Thursday, November 8, 2012

I'll Agree with the "Lame" Part

Nick Power has a very worthwhile perspective on the status of CAOs relative to the election results. It's a good read.

The last blogpost suggested that the elections were a repudiation of all things County. As Nick Power points out, the overwhelming passage of Prop 3 is a strong indicator of public sentiment regarding the CAPR lawsuit against the County ... because that is exactly what the lawsuit is about.

The three Councilors involved in that lawsuit (Pratt, Miller, and Fralick) have had particularly disastrous terms as Council members. Aside from the multitude of troubles Miller has experienced on the CAOs, the solid waste solution (and tax) she promoted went down in scorching defeat last year.

Long ago, Fralick began his term with robust support for his own solid waste fiasco: to set up a needlessly pricey John-Shannon solid-waste wonderland at Beaverton Valley. In the Council vote on that measure, Fralick was the only member to support it to its death. On the CAOs, Fralick has been the main advocate of Adamus as the way forward, which has not worked out particularly well. In addition, Fralick was a strong anti-CRC backer. Right or wrong on those issues, much of what Fralick stood for, politically, is in tatters. His legacy as a retiring Councilman is empty.

Pratt was involved in the Brickworks failure, but more importantly, Pratt seems to share Shireene Hale's view that she's never met a parcel that didn't need more "protection." Moreover, Pratt also seems to have never met a tax and spending proposal she didn't like either. Put those two tendencies together, and you end up with faux environmentalism that is utterly detached from economic reality. That pretty well approximates the position of Pratt, who has been an endless fount of vacuous tautologies about the CAOs and their impacts.

Below is the article by Nick Power titled "Lame Ducks" which also can be read in the Guardian.

My head is spinning thinking of what Tuesday’s local election results mean for the future of the Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO), and I fear that we are now at the point of no return where a misstep by the County will lead to untold economic waste.

First, the The Council races.  Simply the defeat of Howie Rosenfeld and Lovel Pratt were in effect a vote of “no confidence” in Howie's and Lovel's support of the proposed CAO.  Here are two self-identified incumbent Democrats, supported by the endorsement of the Democratic Party, in a County which voted 2 to 1 for Obama over Romney, and they both lose.  Telling since both Howie and Lovel have been two of the proponents of the most extreme portions of the revision of the CAO.

Second, the absolute landslide passage of Charter Amendment No. 3 was, a complete repudiation of how the proposed CAO was engineered and drafted  -- largely in secret and without meaningful public comment.  

I fear that the "we're going to pass this thing come hell or high water" mentality which seems to be the mantra of a majority of the Council will be fulfilled, and the fundamentally flawed CAO will become law at the behest of what is now a gaggle of lame ducks.

But it gets worse, much worse.

Because after Flock of Lame Ducks #1 passes the CAO, Flock of Lame Ducks #2, the newly elected short-term County Council, takes over.

Here is where it gets sticky.  Currently there is a very serious lawsuit against the County alleging various substantive and procedural flaws which invalidate the current draft CAO.   Just because Flock #2 is lame, does not mean that they cannot bind the County and settle the suit and enter into a consent judgment with the plaintiff, Citizen's Alliance for Property Rights (CAPR). 

Why would they do that?  Fundamentally, because CAPR's allegations are substantially correct and it would be the right thing to do.  But moreover, imagine that some ducks from Flock #2 want to experience life as a healthy and vigorous duck so they decide to run in this Spring's special election.  Lame-duck-cum-candidate says to himself, “how the heck do I win an election in San Juan County?”  Well, being skeptical of the CAO seemed to work for Bob and Marc, maybe, just maybe, they were onto something.

So here we are, at the last juncture for the current Council to do what is right and to revisit and repair the fundamental flaws in the proposed CAO.  If this opportunity is not taken, the Council has just bought us all some very expensive tickets to Kabuki theater.

Save me the aisle seat.


  1. An article in today's Wall Street Journal about the rather opaque Communist Party transition taking place in China, which is rattling teacups over there these days, indicates a few of the old guard "ancien regime" seem to finally recognize that here might be a problem ... the article's headline reads: "China Leader Nods to Concerns Over Corruption."

    Uh. Just sayin' ...

    PS - To the FOSJ, please be sure not to respond or send out your usual puppets to rant and rave, don't encourage us, if you keep quiet maybe we'll all go away.

  2. Personally, I would like to see discussion, and I don't want to discourage anyone from commenting ... regardless of how they feel.

