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.