Wednesday, April 4, 2012

How Many Ecology Employees Does It Take ...

Recent public records requests show the flurry of activity at Ecology when the Charles Dalton video surfaced. Ecology prepared a powerpoint presentation. They blogged about about the video. At one point, they had as many as 11 staff at all levels involved with developing a response. Eleven people! And what did Ecology's response say?  Well, in part, it said that Ecology had no authority in the matter at hand.

"We don’t have regulatory authority in local critical areas ordinance issues. We don’t make rulings or issue enforcement actions under local critical areas ordinances. Those tasks are on local government turf" (Gordon White, Eco-Connect Blog, Feburary 14, 2012.)

All that PR effort for a situation where they claim to have no authority?  The email below is just one example of the many emails related to this matter.  You can see there are eight people, including senior managers, involved in just one email.

The real question is why Ecology cares about their image in the first place. They're regulators, not movie stars. Yet, they have a blog, a Facebook page, and they seem to have a surfeit of "communications" staff.  Are they communications staff or publicists?

From: Anderson, Paul S. (ECY)
Sent: Friday, February 10, 2012 2:02 PM
To: Skipper, Katie (ECY)
Cc: Altose, Larry (ECY); Hart, Curt (ECY); Tallent, Geoff (ECY); Stockdale, Erik (ECY); Summerhays, Jeannie (ECY); White, Gordon (ECY)


Once again, thanks for your time with this.  I think it looks good.  I would suggest a couple of changes to the PowerPoint:

Slide 4, Bullet 1,  Wetland scientists educated and trained in wetland vegetation, soils and hydrology  [link to SWS-PWS Website?]
Slide 5, Bullet 1,  County asks for technical assistance


Paul S. Anderson, PWS Wetland Specialist Washington State Department of Ecology 3190 - 160th Ave. SE Bellevue, WA 98008 Phone: (425) 649-7148 Fax: (425) 649-7098 Email:  

From: Skipper, Katie (ECY)
Sent: Friday, February 10, 2012 1:19 PM
To: Anderson, Paul S. (ECY); Tallent, Geoff (ECY); Stockdale, Erik (ECY); Summerhays, Jeannie (ECY); White, Gordon (ECY)
Cc: Altose, Larry (ECY); Hart, Curt (ECY)
Importance: High

Hi, all. Attached is a draft blog item and PowerPoint in response to the YouTube video about Charles Dalton’s property on Orcas. Below is our proposed strategy.

Forgive me for sending to all of you, but I’m not sure who to ask for approval, and it’s important that we post our reply promptly. The YouTube video now has 1,857 views. The Freedom Foundation has it posted on their website, too,, and the Island Guardian has a short item about it .

·         Post the blog on our blog site, link to YouTube.
·         Post a short response on the ChangeWA page referencing our video response.
·         Post PowerPoint with voiceover as a video response. The blog will be the basis for the script.
·         Link to on our FaceBook page with reference to the Friends of the San Juans response:

Katie J. Skipper
Communications Manager
Bellingham Field Office
Washington Department of Ecology
Office: 360-715-5205
Cell: 360-510-0682

1 comment:

  1. Oh, no--there goes another cycle of internal DoE buzzing. Another 11 "management" personnel spending time reading blogs and organizing plans of response, PowerPoint decks, videos, etc., to rehabilitate their image. Query: it is better for the communal welfare of the people and creatures in the State of Washington that the DoE staff be occupied with petty concerns about their "image," or be out doing what they consider "substantive" work? We pay either way, but if they spend the whole week chasing their tails about this, at least some community may escape their "assistance."