    And the TH has no plans to go away ... ever.

  3. I agree with Ed. What has gotten us to this point is a LACK of dialog. We need to have communication with FOSJ and all other people concerned with our environment and community. I think it is a huge disservice to ask anyone to leave the discussion. The Council tried that, and look where it has gotten us.

    I am Nick Power and I am ready for chit chat.

  4. I have no idea who Ed is, but thanks.

  5. One of the more frequent assessments of the election goes something like this: The American voters decided not to throw the bums out, but rather told the bums to get back to work and git it done.

    That cost about six billion.

    OK. So, let's talk.

  6. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Mr. Power has made a statement that checks out. (Most of his do.)

    Voters were on the ball, maybe they were reading TH, maybe they smelled it out, but even with many votes not counted we know for sure they don't like the back room stuff. I mean, as Power pointed out, they REALLY don't like it!

    Message to FOSJ; given the obvious above message you sure you want to continue with your present behavior?

    Come on David D, give us a good post. I agree with the boss we need to hear your thoughts and in fact we would like to.

  7. Interesting comment immediately above about FOSJ behavoir. I don't believe anything short of them losing a series of lawsuits will alter their actions. In my opinion, which we still get to give, for how long I'm not sure, the FOSJ inner circle are HARD, HARD core idealogues. They are true believers, and those who disagree are ignorant or evil. If after a short attempt at "re-education" one still disagrees, you go from the ignorant bucket to the evil bucket. And their mission is to eradicate evil from the Islands, which means nearly all of the 15,000 injabitants.
    I would hope I'm wrong, and can be convinced by evidence.

  8. One would think FOSJ membership has got to be falling. If I were a member, I certainly would be concerned about the potential of my being included in a lawsuit. No matter right or wrong, those things are expensive!

    Unfortunately I agree with the above post. The people running FOSJ can whip themselves into a frenzy over just about anything and they keep the fires burning with trumped up environmental threats.

    If you read the TH posts carefully, and I think I do, just a few back was one wherein it seemed more than hinted: "I haven't read the report" but we could use it to bolster our position...basically that the Salish Sea is going to Hell in a Gucci handbag full of dead herring. Unstated is: Well, no one really reads the these reports anyway.

    Over and over, time and again we have seen FOSJ "science" to be absolute crap. (Sometimes it's deer shit.)

    If FOSJ members want to continue to support this nonsense, they do so at their own risk, as the sign always says.

  9. The FOSJ annual report used to have a proudly displayed membership roster. They haven't done that in years. Why?

    In any event local membership is pretty irrelevant to the FOSJ other than to wrap a cloak of legitimacy around them, that they do not deserve.

    No, there money comes from the Bullit Foundation, Ecology, EPA, and donors from the one percent echo chamber that barely lost the national election.

    Hah. You think this is about Republicans and Democrats?

    No, we're being played off each other by Plutocrats for the Planet.

    Middleclass = Consumers. Consumption is destroying the planet. Ergo, get rid of the middle class. The FOSJ wants to help. That's how they raise money.

    Look back at members of their board, how many do you think come from too big to fail financial services corporations?

  10. The sleazy work of environmental deception is not, it seems, confined to our area. Google the Kitsap Alliance of Property Owners and note the comments of Robert Benz (sp?). Sounds like the Friends must have friends in Kitsap County.

  11. Thank you for the heads up on Kitsap. Confusing at first, but eventually the read runs down the same track we are beginning to see repeatedly followed.

    People are labeled. (Dr. Flora)

    Then these people are dismissed and parked aside from consideration in the process.

    (Here in SJC we have a clear example. Frank Penwell, like him or hate him has written thoughtful and well researched comments on the SJC CAO's, but Frank is a...well you can pick just about any nasty title you want, because that is why his comments are round filed unread after the the council sees his name.)

    Then we have ushered in the selected, the blessed, THE TRIBES...THE BIGGEST RIP-OFF ARTISTS LIVING TODAY along with the card carrying trollops anointed by groups like FOSJ, the Puget Sound Partnership, and the DOE.

    Once blessed, this selected source "science" is used and used and used again even though a lot of it is known garbage.

    If people wonder why cars, offices, etc. get bombed, well as Senator Barbara Boxer would say: "I'm speaking truth to power."

    (To my knowledge, Boxer, an actual environment advocate, has not blown anything up, yet anyway.)