Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Wait Is Over

The election results are in.
  • Jarman 3,372 votes (50.52%) to Pratt 3,302 votes (49.58%)
  • Hughes 3,440 votes (51.1%) to Byers 3,292 votes (48.9%)
  • Stephens 3,640 votes (57.08%) to McClerren 2,737 votes (42.92%)
San Juan County is no stranger to recounts. If there is a recount, then the challenging party must pay $0.25 per ballot (depending on the closeness of the outcome). According to the election website, there are approximately 60 votes left to tally.

The Lopez School Bond measure, which needed 60% to pass, lost badly.
  • Approved - 619 votes (42.19%)
  • Rejected - 848 votes (57.81%)
And for some strange reason, Sharon Kivisto felt the urge to predict the outcome of the election just hours before the official results were in. Kivisto predicted that Pratt would defeat Jarman.

Kivisto reprised the Chicago Daily Tribune (Dewey Defeats Truman)  by predicting a win for Pratt just hours before the official results were announced.


  1. Reform is on!
    Dear Spring Council, it's time to sweep the committees out and introduce some new people who AREN'T puppets of the FOSJ - start with the MRC please, Ed Kilduf and Peg Manning are perfect.

  2. Amen. Ed actually has the scientific background and knows what real best available science is.

  3. Jim Slocumb has been on for 17 years!!!
    Michael Durland has been on for 8 years. That is plenty. Michael, please, do us a favor, and withdraw your petition/application.

    Give these guys the boot and get some intelligent people on these committees.

    I believe the decision is up to the NEW council. Rick Hughes, Bob Jarman and What's his name from Lopez.
    Contact your reps and let them know that you support TERM LIMITS for COMMITTEEs. This is something they can do legislatively.
    Otherwise, the Dorfs and their ilk will be on these committees for generations, causing undue influence and corruption.

  4. Thank you to TH for being here to enable good communication among citizens who care enough to come together and work together. Congratulations to all SJC residents who were aware enough to do so.
    There is hope! The big work has just begun though.
    San Juan County Spring!

  5. Is it just me, or is anyone else excited that we don't have a committed socialist who has worked tirelessly for generations in pursuit of a socialist agenda, while running from that label and trying to appear rational and fair?? Also, we defeated a woman who has been a disgrace to this county in her service, shoving needless regulation down our throats, using the county power to harass private business, and being cozied up with the FSOJ.

    The broom is here. Sweeping out the FSOJ and Corrupt Machine people. This is only a start.

    I agree with the previous poster that the new council needs to start by clearing these committees and mandating term limits. Get rid of the FSOJ influence, once and for all.


    Let's define, once and for all, the core services our government shall provide and work towards cutting government expenditures to much lower levels. Lovel, Howie, and other past council members have so badly mis managed the county budget, while claiming success, that it will take Rick and Bob and What's his name at least one cycle, maybe more, to be on the path to sanity.

    LOVEL, do you get it yet??? You lost!! POUND SAND. GO AWAY. LEAVE US THE DORF ALONE

  6. It is a San Juan Spring uprising!!!

  7. @8:10

    San Juan Spring for sure!!!

    Now, these guys get to select the new county manager.
    Time to roll up the sleeves and get to work.

    To all the TH readers and supporters, sincere thanks for making the extra effort to get out the vote. Those people you talked to, that made the difference. All the difference.

    We need to have our celebration this week, then get back to work. There is a lot to be done.

    1) Select a strong county manager
    2) Fix the CAO debacle
    3) Reform the committee process
    4) Remove FOSJ influence from departments, committees, etc.
    5) Remove PSP influence
    6) Remove FOSJ Influence
    7) Get Trojan Heron T-Shirts.
    8) much much more to be done.....

  8. My guy lost, but I'm smiling. I did the Pratt door sign on SJI (12 bucks at consignment treasures) and the open window sign and the gear sign saying VOTE NON-PARTISAN, VOTE McCLERREN.

    Also someone I know gave the max $900 to Brian and talked someone else into doing the same.

    I just hope this McClerren campaign gets some respect for working families and people under 50 years old.

    Hats off to Bob and Rick! I hope we helped you win. But, we still need young blood on the council and we'll be back!

  9. @8:47
    I think the McClerren campaign got a lot of respect and not from just under 50s. New blood is always welcome from us oldsters too. I'm looking forward to watching Brian go forward in the county!

    Congrats SJC, America works!

  10. Hey @ 8:47
    I met Brian. Nothing but admiration and respect for him. I love your signs on the island too!!! Way to go.
    I think, if Brian is interested, his campaign starts up soon.

