It’s Time for Attitude Adjustments in Island County Governments; Supreme Court Expands Scope of Takings Clause


The following was Published by the National League of Cities:

It’s a small but very valuable win for property rights.

Island County with it’s history of questionable property rights violations/determinations, including invasive inspections of, wetlands, septic failures, storm water diversion onto private property., etc, etc., better be careful from this point forward

“December 10, 2012

By Lars Etzkorn

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court expanded the definition of a taking of property, thus opening the door for increased claims against local and all other levels of government.

The Court’s unanimous decision in Arkansas Game & Fish Commission v. United States reverses prior rulings that only a permanent government-caused taking can give rise to a claim for just compensation under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Here, an Arkansas state agency sued the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for harm done from temporary recurrent flooding that was induced to prevent damage down-stream.

Local governments have an interest in this case because any expansion of the scope of the Takings Clause is a threat to their fiscal health and ability to govern. More specifically, a variety of government actions (for example, inspections of private property and storm water management) involve temporary physical invasions of private property.

In a small gain for governments, the Court held that compensation is due only when an owner is deprived of all reasonable use or value of the property instead of just suffering any impairment to the value or the utility of the land.

NLC joined the International Municipal Lawyers Association in filing a brief with the Court to protect local revenue and to ensure judicial deference to policy determinations by local governments. Associate Justice Elena Kagan recused herself.”



  1. Joe, you think you know enough about Langley politics and Mr. Kwarsick to comment. He’s a good guy. You need to meet him and think before you talk out of your rear department.

    I am very disappointed in your remarks in the media. Now I cannot respect you or your voice.

  2. Plea deals aren’t always because a law was actually broken. We should all realize that.

    Sometimes people plead guilty simply to end the action, due to costs, stress or perhaps a thought that it’s best for the group.

    I don’t know what happened exactly. But what I do know is this man has been an asset to our community, and was taken down in large part due to continued public records requests from Mary Ann Edain with WEAN. They are the worst thing to happen to this county and still do damage against fantastic people.

    It’s time to quit believeing everything we read in the papers, or worse, anything read on Facebook, the gossip center of the universe.

    1. I don’t particularly have a lot of love for WEAN either. One of their members even wrote this recently: . It’s came to my attention since this letter that WEAN is *likely* planning to sue the US Navy for a full EIS over the EA-18G Growler.

      But the law is the law. Your hero, if I may put it respectfully, did break the law and got caught. Furthermore this gentleman will be serving time in prison for breaking the law as part of his official duties – now does the community want a reputation of a crooked CEO when my friends at the State Auditor’s Office come around? Obviously not because they’ll look for any reason to throw the proverbial flag. Please understand I’m speaking strategically, not through a body part.

      That said, I understand you are upset. I also understand there aren’t that many truly trustworthy politicians in Whidbey Island. Perhaps we need to change that…

    2. One last thing: This Skagitonian has had many, many dealings with the State Auditor’s Office. You do not want the SAO zeroing in looking for any reason to throw the proverbial flag which will hurt your bond rating, your insurance rates and possibly endanger getting federal & state funds.

  3. Joe, not a hero, just a victim of process that was stacked against him for unpure reasons. I just do not believe he broke law. What I believe is that he made an attempt to simply stop the nonsense, believing in the law, and being advised that making a plea bargain would be a decent thing to do. Fighting something with a “secret investigator” is expensive, perhaps that more than anything backed him into a corner, I do not know. I also think that the Judge and Prosecutor office chose to bring their own agendas into that court case, smelly all around.

    Additionally we have a Special Inquiry Judge, who was supposed to hear testimony in private. Yet, we’ve also heard there was no testimony, because Banks office didn’t choose to ask for any. Apparently closed door discussions by a special inquiry judge constitutes justice in Island County.

    Transparency? How can we obtain anything when the prosecutor chooses to do everything in secret, and according to the news reports, not even calling witnesses to testify thaty they claimed they would call. When the public is blocked from reading all the details, there is no transparency and that smells.

    A quote “Between the private life of the citizen and the public glare of criminal accusation stands the prosecutor. That state official has the power to employ the full machinery of the state in scrutinizing any given individual.

    Even if a defendant is ultimately acquitted, forced immersion in criminal investigation and adjudication is a wrenching disruption of everyday life. For this reason, we must have assurance that those who would wield this power will be guided solely by their sense of public responsibility for the attainment of justice.

    U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Brennan in
    Young v. U.S. ex rel. Vuitton,
    481 U.S. 787 (1987)

    Do any of you really think a closed door trial with decisions made is the way you would like to be tried?

    1. As I understand it that was his choice when he chose to agree to a plea bargain. The facts of the case are irrelavent (to him and then law) as long as he is part of the agreement. Unfortunately we the people lose out in these plea bargains as the facts after a plea is entered become hard to find and subject to public opinion not a decision by a court of law.

    2. Mike:

      a) Great report of tragic stuff I never heard about. Sad news though. Should the Mayor step down? Yes… and the WEANies better watch the skies because if they agitate against the same Poseidons Commish Homola wants, it’s gonna get ug-ly.

      b) I wasn’t kidding about the State Auditors. I’ve seen some wicked moves they pull that really wreak havoc when sufficiently provoked.

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