Articles by Cliff Howard

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At the Island Transit Board meeting today the Board entered executive session for over an hour with the result being that Martha Rose tendered her resignation effective immediately. The vote was unanimous with all Board members voting yes to accept her resignation.

We all knew this was coming especially with the addition of Oak Harbor Mayor Scott Dudley as an alternate board member and present at the meetings. Mr. Dudley certainly has no problem taking action on important issues and it is likely that it was his actions that encouraged the board to make this decision.

The Board will meet again next week to start the process of finding new management for Island Transit. Bob Clay the chair of the board of Island Transit will serve as interim director until replacement management can be found.

It is a new era for Island Transit.


The first meeting of Citizens for Better Island Transit was held last night at Whidbey Coffee. Not a lot was accomplished but there was a lot of good information presented and a lot of questions answered. Anna Marie Nunez, Island County Treasurer was at the meeting and gave an overview of how the treasurer interacts with Island Transit. She answered all questions and was very informative, open and answered all questions presented to her.

There was no one present from Island Transit with the exception of alternate board member Scott Dudley.

As the meeting was a short one it ended rather early as the room was reserved for only 1.5 hours. Most of the discussion was held after the meeting ended and those that stayed had a lot of good ideas and a lot of concerns.

One thing that did come out of the meeting was the knowledge that the Treasurers office has very little if no control over what happens internally at Island Transit. As the Island Transit funds are deposited into one account at the treasurers office there is no way that the treasurer has any control or knowledge over what funds are spent from or for what account. This is obviously something that could be changed to give another level of control over Island Transit funds. As it is now there is no way for the treasurer to tell Island Transit if they are running low on one fund or another as all funds go into the same account.

It will be interesting to see today what happens at the board meeting that started at 9:30 AM. More to come.

Below is a link to the Island Transit Draft budget for 2015:

The link below is to a letter that Martha Rose sent to the Board of Directors on September 16th 2014.  The letter outlines the 1 million dollar mistake in the previous years budget, lot’s of missing documents, misfiled documents and claims of shock and mystification. I am not quite sure what to say about this letter to the board but it just goes to show the depths of the mismanagement that has occurred at Island Transit. Below is a link to this document:

Be sure to attend the meeting of Citizens for a Better Island Transit tonight at 5:30 at Whidbey Coffee on HWY-20 in Oak Harbor.

Here is a link to a map of of tonight’s meeting:

For those of you that do Facebook here is a link to the Citizens for a Better Island Transit Facebook page:

Hat’s off to the creator!


At tonight’s Oak Harbor City Council meeting the City Council voted to appoint an alternate board member to the Island Transit Board. Jim Campbell, the current representative from Oak Harbor, is on an extended vacation until the first part of October and with all of the emergency meetings of the board it was clear that this was a necessary move.

Who did the City Council appoint as the alternate? Mayor Scott Dudley. Mayor Dudley will be a positive force in helping make the necessary changes we all know is needed at our local transit agency.

A new citizens group has been formed, Citizens for a Better Island Transit. This group will be attempting to make Island Transit a better more accountable organization to serve the citizens of Island County.

The first meeting will be held at:

Whidbey Coffee
31275 SR 20
Oak Harbor, WA

5:30PM to 6:30PM

The next meeting of the Island Transit Board will be held on Friday the 19th of September and this meeting will be important for those looking to help and improve Island Transit.



The Spokane Spokesman-Review reported yesterday that the overwhelming majority of financial support for Initiative 594, the 18-page gun control measure pushed by the Seattle-based Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility (WAGR), comes from just ten zip codes in and around — surprise! — the Seattle area.

Seattle Gun Rights Examiner by Dave Workman August 24 2014

 Read the rest of the original article at the link below:

Recently we have seen our city council meet in private while at an out of town convention that was paid for by the city. We have heard reports from many citizens that private meetings on boats in the marina or at local homes in our area are a common occurrence with many on this council. Why should this be troubling to the residents of Oak Harbor? While these meetings may not be a direct violation of the Open Public Meetings Act (or not a provable violation because they are private meetings)  it does show that this council considers themselves members of a cozy elite group that has no problem wining and dining among themselves, their own little country club so to speak.

We elect members to the city council not because they belong to some elite group of people, we vote them into office to represent the citizens of this community and we elect them as individuals. I am not sure how representative of the people this council can be if they are a member of some cozy elite group that often meets together in private, they should be meeting with the residents of this community and taking input from them not each other.

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Western Washington Republican Round-Up

From the Republicans of Island County (RIC)
Enjoy a very special evening with like-minded friends while you indulge in our tasty CHUCKWAGON BUFFET & SILENT AUCTION!
Special Guest Speaker DON JANS! Author “My Grandchildren’s America”


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Edited 8-22 see below*
Wanda Grone is leading Christa Canel by 11 votes for one of the top 2 spots in the primary race for Island County Treasurer. The small difference in votes between the 2 candidates will trigger an automatic manual recount to determine who will move on to the general election, the final certified recount results are due the 27th of August. Both Ms. Grone and Ms. Canel are running as Republicans. If the results hold after the recount, Ms. Grone will face incumbent Anna Marie Nunez in the general election.

