When do we get a full fledged district 3 Commissioner for Island County? One month? 2 Months? 3 Months? Or 2 years? Maybe 3?

The audio is now online of the Commissioners workshop from yesterdays work session.

You can listen to the audio recording of this work session by clicking the link below:


While I do give credit for Jill Johnson making an attempt to resolve this issue she is doing so obviously without the facts. The Chair selection of the BOICC has been put off until March with Helen Johnson retaining chair. Jill seems to think that this is going to be resolved in the next 3 months and Helen as Chair is going to help her do so. Helen Johnson along with Angie Homola have had every opportunity to resolve this issue, in fact they have had over 2 years to resolve this issue and the only thing that is stopped them was themselves. Helen Johnson does not want this issue resolved that is obvious. If it is resolved it will shed extremely poor light on not only the planning department but Helen herself.

Why does Jill think that this can be resolved now if it was not resolved in the last 2 years? Does she realize that the building permit that was paid for and filed with the county by the Emerson’s several days before the complaint was filed is still sitting on the Planning Directors desk? That by sitting on the permit and not approving it or denying it is placing one of our duly elected representatives in a position of not being able to do anything about it? If it was denied the Emerson’s could appeal but with an appeal the facts come out, if it was approved the issue goes away. Fines…what about the fines? Why have they not been levied? The county and our Commissioners have made great hay about the fines they are levying against the Emersons. What is the hold up? Why are the fines still languishing and why has the county not moved forward on them?  Because with fines comes an appeal process with an appeal process the facts come out.  By holding this in the background and taking no action for over 2 years Helen Price Johnson has made it impossible, by her standards, to ever have a Chair from District 3 chair the BOICC.

There is nothing and I mean nothing that the Emerson’s can do to resolve this issue short of filing lawsuits against the county. Every avenue for the Emerson’s to resolve this issue short of a lawsuit are in the commissioners hands and the commissioners have done nothing about it. Why? Because it is all political and it is not based on facts.

This is just another continuation of this issue against the Emerson’s that was brought up directly before her election and politicized by the sitting county commissioners and county employees to make political hay. This is all about politics and nothing about facts, this is all about marginalizing a County Commissioner and making her spend her term in limbo while she waits for the county to do something anything to move this case to a resolution.

Jill Johnson needs to do us and all county residents a huge favor.

1- Look at the facts.

2- Ask the county for their documentation on the complaint against the Emerson’s. Jill will find the same one sheet scribbled document that the county is using as their official wetland delineation, in fact that is all she will find for documentation that the county has ever visited the Emerson’s property.

3- Ask about the “official investigation” that Bob Pederson had his staff perform. They did visit the property but there is ZERO documentation of this visit. Period. Not one piece of paper in the entire county that documents this “official investigation”. Bob Pederson says it was “verbal” as if that will stand up in a court of law under the color of an “official investigation”.

4- Ask why it has taken 2 plus years with several expensive studies performed by the landowner with no action taken by the county.

5- Ask why the building permit is still sitting on Bob Pedersons desk after over 2 years with no official denial or approval.

6- Ask why the fines have not been levied against the Emersons and why a lien has not been placed against the property as required by our laws.

7- And Jill here is the big question. Ask yourself what YOU would do under similar circumstances. Circumstances that allow your political opponents to basically marginalize YOU in not being able to do your job as Commissioner as demanded by your constituents.

Hopefully Jill Johnson will familiarize herself with the issue before she relies on any help from Helen Johnson, Helen has proven that she is directly in the middle of all of this even though she claims innocence and tells a good story. Hopefully in the future Jill will not allow herself to be used as a prop for Angie and Helens attempt to marginalize another County Commissioner.

Below are just a few of the many articles that we have published on Island Politics concerning this issue, Jill needs to educate herself so that she does not embarrass herself any further in helping Helen Johnson to continue this charade against one of our sitting Commissioners.

