Saturday, June 30, 2012

Battle Speed Hortator!

Over the past couple of weeks, we have seen clear evidence that the Council intends to ram through the proposed revisions to the CAOs come hell or high water (I wonder if those are critical areas too?). Two months is what we are told. Nothing will get in the way -- not the Charter, not public sentiment, not facts, not the law ... nothing. The schedule has become all important for hortator Patty Miller.

Reportedly, Councillor Miller and others believe the CAO deliberations (rather than the proposed CAOs themselves) have become a virus for the community. Their top priority is getting the CAO deliberations behind us. To that end, the Council will have their first touch of the Fish and Wildlife CAO (FWHCAO) before the Planning Commission has completed their deliberations. The Planning Commission is expected to continue its deliberations about the FWHCAO on July 10, but Councillor Miller has scheduled the Council's first touch of the FWHCAO scheduled for July 9. At this rate, I wonder if the Council will pass the CAOs before the Planning Commission does?

I am unaware of any other instance where the Council has taken up deliberations about a proposed land use law before having Planning Commission input. It is simply an outrageous violation of normal procedure. And it follows an earlier bizarre joint Planning Commission/County Council meeting on May 18 where the Council, and Councillor Miller specifically, dominated the Planning Commission proceedings. The May 18 meeting was billed as a Planning Commission meeting with the Council in attendance, but Councillor Miller took charge as if it were the other way around. She didn't just run the meeting, she ran over everyone in the meeting in her haste and desperation to keep things moving forward.

The latest information from a meeting in Friday Harbor today, sources tell us, is that Councillor Howie Rosenfeld informed gubernatorial candidate and current Attorney General Rob McKenna that our CAOs will be passed "in a couple of months by at least a 5 to 1 margin."

Did you hear that? It's in the bag. It's so much in the bag that they even know the vote before the vote. It's so much in the bag that they know the timetable for the vote before the vote. It's so much in the bag, that they are able to publicly and casually admit that it's in the bag to the sitting Attorney General. They know and say all this before they've even seen all the CAOs.

It's more than battle speed at this point. They've ramped up to ramming speed, and they've dropped all pretense of impartiality.

15 comments:

  1. The County Council needs to be very careful now. The virus is an infection that corrupted the CAO process from the beginning, years ago. If the process had been conducted properly, the CAO update would have been completed years ago. Unfortunately, the virus became more virulent and any remaining pretext that this has anything to do with the environment has been ripped away by the true underlying agenda here to destroy our community and economy.

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  2. General DisarrayJuly 1, 2012 at 12:48 PM

    I am also unaware of any other instance of a Councilmember announcing the timing and result of a vote before even seeing the text of the ordinance. I challenge Councilmember Rosenfield to state publicly whether he has bothered to read the proposed CAO sections already sent to the Council, much less the EXISTING CAO, which the overwhelming majority of islanders think is working fine, thanks, MUCH LESS the actual science. Come on, Howie--'fess up. You just want to get back to passing ordinances about "important" issues, like whether the County is a nuclear-free zone and whether we should ban dihydrogen monoxide.

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  3. It is time to state the obvious that to date our Home Rule Charter Government has been utterly dominated, influenced, shaped, manipulate and overwhelmed by the Critical Areas Ordinance Update Process, driven by an almost craven submission to the Department of Ecology. It is time for change.

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  4. It's more than time for change. It's time for recall.

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  5. Is a recall feasible? Does anyone know the process and requirements and the timeframe required? This seems like a useful tool at this point.

    I am stunned that we dont have longtime islanders in particular upset enough about what is going on with the CAO that there isn't very public outrage. Why isn't the "public" being public? We are not helpless, but we are acting like we are...saying that this will pass no matter what. What if we all stood up and persisted in opposition? And didn't disappear after a week or two? Why are we acting like we the people have no power?

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  6. People have to show up at the meetings (July 9 and 10) and make every effort to express their views, whether that be via personal appeals to the Council members, to the press, or in emails/letters to the whole Council. The public has to realize that this is a train that is going full speed ahead (and off the rails at the same time), and without a public outcry it will keep rolling. Speak up and get your neighbors and fellow citizens to speak up.

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  7. People ARE outraged--they just have jobs and commitments, unike our (for the most part tax paid) planning staff, Council, state agencies (Ecology) and NGOs (Friends). Had Council watched the recording of the first Planning Commission hearing on wetlands, they'd have a sense of the outrage. But instead, they heard the planners say they were in dire fear of what these "uncivil" (questioning) would do, and wanted to have testimony limited, people ejected, and deputies posted--as well as seriously suggesting that letters to the editor and testimony at County meetings should be investigated as crimes (intimidating public employees). As if any of the public employees (Planning Director) in question gave a hoot what the people they are seeking to control want to do with their lives.

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  8. It is critically important that we show up at Council and the Planning Commission July 7 and 8 (PC at Grange, I think). If you cannot show up, please make your thoughts known addressed to council@sanjuanco.com with a note that says "Please include in oficial CAO record."

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  9. I meant Council on 9 and 10th; planning commission on 10th.

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  10. I was at the PC meeting where so many spoke against what the PC and the Council are doing. And it didn't seem to make any impact at all on their decisions. That makes me believe we need a lot more people showing up on the 11th and 12th and more letters to the sounder and orcas issues. But I like most have a full time job and it is tough to get to the meetings and talking to council members is a demeaning exercise in talking to someone who is only pretending to care about your point of view.

    I will take the time off to go to the hearings. But we need a LOT of folks to be at that meeting and the next and the next until its over one way or another. How do we get the silent majority to take action?

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  11. Notice that the Planning Commission hearing on July 10th is unfortunately a continuation for deliberations only, of the Fish & Wildlife section, there will be no public testimony that day.

    Efforts to change the direction of the CAO at this point in time are most productively addressed to the County Council.

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  12. Thurston Howell IIIJuly 2, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    It's true that the Planning Commission is not taking testimony, but it would also be good for citizens to show up to WATCH what is going on over there--no doubt we'll have another "straw vote" to cut off all discussion. Because, after all, the majority already seems to have their marching orders.

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  13. Téigh trasna ort féinJuly 2, 2012 at 8:16 PM

    I am not sure but it may be that the Planning Commission has discretion to reopen comment if they choose, it would have to be a majority vote to do so and it would mess up their schedule and agenda, but the Chair may be able to entertain such a motion, and if a lot of people show up, and the usual suspects in majority refuse to allow it, then we will, as the Irish pray to God "know them by their limping."

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  14. So should we focus on a Monday show of force?

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  15. Ah, choose your words carefully or Mrs. Hale will have the militia out to protect her. After all, the citizens of the County -- the great unwashed -- are known to be a violent bunch. I know, and virtually any sane person knows, that youmean people showing up to express their opinions. To a planner, however, them's fighting words.

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