The appointment of Tim Blanchard to the Planning Commission is getting a lot of attention. Blanchard is on the Board of the Common Sense Alliance (CSA), and he replaces Evelyn Fuchser, whose term expired. Fuchser was on the Board of the Citizens Alliance for Property Rights (CAPR).
Blanchard's appointment caused David Dehlendorf (husband of a Planning Commissioner) to send an apoplectic email to the County Council, objecting to Blanchard's appointment. You can read Dehlendorf's screed here. Dehlendorf is concerned about CSA having too many members on the Planning Commission, but if Dehlendorf had examined the voting records of the "CSA Planning Commissioners," he would have realized that they have not voted as a bloc -- not even regarding the CAOs. The people who have voted as a bloc on the Planning Commission have been most of the non-CSA, non-CAPR members. Susan Dehlendorf, Barbara Thomas, Bob Gamble, Stephen Adams, and Karin Agosta almost always vote the same way, and nearly all of them are involved in the campaigns of Byers and/or Pratt.
Why the sudden concern for balance on the County's committees? For me, the fuss is reminiscent of the racial integration of schools back in the 50s, with Dehlendorf playing the role of George Wallace standing in the schoolhouse door. Goodness, we can't have integration here. That would destroy our way of life!
Blanchard just wrote to the Council in response to Dehlendorf's letter. Have a look.
Members of the County Council:I am writing to address recent assertions by David Dehlendorf that I failed to "fully and properly" disclose potential conflicts of interest in my application to serve on the Planning Commission. (San Juan Islander, Feb 6, 2013.) I am at a loss concerning the relevance of much of Mr. Dehlendorf's letter, but wanted to make clear to Council that my disclosure of potential conflicts was "full" and "proper."For the record:I am a member of the Board of Directors of the Common Sense Alliance (CSA), a nonpartisan, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization. As its website states, CSA "provides the vehicle through which information can be provided to citizens and government alike, allowing citizens to be more engaged in our charter government and requiring government to follow established law and process to provide fair and enforceable laws for Islanders." www.commonsensealliance.net.In my application, I identified CSA as an organization in which I "serve in a decision making capacity," and further disclosed my service as an officer of the Board.I do not serve as CSA's "principal attorney." Neither I, nor my firm, have ever been engaged as legal counsel for CSA or provided legal advice to CSA. Public comments that I have made on behalf of CSA were made in my capacity as one of CSA’s vice presidents.I am not a "party to a lawsuit against the County." Nor has CSA initiated a "lawsuit" against the County. CSA recently filed administrative appeals with the Growth Management Hearings Board, in furtherance of its public comments regarding the recently adopted Critical Areas Ordinance provisions.I am not sure why Mr. Dehlendorf was unaware of the vacancy on the Commission. The regular vacancy notice and request for applications were posted on the County website and I believe the terms of Planning Commission members have also been consistently listed on the County website.Please let me know if you have any questions.Sincerely,Tim Blanchard