Commissioner’s Price-Johnson and Homola Teamed with WEAN, against the Ruckelhaus Voluntary Stewardship Program (VSP) and We the People Were Big Losers

In her New Year 2012 newsletter, Commissioner Emerson gave citizens a warning about a very important land use decision soon to be made.

She explained how this would have given us a way out of the cost associated with the WEAN lawsuit and any others pertaining to AG Critical Areas.

For Island County, “opting in” to the new Ruckelhaus Voluntary Stewardship Program (VSP), would mean the lawsuit goes away.

Any future lawsuits would be defended by the State because they give final blessing.

Commissioner Emerson  told the truth on the obligation to the county when she  said’  

“This would not be an unfunded mandate. We would not be required to begin implementing the plan until we receive funding of $150,000 for the first year, $100,000 for years 2 and 3 and there is no penalty for an early opt out.”

And she spoke frankly on the alternative of not “opting in” for Island County would likely mean defending our current CAO again in higher court. Past Planning staff and commissions spent many many many hours crafting what appears to be a very good and compliant ordinance. But that would be up to a court to decide and you can’t always anticipate a correct outcome.

I posted a story about this on Island Politics at the time:

With a standing room only hearing room, and the Camano Annex crowded as well, the commissioners heard testimony by many in support of “opting in” to the VSP. 

As should probably have been expected, Commissioner’s Price-Johnson and Homola fell on the side of WEAN.

There was no second to Commissioner Emerson’s motion to “opt in” to the VSP and Island County was headed back into court with WEAN.

Now in the Saturday, August 13, 2013, Whidbey News Times there’s a story headlined “Court Overturns Decision on Island County Growth Management…Emerson was  correct

The team of Commissioner’s Price-Johnson and Homola  and WEAN, aka Steve Erickson and Marianne Edain  had their way and once again regardless of what the majority wanted

The Dynamic Duo also decided to ignore the standing room only citizens in the hearing room, and the crowed Camano Annex;  they rejected testimony by the many citizens supporting  “opting in” to the VSP

Because of Commissioners Price-Johnson and Homola we the people were the big losers

It’s very sad that they didn’t follow Commissioner Emerson’s recommendation

The political games continue resulting in a waste of resources and tax payer dollars


  1. “While Wickham’s decision was clear, the issue is not over as it was remanded back to the hearings board. The county can appeal the decision to a higher court or comply and rework its existing rules.”….“The county is keeping all options on the table while it reviews the decision,” Mitchell said.

    AND WITH Commissioners Price-Johnson and Homola rejecting Commissioner Emerson’s and the standing room only hearing room, and the Camano Annex crowd’s recommendations to approve “opting in” to the VSP.
    because……”Any future lawsuits would be defended by the State because they give final blessing.”
    The alternative of not “opting in” for Island County would mean defending the current CAO again in higher court.”

    OK, Commissioner PRICE-JOHNSON if County wants to appeal, then where are you going to get the $$ to pay for the appeal?
    Will you again take it from the Sheriff and Prosecutor’s funding to save some Socially justified non mandated program?
    Some day I hope we have Commissioners with a few brain cells working when it comes to spending our tax dollars and are not focused on political games as Price-Johnson and Homola did with the Ruckelhaus Voluntary Stewardship Program (VSP) opportunity

    Seems logical to me that if Homola and Price-Johnson wanted WEAN to win that litigation they, with their 2 votes controlling every decision, could have saved all those dollars and rewrote the GMA for that issue the way WEAN wanted it
    The answer is; the 2 votes approving the WEAN version would have then been blamed on the Commissioners.
    It was all a ruse to use the Court as a scapegoat for the WEAN plan with the source of the costs, the tax payers, be damned

    1. But Bill…without WEAN controlling and protecting us from us where would we be? It is too simple to place the state in charge of this issue, that would mean that WEAN would be defanged and would have to fight the state and not Island County. WEAN would therefore become just another environmental whacko group and would not have a say in how Island County works. Helen Johnson and Angie Homola would NOT want that to happen at any costs, even at the cost of lawsuits against Island County citizens.

  2. “The environmental movement has long seen itself as David versus the Goliath of industry and human greed. Often, it was. But it institutionalized a perversely one-sided view of humans as always the destructive force, outside of nature instead of a participant in it, a force needing to be curbed, reduced, minimized, and – in some cases – expunged from the land.” Joan Chevalier

    WEANie whackos continue their assault on Island County’s farming community. They filed their appeal in a court that is friendly toward environmentalists therefore, this ruling it not surprising. This sentence is priceless: “The underlying foundation of WEANs argument is that the loose regulations allow livestock near wetlands or other water sources, and that it could result as a major source of pollution to Puget Sound.” WNT Point being is that WEANie whackos do not use best available science. Instead they rely on the Precautionary Principle to form their argument. For a good read on the Precautionary Principle click on the following link:

    What is laughable is “Wickham ruled that best management practices were not the same as best available science, the standard required under GMA, because they were not designed to “protect” the “function and values” of critical areas nor give “special consideration” to the presence of salmon.” At what point are you able to apply “best available science” to implement “management practices?” According to Wickham’s ruling, you can’t.

    1. Ken,
      You don’t seem to get it. WEAN IS “best available science” in Island County. They are so “best” that they don’t need any stinking degrees,licenses or actual experience either. In the construction world they would be roofers because roofers cover everything.

      1. LOL! On a serious note… Placing an automatic 150 foot buffer zone for any “streams” regardless of stream classification is what the WEANie whackos want. They don’t care what the farmer is using the land for whether it is used as pasture land for cattle grazing or growing crops.

        The quote above describes WEANie whackos perfectly. What is laughable is WEANie whackos ridicule you and Kelly for going to court to fight for your rights yet they have no problem using the court system whenever they don’t get their way with Island County.

Comments are closed.