More information on the Emerson’s wetland issue settlement

For those interested in the facts surrounding the Emerson wetland issue, here is a little information on the what, when, and why, that has previously has gone unreported.

The Emersons were pressing to have their case heard by the full BOICC in a public trial before that board. The trial was scheduled and briefs were required to be submitted by both parties several weeks ago.  The Emerson’s submitted their brief and the county was also required to submit their brief to the court by the deadline. This never happened. The county needed an extension so the county’s brief was never submitted to the court.

One has to look no further than the information in the Emerson’s brief to understand why the county was willing to negotiate a settlement on this issue instead of continuing on to the public trial. The county had no real leg to stand on in this case. While the settlement did include the Emersons paying the initial $5,000.00 fine included in the enforcement order, this was done not on the points at issue in the case, but on the fact that no one could figure out how to rescind the fine associated with the enforcement order that was made some 2 1/2 long years ago.

This issue was settled on the desire to have this issue settled not on the legal facts surrounding the case.

Read the brief and you will understand why the county agreed to settle this issue at all costs. Unfortunately, we do not have the county’s brief in this issue as the county filed no brief with the court.

While this political attack on a sitting board member of the BOICC is resolved it does not undo the damage done to the Emerson’s personally and financially. This is one on the saddest chapters in Island County history and shows just what can happen when politics and the desire to attack an opponent is placed in front of our laws designed to protect landowners in this county.

You can read our previous 19 articles on this issue at the link below:

Here is a link to the brief filed with the court:


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  1. Ken Wolf’s avatar

    Where are all the nasty comments from the Progressive Democratic Socialist Demon Rats like Nels Kelstrom, Molly “the mouth” MacLeod Roberts, Neil Colburn, Marianne Edain, Steve Erickson, Mindy Thompson, Mark Gaggia, Amy Schollen, Stephen Reitz, Bob Prasch, and many others?

    Don’t let any facts get in the way, speak up oh great turds in the toilet bowl!

    Time to give a turn on the handle and flush.

    1. Joe A Kunzler’s avatar

      Said anti-USN, anti-Americans only comment on the Whidbey News-Times because they can block people who ask tough questions.

    2. Ken Wolf’s avatar

      “Neil Colburn, a former Langley mayor and vocal Democrat, called it “unfair” and believes the Emersons got off the hook too easily.” SWR 3 July 2013

      See it didn’t take long for one of the turds in the toilet to speak up. Don’t let facts get in the way Neil…

      1. Cliff’s avatar

        It is actually the county that got off easy. At least so far. They had better hope that the Emersons do not bring a lawsuit over this issue because the county has so totally screwed up and purposely used the power of the county against them for only political purposes.

        Jill Johnson stated:

        “Johnson said the goal has always been one of compliance and to treat the Emersons as any other citizen.”

        In case Jill is unaware this is close to 3 years too late.

      2. Kelly Emerson’s avatar

        What we have here is, Horton’s “run-off in excess of infiltration capacity.” Infiltration slows after a duration but as long as it is being pulled downward by gravity it is being sucked through the zone of aeration. In which saturated conditions can not exist.

        Until the water reaches the lower limits of the “fringe” capillary zone, and nears upon the impermeable surface of the water table, there are no hydric soils. Unless there might be a rather confined perched aquifer, which would not be likely in swale locations.


        1. BillB’s avatar

          Sure, but if you’re an Island County tech, you can just dig a hole, swirl some dirt and water, and call it a wetland, eh?

        2. Joe A Kunzler’s avatar

          The key point to me:

          “A minimum of three times the Department has inspected this parcel:
          1994, 2008 and 2010. On any one of these occasions, the Department could have completed data sheets or some other analysis to determine if a wetland or stream actually existed, however, no such data exists. ”

          What changed?

          Oh the current owner wanted to be Commish for one term and save NAS Whidbey Island all on her own, right?

          I thought so.

          I swear, the pathetic behaviour of some people who think wetlands magically appear between 2008 & 2010. I’m sure only Garrett Newkooky and the Coupeville Fabulist Society believes that crap.

          1. Cliff’s avatar

            “What changed?”

            Kelly Emerson ran for public office.

          2. Joe A Kunzler’s avatar

            Yes, I am pissed for you and your husband.

            I am also pissed at the Helen-Kelly catfight. The one Monday, the one Monday no Garrett Newkook and instead of breaking out into hallelujah… we get a Wednesday newspaper-selling catfight? FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF.

            Perhaps let’s open next Monday’s meeting in Newkook’s absence with this:

          3. Kelly Emerson’s avatar

            I hope to see those days coming to an end, and real soon.

            Thank you for the information Ken.

            1. Joe A Kunzler’s avatar

              Thanks Commish. I’d like Whidbey Island to go back to a place where folks can take a lawn chair and have a cold drink and enjoy freedom.

              Perhaps that freedom is the sun and the clouds and a book.

              Perhaps that freedom is prayer.

              Perhaps that freedom is celebrating those whom defend that freedom.

              But I hope for peace.

            2. Timothy S Pinkerton’s avatar

              I agree with you Joe…First we have to get the damn progressives off the Island! With their big government agenda they will always stick their nose where it doesn’t belong. First they will tell you which book to read, what you can and cannot drink, smoke or chew, that you are not allowed to pray(that is of course unless you are a Muslim),,and then they will tax you for your view if you have one to pay for their global warming junket to Amsterdam to tell you what kind of car they are going to mandate that you other words turn in that nice 56 chevy you have into cash for clunkers and get one of those stupid electric cars that won’t even make it from one end of the Island to the other nuff said..

              1. Joe A Kunzler’s avatar

                Well here’s my modest proposal:

                The progs can have the San Juans and south of Langley
                The moderates can have Oak Harbor
                The conservatives can take Camano & Coupeville & the OLF

                Should work best for all.

                Or perhaps Island County should become Libertarian County and have the most libertarian regulations on the books.

                1. Chelle Brunke’s avatar

                  I live south of Langley. I’m not moving and I’m not “progressive.” Guess I’ll just have to keep speaking up!

                  1. BillB’s avatar

                    “Well here’s my modest proposal…”

                    I am glad you are not the local land baron. ;-)

                  2. Chelle Brunke’s avatar

                    Nice reference to Swift’s literary farce. Won’t be eating children any time soon, either.

                  3. Timothy S Pinkerton’s avatar

                    Good to see your comments Chelle, you’re like a diamond in the rough or a light in the wilderness..hang in there

                  4. Ken Wolf’s avatar

                    “Keith Higman, interim director of the planning department, added that the agreement gives the county the right to a third-party review of the results if the quality of the work is in question.

                    “It’s not the county’s place to dictate who the Emersons hire, but the quality of the work will be determined when they submit,” he said.” SWR 3 July 2013

                    Let’s conduct a third party review of Island County’s “quality of work” regarding this matter.

                    1. Bill’s avatar

                      This may come as a shock and disappointment to many, espedially HPJ and the RINO’s followers but the most recent Wetlands expert’s report is now available.
                      It states…YEP, there is not now and never has been a wetland on Emersons’ property
                      Wonder if the County Expert on Wetlands. Steve WEANie Erickson, will take it upon himself to keep the fire burning with his initiation of litigation… DUH???

                    2. Cliff’s avatar

                      The actual report is not available yet. However, the conclusions of the report received from reliable sources says that there are no wetlands on the Emerson’s property.

                      This makes Helen Price Johnson’s recent letter to her constituents laughable at best.

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