Island County’s only Document “Proving”? Emerson’s Wetland is Available to All

Correspondence to Bob Pederson Island County Planning and Development from Steve Nuegebaur SNR Company concerning the Emerson’s Island County Washington wetlands prosecution

Island County’s report found lacking; SAY IT ISN’T SO, PLEASE (UPDATED APRIL 4, 2012)

Island County site study report missing in Emerson wetland dispute

Island County Planning Department VS Emerson wetlands update

Emersons release Wetlands Report- Evidence of Island County’s determination groundless and amateur

Comments on the Emerson lawsuit against Island County


  1. Cliff, your 7 questions are right on target and I decided to help my Commissioner, Jill Johnson, “..familiarize herself with the issue” and since HPJ claims she knows nothiing about it, she too will become knowledgable with my following PDR

    Jill Johnson
    Commissioner District 2

    Pursuant to the Public Disclosure Act, RCW 42.56, this correspondence is an official request to you for access to and copies of any and all information pertaining to the following:

    All documents related to all fines or liens actually assessed or official correspondence regarding same by Island County or agents against Ken or Kelly Emerson or both including dates of all such records and persons authorizations

    Also please provide County documents and procedures and RCWs for all of the actions and decisions of County officials and employees in this matter

    Please notify me via the following email address: bbstrow@comcast.net when said documents are assembled and available for my review.

    I look forward to your response within five working (5) days

    If you choose to deny this request, please provide a written explanation for the denial including a reference to the specific statutory exemption(s) upon which you rely, and provide a listing of all segregated portions of exempt material.

    Thank you for your assistance.
    Bill Strowbridge

  2. Jill “mini-me” Johnson says (in an email she sent today):

    “My hope is that Commissioner Emerson will have three votes for Chairman instead of just two.”

    So, “mine-me” is all for “hope and change”, eh?

    Seems I have heard that mantra elsewhere.

    1. Hopefully Jill will come to her senses. Helen Johnson is playing for keepsies and if the tables were turned Helen would be giving Jill no quarter.

      We have 2 years of pretty solid evidence that Helen could care less what Kelly, Jill or any other conservative wants or needs, consensus or no consensus. Otherwise we would not be seeing the issue of the Emerson’s crop up again, it would have been resolved over a year ago as it should have been. It has been kept alive by Angie And Helen for strictly political purposes and now Jill wants to play to some higher cause and get a consensus? Reward both Angie and Helen for their past atrocious behavior?

      Jill’s actions are like rewarding a child for bad behaviour. Instead of being a strong parent and doing what is best for her child she is giving in to the temptation to trade a little here or there to get what she wants…we know how well that works with a child now don’t we?

  3. There really can be no resolution, Johnson and everyone involved should know this. For the far left even a ruling from the supreme court would not end debate. So much time has past that effectively, for want of prosecution, it’s a dead issue.

    1. That is the BIG question. It was a simple vote. Either Kelly Emerson is District 3 Commissioner or she is not. What amazes me is that with all this controversy is that it is still going on. 2 1/2 years to resolve a simple planning issue? If this was not a political witch hunt by Angie and Helen this would have been resolved a long time ago and the only reason it has been kept alive is to marginalize the District 3 Commissioner who happens to be a Republican.

  4. I’m assuming that Jill had an agenda prior to this meeting. Consequently, she should have come prepared to caste her vote for chair. In the audio Jill stated she would vote for Emerson to be chair, and that is exactly what she should have done. Her vote would have allowed Emerson to move forward, instead Jill has inserted herself into the controversy, further crippled another commissioner’s ability to get this problem resolved, and provided the media with material to continue bashing a fellow Republican. The saying that “you can’t make all of the people happy all the time” is true, and being a leader doesn’t necessarily mean you are the most popular person in the room. Jill wanted to be commissioner and voters elected her to end the liberal policies, government growth, and taxation we have put up with for the past four years. I am truly disappointed.

    1. She may have had an agenda but she certainly did not have all the facts. Leaving Helen in command as Chair and expecting things to move forward on the Emerson issue is a fools errand and a slap in the face to those that have watched this issue for the last 2.5 years and have been without a full fledged commissioner ever since. In the recording Jill expected Kelly Emerson to be able to do something to resolve this issue. Jill is obviously unaware that Kelly has attempted to do something to clear this up and in fact she has been attempting to do so for the last 2 1/2 years to no avail. The ball is in the Commissioners court and with Helen as the Chair there is little or no hope that this is going to be resolved anytime soon.

      The chair is the point person for legal rulings/ interpretations by the prosecutor’s office and also other county departments. The prosecutor will only discuss actions with the chair or the entire board. This is very important because if the chair doesn’t take any action then the issue is effectively stalled unless approached by a quorum of the board, which was impossible in the past and even currently with the recent tabling action.

      And Jill expects Helen to now take action on the Emerson issue after watching Helen do nothing for the last 2 years and even after being chair for a considerable time.

      The fact is Kelly Emerson is our District 3 Commissioner and there is nothing to stop her from taking the chair except for the fact that there is some perceived wrong that she has done. No court decision, no fine applied no nothing except the constant blathering of liberals saying she “owes the county money”.