    Watching him in the debates showed genuine thought and response to questions, not canned answers and party line bulldorf that what's his name was spewing. Also, What's his name (from lopez) was just angry and acted like we should just accept him without question.
    He is a politician and a cheap suited hypocrite. I will support Brian in any efforts to advance a new campaign.
    Also, if I visit Lopez, I would want to see him just to say hi. When I talked with him, he not only listened, he listened intelligently and actually asked questions that told me his mind was open to what other people had to say.
    A shoestring budget against a machine driven candidate and he got a substantial share of the votes. Impressive and nothing to be ashamed of.

    Brian, we will help if you want to run again.

  11. 3300 people in this county said Lovel, you are great. Keep up the good work.
    Fortunately 3370 people were able to realize the BS that she purports and agenda driven disgusting politics she is party to.
    Thank you to everyone for this victory!!!
    We are the 50.78% and we will be heard!!!

  12. "Lisa congratulates Hughes on his win" -Letter in the Guardian.

    Short, to the point. Reasonably classy.

    Lovel, we are waiting.
    If you want help writing it, let us know. We have about 3372 people that are willing to help!!

  13. The Machine will not go gently into that good night.

    They will fight like wet weasels.


    Bring it on. Let's put an end to this thing.

    Don't give too much hope to this Council, but it is far far better that what it could have become.

    A pendulum has swung ... just barely at the tipping point, now we have to work really hard to accelerate momentum.

    Never forget what it really means to win by a few dozen votes and how powerfully that will motivate the other side to force themselves back in any way they can. Stay vigilant.

    Also, the hardest thing. Forgive. Help the healing begin. Don't let this victory go to your head and watch out that we don't turn into another version of what we're trying to get rid of.

    Stay mindful. Congratulations everyone. San Juan Spring is here.

  14. @10:48

    Very very wise words. "watch out that we don't turn into another version of what we're trying to get rid of"....

    Great point.
    Let's disarm them with humility in victory.
    Healing, rebuilding, and bringing true economic growth to these islands. We can do it.
    For those of you that have the time, look at the upcoming committee vacancies and see if you could serve on one. It is a sacrifice, but it makes a difference.

  15. Ranker is next, he started this situation that we are now crawling out of.

  16. Ranker next?
    How bout Randy?

  17. @11:50
    Lets talk strategy.

    Finding the right candidate is key.
    They need to run as a D in the primary and be middle of the road enough to have the R's not run anyone and, in fact, endorse the D candidate. That is how you beat Ranker

  18. @ 12:33 AM

    That is exactly right and there is power in being absolutely open and transparent about intention.

    Also there is major influence within the moderate wing of the party on the mainland. There is some deep unhappiness with the Ranker elements. It is a party divided.

    We may lose an island representative and that would be too bad. On the other hand if we can position ourselves to help a regional coalition come together to put someone more sensible in office that could pay off in spades for this County. We don't need to be seen as breeding grounds for genetically modified political mutants.

    I think we will see an increasing groundswell for moderate independents over the next few years.

  19. Have it on good authority that Byers and Pratt conceded.

    NO RECOUNT!! Woo hoo!

  20. Lovell, congratulations on a well run campaign, and I hope you will work with us to mend the...HAHAHAHA are you kidding me? BEAT IT LOSER

  21. I would trust card-readers, cheap psychics, and crystal gazers before I trusted the San Juan Islander.

    I wonder if Sharon K sits around the dinner table trying to move her silverware around with mind-control?

  22. So who is dusting off their resumes this morning? Perhaps we could find a package deal somewhere for (1) the Hales; (2) Rene Beleveau; (3) Stan Mathews; and (4) Rachel the Engineer. All are management; all have at-will contracts (I would guess); all belong somewhere else.

    The Hales belong anywhere else. She is a horrible planner and he knows nothing about "stormwater." send them back to Montana or Idaho or wherever they came from. Rene belongs somewhere where he cannot conduct personal vendettas and where a working knowledge of the building code is not required; Mathews belongs somewhere where his talents (misinformation and manipulation) would shine--NOT in charge of technology about which he knows nothing; and the Engineer belongs in some big city where her big straight highways and signs and guardrails belong.

    Get out the brooms; it's time to sweep away the detritus that Ranker and Rose brought to the County and get back to the way we were.

    Next big decision: County Manager. How about a change? How about we stop hiring "experienced" bureaucrats and look for someone with real world experience? Someone who knows what "customer service" and "balanced budget" mean? Take a flyer! Think outside the box! We are not your typical County.

