Another thanks to Gayle Z for taking the time to videotape the Island Transit meetings.
Political news, discussion & comments about Island County, Whidbey & Camano Islands and Washington State
Another thanks to Gayle Z for taking the time to videotape the Island Transit meetings.
Board Member Filing Deadline is May 15
It is now one month from the deadline for filing to run for local Hospital Board member. Two district seats are up for grabs: District 2, occupied by Georgia Gardner, and District 4, occupied by Nancy Fey. District 2 goes from Bush Point Road (just north of Freeland) on the south to Hastie Lake Road (just south of Oak Harbor) on the north. District 4 includes most of Oak Harbor city limits and the Whidbey NAS area. While one gets nominal pay for meetings attended, I believe it’s a well-kept secret that board members are also provided with an attractive health insurance plan. The Board meets monthly (currently at 7 a.m. on the second Monday of the month), and occasionally at other times. Both of the above current “commissioners” were appointed to their posts when others vacated the office. Gardner has served for about three years, and Fey came on board in July 2013. Interested persons must file during the week of May 11-15. If three or more file for an office, their names will appear on the August 4 (primary) ballot. If there are only one or two candidates, they will be on the November 4 (general) ballot.
Mayor Scott Dudley has given notice that he will not be running for reelection. This is a very sad day for Oak Harbor and for a Mayor that has given his all for our city and its residents.
From the start of Mayor Dudley’s term he was undermined by the City Council. Remember the one way street fiasco? The fiasco that city residents are still paying for in their utility bills? That was the reason the City Council gave for falsely claiming a fiscal emergency for our city. Interesting that this fiscal emergency only effected the Mayor’s office. The Council decided to lower the amount the Mayor could spend to $10,000.00 without City Council approval. It was not the Mayors fault that the city found Native American bones during this project, the mayor fought against this project to no avail but it was him and his office that was the one that was directly affected.
Remember when the council removed the power for the Mayor to hire his own staff and department heads without city council approval? They made it impossible for the mayor to hire those that he felt would be great personnel for the city and the City Council fought every one of his appointments. It was all about politics for them not what is right for the city.
I was asked four years ago to run for mayor of the City of Oak Harbor since our existing mayor and city council were not listening to the citizens of Oak Harbor during the Pioneer Way project. I did run for mayor and was overwhelmingly elected.
I have not forgotten who I work for and whose money it is we are spending. I continue to give back 20 percent of my salary as promised and continue to focus on the priorities I ran on, which are public safety, economic development, and a more open and transparent government. I am proud of what I have been able to accomplish with such an adversarial city council.
It is because of that city council and the outlook of it not changing that I am choosing not to run again for the position of mayor. I have no desire to put myself through another four years of trying to work with a city council that has acted like children and has done everything in its power to undermine any authority that I have had.
The one bright spot on the city council continues to be Councilman Jim Campbell. He continues to meet and listen to the citizens of Oak Harbor. He questions our actions to ensure that what we are doing is in the best interest of Oak Harbor.
I would strongly suggest that the residents of Oak Harbor vote for and elect individuals to the city council and mayor’s office that have their best interests in mind, not those that come from the same group of friends who have consistently made bad decisions and are thus hurting our citizens. We need individuals on our council that represent the citizens not the same old power structure that has brought those bad decisions to our city.
The City of Oak Harbor is about to make at least $113 million mistake with our new wastewater treatment facility, which will unnecessarily burden our citizens for the rest of their lives. The existing city council will push this project through no matter what the cost is. The citizens of Oak Harbor are still paying on a monthly basis for our last mistake, the Pioneer Way project, and now are about to see their wastewater rates be one of the highest in Washington as well as see our main park, Windjammer Park, lose space due to an ever-increasing size of a new wastewater treatment plant. I have no desire to be associated with such a mistake.
I have learned quite a bit since taking office. I have learned the importance of patience and developed thicker skin. I thank the citizens of Oak Harbor for allowing me to represent them over the last four years.
Oak Harbor, WA
Tags: Mayor Scott Dudley
Many of you may remember the Whidbey General Reformers blog which was located online at whidbeygeneralreformers.org during 2011 and 2012. The owner of that blog who authored 41 investigative reports about Whidbey General Hospital was Rob Born a local Whidbey Island resident.
Mr. Born is back! He has a new blog about the same subject, Whidbey General Hospital. As of today he has 6 articles published, one of them about the Linda Gipson trial which ended on April 10th. He spent all seven days at the trial and has the best knowledge on the subject of anyone, read his article about his 7 days in the courtroom at his blog.
His new blog is named “WGH Blogger – News and Views” and is located at:
Pay him a visit! He has a very educated view on our local hospital and he has some great insight and information that everyone should read.
If you have any tips or concerns about our local hospital you can contact Mr. Born at firstname.lastname@example.org
Video of April 13, 2015 Island Transit Special Board Meeting and Work Shop
(There is no audio for the first 15 minutes for video #1)
Thanks to Gayle Z!
More video below:
9:11 Human Resources: Sheriff’s Department budget adjustment. Fewer prisoners are being transferred in the Island, Skagit, and Whatcom Region. Costs less now.
9:16 A Commissioner noted that Law Enforcement is the #1 Mental Health service provider.
