to the Growth Management Act. They are missing the commitment of funding.
Shenna asked what they would to do to help the Emerald Coast Opportunity Zone.
BP: Thinks it will be 2019 before they will see development of site boards. His concern is that it will not be implemented in the manner it was intended and people will find loopholes. At the county level, water projects are solid candidates for funding like Neah Bay access and the Forks as well. The commissioners support the process.
MD: The approach should be regional and the NODC is the best collaborator for the whole peninsula. Water is a regional problem and Port Townsend is ahead of us. We have serious water problems, and not having a climate change plan is an issue.
BP: The NOP RC&D did dissolve, he was the treasurer.
MD: Agreed and said Bill was not an active player in NOP RC&D, check the minutes.
Connie asked about reasons for forest fires and what can be done to alleviate it, and what are the candidates thoughts on the Trust Lands Advisory Committee?
MD: Talked about a fire study where the peninsula is most at risk in the middle. He has watched CA methods of clearing, thinning and preventing and said we should have been doing these things years ago. TLAC had ok results and is a great way to get all interests together, but they need more public input.
BP: Said they don’t have the skilled workforce or resources to handle a large fire. It has more to do with not caring for the forest and roads need to be open. TLAC was established to determine if the county should take back timberlands and they decided they would be sued. He said Mike D. behaved opposite during those debates.
MD: He saw the Forks fire. It was wind from the Pacific that cooled it, not people. He said he has supported it in a different way.
BP: He has managed hundreds of thousands of acres and knows how hard it is. He will seek a meeting with the Department of Interior when he travels to Washington DC.
Carol moved to extend the meeting up to 15 minutes. Paul seconded. Motion passed.
Carol asked if they will serve a full term. Both replied yes.
Carol asked their position on creating more wilderness and if it would create more jobs?
BP: It’s best to match acres of wilderness with production and does not support saving additional acres. Infrastructure is needed.
MD: Park policy is that if it is too rocky to get to, let it burn. If it affects personal property they will advance. In the future, they will have controlled burns but all should be concerned about air pollution. He has worked with the mills and support Nippon’s generator and said Hermann Brothers has eliminated a lot of air pollution.
BP: Talked about forest health, how Canada is the number one supplier in the world and beetles have killed thousands of acres there.
MD: Dead trees are coming, we should have climate action plans and industry participation.
Connie asked about the unitary trust managed by the state.
MD: He wrote most of those letters. They were against it and it would strength 21 counties.
BP: The issue with the trust is that the state made a commitment to fund it by revenue from timberlands. Specific trusts are supposed to be set up, the same as property tax. That will take a change to the constitution. He opposes it and said there is not good accountability with DNR.
BP: Asked to think about which candidate would support you and be effective. They need flexibility, teamwork and trust with new approaches in solving problems.
MD: He has been participating in PABA government affairs meetings. He would have funded improvements for economic development, not a pool. Their criminal justice agreement with Sequim realized a $400K shortage. Back when he was involved they had healthy reserves, and never would have done the Elwha Bridge. He said there are great examples of using the Opportunity Fund and grants and that the board should engage citizens more.
Meeting adjourned at 8:45am.