      It is time to stop this non sense. We all had high hopes that Jill would bring in a new era in the Commissioners office instead what we as citizens get is just more bashing of Kelly Emerson and the marginalization of our duly elected District 3 Commissioner.

  5. “In the audio Jill stated she would vote for Emerson to be chair, and that is exactly what she should have done.

    YEP! we learned one thing about Jill with that performance; never trust her
    IS Jill is another but worse Homola type i.e.
    Pathological, Compulsive, Chronic, Habitual Liar probably like Angie suffering from incurrable Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD), a personality disorder in which the individual is described as being excessively preoccupied with issues of personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity. This condition affects one percent of the population
    I am really frustrated with my vote for Jill
    The citizens, tax payers and property owners of Island County deserve better that what HPJ and Homalone have done to us

  6. Why doesn’t a group of private citizens bring a lawsuit against the county to force a conclusion of the Emerson debacle? No matter which way it falls, the thing needs to be ended.

  7. I’m listening to the tape now. I like what Jill is saying. Let’s see what happens in the next 3 months. The Emerson debacle needs resolution and there should be no disagreement from anyone about that.

    Jill did a fine job at getting Helen to agree.

    1. If you were to take out the past history of 2 1/2 years I would also probably agree with you. However, Helen and Angie had full control over planning for the last 2 1/2 years, it was by their design, control, or lack of control, over the planning department during this time that allowed this debacle to get so far out of hand.

      We can argue about the political motives surrounding this all day long but it is clear from the past events that this was and has continues to be a politically motivated attack to marginalize a sitting Island County Commissioner perpetrated by her political opponents. Jill’s actions did not end this attack it only continued, furthered and brought alive again this politically motivated attack and that is why people are *issed.

      By allowing Helen to continue as chair this charade is only being allowed to continue. Kelly Emerson is our duly elected Commissioner for District 3 and until the time she is removed from office or her term expires she needs to be treated as such.

      1. Cliff, the difference is now we have Jill Johnson getting Helen PJ to agree that the Emerson situation needs to be resolved. Helen agreed, and she also agreed to the 3 month vote on leader of the pack.

        It seems to me that Jill now has however many sessions between now and then to keep persuading Helen.

        Emerson herself should be helpful on this matter, surely she wants it resolved too.

        1. The way to resolve was to treat Commissioner Emerson as an equal. She was elected as our Commissioner for the 3rd District.

          1. So a chair should be rotated without reason? Taking turns being the only viable approach?

            Frankly, the chair gets to do more talking, but beyond that, show me some examples of how the chair has power.

            1. The chair is the point person for legal rulings/ intepretations by the prosecutor’s office and other county officers. They will/may only discuss actions with the chair or the entire board. This is very important because if the chair doesn’t take any action then any is effectively stalled unless approached by a quorum of the board, which was impossible in the past and even currently with the recent tabling action. The Chair can make requests from other department heads for reports to be prepared for the whole board.

              The main role of the chair is to facilitate the conduct of business in the Board of Commissioners. Helen has had 2 years and the last year as chair to facilitate the resolution of the issue concerning the Emersons and she chose not to resolve this issue which left District 3 with a duly elected Commissioner that was treated like she was a not full Commissioner.

              Helen has not only help perpetrate this issue against the Emersons but she perpetuated the issue for over 2 years by her inaction. In doing so she has possibly left the county and it’s employees open to lawsuits by the Emerson’s (and others) and the taxpayers potentially liable for her actions.

              All over a political stunt gone bad…. and now she is put in charge to correct the issue? Give me a break.

    2. “Jill did a fine job at getting Helen to agree.”

      On what?

      The Emerson’s have been waiting for a resolution for over two years now. Waiting three months will resolve nothing. Denying Emerson the chair won’t resolve it either. Jill Johnson wishes a unanimous vote, and she won’t get it. HPJ won’t back down on this therefore, expect HPJ to retain the throne and the continuation of the status quo.

      Of course this is only a prediction so as you say, “Let’s see what happens in the next 3 months.” and yes the Emerson debacle needs resolution.

      1. Are you suggesting that if Jill and HPJ vote for Kelly, Kelly wouldn’t also vote for herself?

        I’m sure you also want the whole thing done too. It’s time. No more blaming the past players, let’s move this forward.