This is a close as it gets. 11 votes separate the 2 candidates. If there was ever a reason to register to vote and vote this is it. Your vote can make a difference in close elections such as this one.

This should be an interesting general election…Wanda Grone was* Chief Deputy Treasurer for Island County and currently works under Treasurer Anna Marie Nunez. Both candidates work in the same office…

For information on Wanda Grone:

To view the election results from the county Auditor click the link below:

* Wanda Grone was Chief Deputy Treasurer for Island County until she filed for office and was fired by Anna Marie Nunez.

Updated 8-20-2014 See update at bottom
The city council recently attended a Municipal Finance Conference held at Leavenworth Washington where a quorum of the city council attended the meeting. The meeting, hotel, food and travel was paid for by the taxpayers of our city. The history, practice and policy of Oak Harbor is to prepare and publish a special meeting notice whenever a quorum of city council members is present whether or not any city business is discussed or action taken. The city clerk prepared a special meeting notice for the Municipal Finance Conference and published it in accordance with Oak Harbor policy on the city website.

Here is the Special Meeting Notice.

A special meeting notice needs to include the date and location where the quorum will be present to be a valid notification

According to reports another quorum of the council occurred outside the location listed on the Municipal Finance Conference notification on the evening of the 14th of August and at a different location than the conference. This quorum was present at a home owned by Rick Almberg and included the following quorum of the city council and administrative staff; Councilman Rick Almberg, Councilman Bob Severns, Councilman Beth Munns, Councilman Joel Servatius, Councilman Danny Paggao, Councilman Jim Campbell, City Administrator Larry Cort, finance director Doug Merriman and City Attorney Nikki Esparza. Tara Hizon did not attend the conference for some reason and was not present at either quorum.

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The final results are in!

Rick Hannold wins one of the top 2 spots in the District 3 Commissioners Race. Below are the final results for those running as Republicans. He will be on the ballot in the general election in November!

Rick Hannold  946 votes 15.25%

Aubrey Vaughan  896 votes 14.44%

Marc Hennemann  877 votes 14.14%

Kelly Bagley  456 votes 7.35%

For the rest of the election results see the Island Count Auditors Elections page:

The video clip below is from the movie “A Stranger in Town” made in 1943 with an all star cast. It is reminiscent of time when movies had true values and expressed beliefs that we seem to be missing these days. The movie is an hour and 6 minutes long. If you don’t have time to view the whole movie make sure you watch the ending starting at approximately 1:00, the speech at the end starting at 1:04 is memorable and takes us back to the days when movies were made that made us proud to be Americans.
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At the last city council meeting and in our local newspaper we saw several of our council members making claims that the Mayor was not following proper Parliamentary Procedures in many of his actions. Tara Hizon stated that she was “horrified” and “It was the most unprofessional thing I have ever seen,” in our local paper.  A great disruption was made at the meeting by at least 2 of the Council with several out of order interruptions during the meeting that appeared to show very poor respect for any rules. As it turns out the council’s basis was wrong in every one of their disruptive claims and if Tara Hizon was truly “Horrified” she was horrified for all the wrong reasons.

I broke open my copy of the Sturgis Rules also known as The Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure which is the parliamentary procedures used by our council and searched it for information about the claims made at the most recent meeting.  I referenced the council special rules which is the separate set of rules that the council uses. I also contacted a friend who was a debate leader in college for the explanation of why comments are not mentioned or covered under Sturgis or Robert’s rules Let’s go over the claims that were made.

Claim #1- Councilman Tara Hizon stated, during a debate on a motion “I believe this motion was already made and passed so I don’t think we can make the same motion again” she also made the claim that once an item was brought to the floor and passed or rejected it could not be brought to the floor again at a different meeting.

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Gallup released a poll today that shows that the most important problem Americans are facing today is the government.

View the Gallup Poll here

The question posed to the survey recipients was as follows:

What do you think is the most important problem facing this country today?

The results showed that dissatisfaction with Government/Congress/Politicians; Poor leadership/Corruption/Abuse of power lead the poll results as the most important problem.

We have our own problems with dissatisfaction of the Government right here in Oak Harbor. It is time that the citizens wake up and take back their city that has been overtaken by those that do not have the best interest of the citizens in mind. We have an out of control city council that micromanages every aspect of our city government if they possibly have a chance. We have seen decisions made that have consistently resulted in poor outcomes for the citizens and businesses and that have benefitted those special few people that pull the strings behind the city councils decision. Why do we allow only those special few prosper when the citizens are footing the bill?

Wake up citizens of Oak Harbor before it is too late.

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