Newsletter from Island County Commissioner District 3 Kelly Emerson

In this issue:

  • Upcoming County wide levy lid lift ballot measure
  • Camano Library Bond Levy
  • Resolution in Support of Navy Region Northwest in particular Naval Air Station Whidbey Island with its Outlying Field in Coupeville
  • Camano and North Whidbey Community Meetings







Island County Commissioner – District 3

August 2013




From the Courthouse




Join the Mailing List! 


District 3 County Commissioner

Kelly Emerson


1 NE 7th Street

PO Box 5000

Coupeville, WA 98239


Ph. (360) 679-7354 








Commissioner’s Meetings


First 3 Mondays at 10am

Fourth Monday at 6pm


 Click here for meeting agenda information  


Commissioner’s Workshops 


1st, 2nd & 3rd Wednesday’s at 9am


Click here for workshop agenda information


Donate to keep WSU Extention programs alive!


Planning Commission Meeting Info. 





This area

This area



   With summer at its sunniest height, thank you for taking the time to open this newsletter.   

I hate to bother you with the realities of Government, but sure want to give you the opportunity to stay up to date.   


Countywide Issues   


     The upcoming levy lid lift ballot measure will have a

Pro and Con statement for voters to consider.  If you would be interested in joining one of the committees for writing those statements, please send an email to all three of us commissioners letting us know. (district1, district2,


Please include which committee you would be interested in serving on and the part of the county where you live.  We’ll be choosing those groups real soon.   


     Recently, I heard someone say on the record, “as we begin to re-grow this government.”  That’s some group think I will not engage in.


Oh, don’t get me wrong…  I have said all along “Public Safety First!” and I mean it.  That’s why I opposed creating a new number two position in Human Services.  If the levy lid lift fails, we will need that revenue to fund a deputy.  The new position was created by a majority vote (2-1). 


     I did go along with a 2% general wage increase for our non-represented staff.  It seemed like a fair amount to the arbitrator who recently settled our nearly 8 year long issue with the corrections guild.  So I think it will go over as fair for our non-reps.


As I said during our discussions on this topic, I remain concerned about the disconnect with the private sector.  Unemployment remains high, many have exhausted their unemployment benefits and lost their medical coverage.     


     Almost all Island County employees are now paying a portion of their medical insurance.  With the “Affordable Care Act” coming on board, we expect to see large increases and eliminations of options, such as health savings accounts.


     We will soon be discussing possibly restructuring the way leave benefits are handled and hopefully considering a way to start working towards aligning with the private sector.   


News from Camano! 


     The Library Bond Levy failed but the district did pass.  All that was needed for the district was a simple majority and it came in over 60% anyway.  The bond levy couldn’t quite make it there, staying just over 58%.

I’ll be looking into how the district will be formed and letting you know of any open positions as soon as I hear.

     Island County Campus will finally get the fence removed and some low maintenance landscape planted.  I was trying to get a little money back into the private sector with the design on this but ended up having to reach to the Snohomish Conservation District and they did a great job.

As with all new plantings, this new look at the campus will require some occasional watering and tender loving care for the first year or two.  Once they take hold, they are drought tolerant and will greatly reduce the amount of mowing in the area.  (That means not only less money spent on maintenance, but less green house gases escaping into the atmosphere.)

For now the buildings will remain as they are, who knows, maybe the blue building will eventually become the new library.  This small effort of beautification on the campus should help out our anchor tenant, the Skagit Valley Health Clinic.

     Community Meetings on second Fridays at the Diamond Knot Camano Lodge.  Come on down and join us at 10am.    


North Whidbey News!   


     It was a very nice memorial Thursday morning for the perished crew of the VAQ-129 squadron.  The last funeral was in June in Arlington, VA.


The services were held at the Prowler memorial on NASWI.  Mayor Scott Dudley was in attendance, as well as many members of the Navy League.   


     I received support for placing my Resolution in Support of Navy Region Northwest in particular Naval Air Station Whidbey Island with its Outlying Field in Coupeville on Monday’s agenda (click here to view).


Thanks to Commissioner Jill Johnson for her support.


     District Meetings on third Thursdays at the Chief Petty Officer’s club on Ault Field Road.  Come on down and join us at noon.    



It is an honor to serve you. Sincerely,

Kelly Emerson

Island County Commissioner – District 3