        1. It only takes two votes “FOR” Emerson to be CHAIR just like it only took two “NO” votes to prevent her both times she was not voted CHAIR

        2. Mike, no that it not the case. The vote will be 2 to 1. The big question is will Jill vote for Kelly or will she gravitate toward HPJ and vote against Kelly. This observation is based on what HPJ stated for the record, and was subsequently quoted in the WNT. HPJ drew a line in the sand.

          1. Well, since chair isn’t a high school popularity contest, my guess is that both Kelly and Helen better be wooing Jill.

            Political clout and all that.

            1. Mike, I currently have in my possession several thousand pages of documents pertaining to the Emerson case that were obtained via Public Records Disclosure Requests. Jill Johnson needs to back her Republican partner and not be swayed by HPJ and her cronies.

        3. “… if Jill and HPJ vote for Kelly, Kelly wouldn’t also vote for herself”
          Why not?
          Who else should she vote for?

          It can’t be against the law because HPJ voted FOR herself the last 2 times she was elected Chair and HPJ would never break the law
          HPJ knows the old adage says it best, “If you didn’t get caught, did you really do it?”

    3. mike, FWIW, Following is myletter to Price-Johnson:

      Commissioner Price-Johnson
      In your recent workshop you and Commissioner Jill Johnson decided Emerson is still not worthy of being elected Board Chair but you did decide that “IF” she “clears her outstanding issues” (with planning?) within the next three months the two of you will vote again to decide ” IF” Emerson is then worthy of being Board Chair
      I am sure that pleased all your cheerleaders with their “VOTE HELEN” signs in the audience
      Other than what citizens Emerson have done the past 2+ years, what do you think Emersons should/could do to satisfy your “…clear up outstanding issues …with planning department and are still Outstanding” ?

      The ball is really in Pederson’s court; NOT Emersons’
      Emersons have no ability to, “…clear up outstanding issues …” ; they have spent a great amount of time and money trying to clear up outstanding issues with no success

      They have been trying to follow Judge Hancock’s final decision:

      1. “The court notes, in passing, that presumably nothing would prevent the planning director from voluntarily reconsidering certain of his findings and/or conclusions based on the receipt of additional information, but that is beyond the scope of the issues in this case.”

      2. “Nevertheless, the court declines to find that the action as a whole was frivolous and advanced without reasonable cause, and therefore the motion for attorney fees under RCW 4.84.185 is denied.”

      Only the vote of two commissioners correcting Pederson’s past actions or terminating his employment will “…clear up outstanding issues …”

      Another solution is for County to actually assess fines or liens and then wait for the litigation that results
      My bet is Emersons’ would welcome having grounds to initiate litigation to bring resolution and recover costs that Planning foisted on them

      All of your cheerleaders Commissioner Price-Johnson, who have been chanting for the past 2 years, “make them pay their fines” were only reacting to the lies you and Commissioner Homola fed the newspapers and they published it…
      made great headlines and you look good

      There NEVER has been any legal order for Emersons to pay one cent, especially from Judge Hancock’s decision
      If there ever is there one, legal suits against specific County employees, individuals and County which we tax payers will contribute to funding assessed are a certainty
      These suits will not be handled by local courts
      The US Supreme Court established this condition when siding with an Idaho couple in a property rights case, ruling they can go to court to challenge an Environmental Protection Agency order that blocked construction of their new home and threatened fines of more than $30,000 a day. The couple settled BIG BUCKS!

      My pending Public Document Request will probably prove that no assessed fines or liens have ever been legally ordered against citizens Ken or Kelly Emerson

      If none exist then you Commissioner Price-Johnson with your statements in Nov 2010 regarding Emerson being ineligible to be Chair of the board and your statement in the audio of the recent workshop are either stupidity or outright lies
      Just like it was when you said, “… and I have to tell you that it absolutely is polluted.”

      Here’s a menu from RCW 29A.56.110 of what might you might consider about an elected official who lies in office
      1. Misfeasance” or “malfeasance” in office means any wrongful conduct that affects, interrupts, or interferes with the performance of official duty:
      (a) Additionally, “misfeasance” in office means the performance of a duty in an improper manner; and
      (b) Additionally, “malfeasance” in office means the commission of an unlawful act;
      2. Violation of the oath of office” means the neglect or knowing failure by an elective public officer to perform faithfully a duty imposed by law.
      If none of those are yet applicable to you, then you still have the possibility of future Racial Discrimination litigation because an employee of your husband and a County friend each owning adjoining properties to Graves property made sure Mr. Graves could NEVER build on his property
      The Graves property is now for sale and when sold our conversations with him lead us to believe he will compile a list of the total dollars he lost because of Island County’s acts and find a good lawyer with Racial Discrimination expertise and file to recover his losses…
      … and County didn’t even need to create their version of Jim Crow laws to pull this one off
      Also there is another similar county action against property owner Horsey who indicates he too will need to seek revenge against County Planning aka Pederson and his enforcers because of their bogus wetland determinations
      We have a six inch stack of complaints against Planning but you, Commissioner Price-Johnson don’t feel you have reason to terminate his employment
      Maybe it’s time you have a conversation with Island County Prosecutor Greg Banks
      I understand Banks filed one count of “false report by a public officer” RCW 42.20.040, in his conviction of Mayor Larry Kwarsick in Island County Superior Court
      Bill Strowbridge