9:21 Agenda insert- Commissioners’ discussion: The Island County Logo Committee is trying to “standardize’ the County Logo. Currently several Departments use different Logos that identify their Department. “Doing nothing is not an option.” “Go with a simple design.” Also discussed changing the Island County web site from .com to .gov.
9:30 Facilities: Investigating Camano Annex Front Counter improvements. Improve ADA accessibility and create four workstations where there is now only one. If money available 3-years and $9,300 00 to finish, including 2nd-hand furniture ($2.000.00)
Please Join South Whidbey Republican Women
Tuesday, April 21st 11:30 a.m. At the Useless Bay Golf and Country Club
A conversation with your newly elected County Commissioner
Get to know your new Republican commissioner, find out what’s happening with your local government and how it affects you!
Luncheon is $16.00 which includes tax, tip, dessert, coffee/tea. The meeting starts at 11:30; and runs about an hour. For reservations contact Marlene 360-331-3548 or Jean at email@example.com or 360-579-5348 before Saturday, April 18. Please pay at check-in; checks or cash only please.
Rufus’ Report of the Island County Commissioners’ Regular Meeting, Tuesday, 7 April 15. [The audio/video recording for the Tuesday Meeting is available on the County Commissioners web site]
Regular Meeting, 7 April 15- [No press attended]
10:03-Public Input or Comments:
A. I asked about Agenda Item #5, Grant Agreement with Whidbey Camano Land Trust (WCLT) in the amount of $610,000.00 for the Monroe Landing Conservation Easement Acquisition Project (RM-GSA-2015-81). The Project Background/Summary states:
This project protects the 319 acres while keeping it as productive working farms. Additionally, this project links 2 isolated Island County owned parcels and will have a trail easement provided in the future. Island County gains a legal access point to a landlocked piece of Island County owned forest habitat.
The Conservation Futures Fund in this project are being leveraged with funds from the US NRCS (up to $850,000) WA State RCO (up to $560,000), and US Navy ($300,000).
The funding agreement allows for GSA to pay the $610,000 into the escrow for the closing of these conservation easement transactions.
B. The apparent total cost of this Project is “up to” $2,300,000.00
The event starts at 6:30 PM and ends at 9:00 PM and will be held at the Coupeville Library 788 NW Alexander St, Coupeville, WA 98239
Public Works: 9 – 10:12 am & 2:17 – 2:30 pm
A. Island County is planning to build a new 1+ mile long road that parallels SR-525 between Huston and Race Roads southeast of the Navy’s Outlying Field. The new road is needed as a Detour road in case the highway is closed because of an emergency. This is the only place on Whidbey Island’s ‘spine highway’ where no Detour is currently possible.
There are wetlands in the proposed new road’s path. Wetland Monitoring is required where wetlands are disturbed. A Supplemental Agreement with the Engineering Contractor for $100,000.00 is needed. The entire project will cost several millions of dollars. A County Commissioner wondered if County Staff could do the Wetland Monitoring to save some money. The money needed will mostly come from Government Grants. The Grantors prefers to do the Monitoring to be sure their money is being properly spent.
B. Island County bought approximately 196 acres, including some tide lands, of low lying Agriculture Zoned land, known as “The Iverson Property,” on the east side of Camano Island on August 10th, 1999 for $645,000.00 using Conservation Futures Funds (CFF) money. That was done to prevent non-agricultural use of the land forever and to use the land as a Park Preserve. A farmer has a 4-year renewable land use Service Agreement with Island County to grow crops on approximately 60 acres, and to maintain the ditches that drain the land. The soil and wet conditions on the land severely limit what can be grown profitably. The farmer decided to grow tall fescue grass as a seed crop. The neighbors claim the pollen from the tall fescue grass causes allergic reactions for about 2-weeks each summer. The neighbors want the County to make the farmer stop growing tall fescue grass. The tall fescue grass must proceed through the pollination phase or there will not be any seed to sell.
This is the third consecutive Island Transit Board of Directors Meeting, where the Public has repeatedly questioned ‘inoperable bus radios w/ safety concerns, emergency communication systems safety concerns, and other Information Technology, Safety and Security devices, as well as, qualifications of both Island Transit’s Information Technology Managers’.
I point out my prior request for Info Tech Manager’s presence at this meeting, as to help us better understand radio issues and fixes. I also noted, the Info Tech Managers were, obviously, not here.
Thus far, the Public, the Employees, and the Board have been lied to “three times” by Operations Manager Shawn Harris, regarding Radio Safety Issues and Concerns!
Join Us to Celebrate Rick Hannold’s 100th Day in Office As Your Island County Commissioner, District 3
Monday, April 13th
Coupeville Recreation Hall
901 Northwest Alexander Street
Dessert will be served
Oak Harbor City Councilman Bob Severns filed with the Washington State Public Disclosure Commission on 3-16-2015 as a candidate for Mayor of Oak Harbor. His committee is named Committee to elect Bob Severns, Mayor.
I don’t think too many people are surprised at him officially announcing as he previously “announced” to the Chamber of Commerce by stating in his BIO that he was “Mayor Elect”.
You can view his PDC filing here.
Councilman Severns has an interesting history in the Oak Harbor Council, he voted for the Pioneer Way one way street “revitalization” project even though there were claims he should have recused himself for being partners in property along the Bayshore DR. He was at odds with the Washington State Attorney Generals Office over the legality of the standing committee meetings which were considered at the time directly against our open government and transparency rules.