Articles by Cliff Howard

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The Annenberg Center for the Digital Future has released their 2014 Digital Future Report and it has some interesting information concerning the internet and politics. The section on the the Internet and the political process starts on page 129 of the report and is certainly interesting reading for those of us who use the internet to attempt to influence the political process.

A snippet from the report:

Political power and influence
Users who said. . .
. . . the Internet has become important for political campaigns 71%
. . . by using the Internet public officials will care more about what people think 32%
. . . the Internet helps people to better understand politics 58%
. . . the Internet can give people more say in what government does 32%
. . . by using the Internet people like you can have more political power 34%
. . . Users who said it is safe to say whatever they think about politics while online 31%

To view the complete report click here


Video is now at the end of this article. See it for yourself…

In a shocking display of partisan politics at last nights meeting of the Oak Harbor City Council the council replaced Mayor Scott Dudley as the representative from Oak Harbor on the Board of Directors at Island Transit.

This was done without any public notification what so ever. The item was added to the agenda by Councilman Severns at the last minute. There was no publication of the agenda that including the agenda item so many of those who are affected by the problems at Island Transit never knew it was going to occur. The normal date for the council to make appointments such as this is the last meeting of the year which will occur on the 16th of December, the next council meeting. It is very obvious that this change in appointment and change in the date of the agenda item was done to stop the public from being notified about an item coming before the council that is of great concern to all residents of the county.  Those the most effected by this change were not given the opportunity to speak to the council or give input before this decision was made.

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Now the celebrations can begin! Rick Hannold prevailed in todays recount. Rick won the District 3 Commissioners seat by 144 votes!

Pox on those that say their votes don’t count…

Rick Hannold wins the District 3 Commissioners race by 143 votes!

If this does not convince you that your vote and your efforts do not count nothing will.

There will be a recount as there is only .4833% difference between the 2 candidates. But it is suspected that this will not change any of the results due to the excellent job that Sheilah Crider and her staff does for the elections in our county.

Congratulations Rick!

For the full voting results see the Island County Elections page:

Here is a link to the entire video of the Island Transit Board of Directors meeting held on 11-21-2014 or click the title above to view the embedded video:


At the 11-21-14 meeting of the board of Island Transit a childish immature display was brought forth by Joel Servatious Oak Harbors alternate member to the board of Island Transit. It seems that Oak Harbor’s alternate member of the board brought it upon himself to seat himself as the regular board member from Oak Harbor even though the permanent representative from Oak Harbor was in attendance and objected to his actions. This is really stunning behaviour by Mr. Servatius, he knows he was chosen as the alternate board member and was to only fill in when the regular board member Mayor Dudley was not present. Mayor Dudley was present at this meeting and Mr. Servatius ignored that fact taking it upon himself to seat himself at the dias. Oak Harbor’s bad acting and actors are now on display at Island Transit Board meetings, thanks to Mr. Servatius.

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The video below was taken at the Senate Transportation Committee meeting held on 11-20-2014 where the findings of the recent audit of Island Transit were discussed with the committee.

Click the Read the rest of this entry » link below to view the video

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The tabulation of the votes today increased Rick Hannolds lead in the District 3 Commissioners race.

Rick Hannold now has 14,828 votes to Karla Jacks 14,689 votes, a 139 vote lead.

These close results will call for a recount of all the ballots cast in this election but history has shown that in Island County the votes have been always counted accurately and an election has never been overturned in a recount. We had a recent recount in the race for Treasurer in the primary election and the difference between the recounted votes and the original vote tally was zero. This is due to the excellent job that Sheilah Crider and her staff in the elections office do.

I do believe it is now time to congratulate Rick Hannold in his win for the seat of Island County Commissioner for District 3.

Congratulations Rick! Wooooo Hooooo!

At the Oak Harbor Lodging and Tax Advisory Committee meeting held on 11-12-2014 a quorum of the Oak Harbor City Council attended the meeting and a Special Meeting Notice was not published as required by law. The city published a regular meeting notice for the committee but the members of the council obviously did not inform the city clerk that they would be attending this meeting so no special meeting notice was published.

Council members Bob Severns, Danny Paggao and Beth Munns attended the meeting that was chaired by the Chair of the Committee Jim Campbell. These 4 members constitute a quorum of the city council.

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A new ballot tally will occur tomorrow November 12th for the election held on the 4th. It will be more than interesting to see how the race between Rick Hannold and Karla Jacks for Island County Commissioner changes. As it stands the candidates are separated by only 134 votes with Rick Hannold in the lead. 

The tally tomorrow will count a total of 124 ballots with the results posted online at 2:00 PM

These ballots are a combination of newly received ballots with correct postmarks on/before November 4th, and ballots that have been “cured” of signature issues.

This new count will contain all countable ballots received to date.

Well… 124 ballots will not change the outcome of this election but we will still have to wait until the 25th when the election is certified to know who is the winner for certain and if a recount will be necessary.

View the results at the link below:


At the upcoming Langley City Council meeting on November 17th Island Transit Board member Scott Dudley will be asking the Langley City Council to replace their selected Island Transit Board member Jim Sundberg.

If you are able to attend this meeting please do.

It is critical that all of the board members that have caused the fiasco that we know as Island Transit be replaced. We have seen in the last few weeks the full court press by certain members of the board to give cover to those that have made those mistakes by writing misleading letters to the editor and doing everything they can to keep the status quo at Island Transit. The citizens of this county deserve better in the leadership of this agency. Please attend…

 In a letter to the editor in the South Whidbey Record Jim Sundberg wrote the following”

“Theft of sick leave not in audit

The official state audit report covers 2013 and part of 2014 and recommends more careful definition and tracking of paid leave (sick leave, vacation time, and compensation time). It did not document any “theft” of sick leave, vacation time, or compensation time; rather it recommended better documentation of these categories for all salaried personnel, which has been instituted immediately. Unfortunately, the Audit Report did not mention that accrued vacation days for 2013 and 2014 for the former executive director can and do accurately account for the longer dates out of the office in 2013 and 2014.”

This is what the auditor actually stated in the findings:

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Where have all our real leaders gone…

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Rick Hannold 14,770 votes
Karla Jacks 14,636 votes
Rick Hannold ahead by 134 votes

Wanda J. Grone 15,511 votes
Ana Maria d Nuñez 13,264 votes
Wanda Grone ahead by 2247 votes

Sheilah Crider 15,361 votes
Rebecca Wagner 12,121 votes
Sheilah Crider ahead by 3240 votes

Next Ballot Count On 11/25/2014 12:00 PM

More local elections results at:


A Special Meeting of the Island Transit Board of Directors will be held on Friday, November 14, 2014, at 1:30 PM at the Island Transit Operations & Administration Building, 19758 SR 20, Coupeville, WA.

The purpose of the meeting is: 

1) an executive session to evaluate the qualifications of an applicant for public employment (1:35 PM to 5:00 PM);

 2) an open public meeting/reception to meet the candidates for interim executive director (5:00 PM – 6:00 PM);

3) an executive session to evaluate the qualifications of an applicant for public employment (6:00 PM - TBD).

Open public meeting to resume upon completion of executive session with possible action relating to the selection of an Interim Executive Director. Accommodations will be made available upon request.

The meeting room is accessible and is open to the public. For more information, please call (360) 678-7771 or .

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