      1. Bill, your continued negativity gets in the way of production.

        If everyone in this county continued to ask for this to be resolved, it will happen. Even HPJ claims she wants it resolved. Now that she’s stated that publically, it’s time for resolution.

        There can’t be a soul in Island County that isn’t sick of the situation.

        1. “…to ask for this to be resolved, it will happen. Even HPJ claims she wants it resolved. Now that she’s stated that publically, it’s time for resolution.”

          Mike, you seem to have an answer or opinion for everything; Good luck


          Thanks for your advice but I will not change; I will continue down the road with my “negativity” even when it “gets in the way of production.”

          1. Your approach turns off more than it wins. Perhaps I should have said you are too repetitive instead of too negative.

            1. mike, Thanks again for your advice and sharing your infinite wisdom re being “too repetitive” but I will not change; I will continue down the road with my “negativity” and being “too repetitive”
              I am not on this earth to please you

  8. Good question. Saw the picture in today’s Whidbey News-of-Crimes on page A8… and as much as I like what Commish Johnson did, the reality is she is in a genuine pickle. I am genuinely unhappy at the circus atmosphere that the progressive agitators have been allowed to create.

    It’s time for conservatives to wake the hell up and SAVE NAS Whidbey Island with a positive, affirmative agenda or we will be back in the hot summer of 1991 before you know it… at least this time we don’t have to fight the “light attack mafia” or to retain airplanes that rightfully belong parked at the Museum of Flight. Stay tuned…

    1. Too bad Jeff Lauderdale didn’t get elected. He was a candidate that actually knew what was going on with every subject the county is faced with. No learning curve required. Lauderdale is sharp as a tack. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the electorate who failed to make him an Island County commissioner.

    2. well Kunzler are you a resident of island county NO

      thats right your in skagit county.

      do you own property it island county NO

      So as i have said if you would like a say in island county issue why not buy property in island county and become a resident under the flight path of the military jets.

      we own property in skagit county down town MT Vernon but we are unable to vote on issue that affect those propertys but at least we have property so we can vocie our opion on issue due to that property ownership.

      so if you want the right to say anything on island issues you should buy property in island county

      CLOSE naswi for the health and public safety of the civilian and wildlife population of island and surrounding countys.

      1. Garrett;

        You have every right to agitate with low information rants. It’s America.

        BUT when the actions & behaviours of Island County citizens affect all 3,033 counties of these United States, I’m gonna respond. So is the Navy League, the Save NAS Whidbey Task Force (I wish I could at least be briefed about) and other patriots.

        BTW Garrett, according to http://www.thestranger.com/binary/ea57/CityLead-CLICK.jpg Skagitonians only see $0.85 in services for $1 in taxes. Garrett, Island County residents see $1.10 in services for $1 in taxes. I want my dime back if you get your way. Don’t expect this to be a nice conversation between our two counties… while your transit is stood down, cops are furloughed, hospitals close, classrooms overcrowd and the like.

      2. So the First Amendment or as you state “the right to say anything” can be curtailed due to residence?

        But, you are allowed to state:
        “CLOSE naswi for the health and public safety of the civilian and wildlife population of island and surrounding countys.”

        But those in the surrounding Counties are supposed to keep their mouth shut?

        Your quite the laugh there Mr Newkirk. Do you ever wonder why people treat you with such derision?

        Look no further than your owm words for the reason…

      3. Garrett Newkirk,

        There is no requirement for people to own property in a particular place they are interested in the political issues. To vote, one must hold legal residence.

        You have as much right to say anything you wish, as does Joseph K. or anyone else.

        At least Joseph can spell.

  9. Can anyone tell me the names of parties involved in Public Records Act cases that have been heard in Island County Superior Court? I’m trying to research such cases but the only search function at the courthouse is by name of parties or case number.


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