  23. No way Kilduf or Manning will make it to the MRC--the heads of the incumbents would explode--people who ask questions? No thanks. Laura Jo Severson, the schoolmarm, is far more likely to be supported by the incumbents, most of whom believe that they are appointed for life due to their unparalleled wisdom and connections.

    Given the good work of the Council (Miller especially) to rationalize the advisory body process, including term limits, it is far more likely that the Machine will move the MRC functions to the (Ron Zee) Conservation District and the (Ron Zee) Madrona Institute to get away from the pesky Council interference. And the Conservation District no doubt will seek a doubling of its per parcel fee to pay for all those jobs for usual suspects. Maybe hire Lovel to write the ag best practices to get ag out of the CAOs? And fully fund her pet project, the Brickhouse--and by fully, I mean more than the million $ of tax payer money already wasted.

  24. Does the council have the power to ask the Hales to leave?

    I've said it before and I'll say it again...Shireene omitted public comment concerns when they didn't fit her agenda and I think that would be reason enough to fire her. It's all in the documents and videos. I would think her job description didn't include weighting the comments.

  25. @8:30 the challenge with the county managers position is the recruiter they are using. They, I believe, are the same firm that delivered Rose and Jean and are still paid a % of Jeans contract. It is called Prothman and their expertise is government people. Sadly I do not think the government establishment will have the courage to hire a non government person who thinks differently and is open to change. Doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results is madness...

  26. @ 8:45 AM

    As of the date of the new Council and Charter rules, I definitely think the Council can call a "performance review" on any at will county employee and send them packing at the end of the day.

    As to the planning, permitting thing, I can think of at least three high level personnel who were handed their hats either by the council in executive session or by the Administrator (remember what's his name that crazy guy who ran CDPP who basically disappeared over-night a few years ago?)

    No there is nothing out of sorts in cleaning house at the management levels. "Hey your a nice guy but things are changing and we just don't think its a fit any longer."

    Eliminate the position. Wait 60 days. Re-write the job description. Salt and pepper to taste. Take a different tack.

    Now that is Bureaucratize 101. If this out going council can't handle it with a temporary hired gun admin who marvels at the fact that these islands are actually very different can't do this, then let's ramp up to be damn sure the incoming council states very clearly their performance expectation and then proceeds to construct the best management fit to carry forward good policy.

    This is not rocket science.

  27. Current council and then candidates participated in the selection of applicants. Prothman screens the initial apps and conducted the search.
    Current council will interview and decide. It is up to them.
    If the fumble this one, only them to blame. They have all been involved in the process and have no excuses.

  28. So, David Dehlendorf's smear campaign on Lopez Rocks and other venues didn't really work. Maybe other political hacks will learn something, the mote in their own eye and all that. Complaining about "rich off-islanders stealing the election" when you're supporting a candidate (Byers) supported largely by...... wait for it........ rich off-islanders is really a tough sell to people who can actually think. Hopefully Dehlendorf has got a rock he can crawl back under while he contemplates the error of his thinking.

    So just who is David Dehlendorf and why does he want us to vote the way he votes? Let's see:

    David and Susan Dehlendorf have contributed only to leftist Democrat causes: $700 to Barack Obama, $250 to and $250 to the DNC.

    What about locally? Hmmm.....

    $200 to Lisa Byers, $300 to the San Juan County Democratic Party, and $50 to Democrat Bob Ferguson.

    Not exactly "balanced".

    Since he gave to her campaign, Dehlendorf clearly supported Lisa Byers in this race. Let's take a look at her largest contributors and see where they're from:

    Taking a quick look at her largest contributors, I see $1,800 coming from that odd sounding San Juan county enclave called "Berkeley, CA", $900 from Bellingham, $600 from Canaan CT, $1,000 from Sioux Falls, SD (which undoubtedly shares a number of saltwater issues with our county), $750 from Boulder CO, $900 from some rich Beverly Hills film people, and a smattering of other decidedly un-San Juan locations like Seattle and Colorado.

    Since he didn't hesitate to point out the "mansions" the Trust Islanders contributors supposedly inhabit, Dehlendorf should have pointed out where the Beverly Hills people live. But maybe first let's take a look at their second home (maybe third or fourth or fifth?) on Maui that was featured in Architectural Digest:

    Their Beverly Hills home is similarly a million dollar plus shack.

    I also looked at a few records of past political contributions from the largest donors to Lisa Byers. Almost all are to partisan Democratic party candidates and entities. So how can Dehlendorf claim with a straight face that Byers ran a non-partisan campaign? Seriously?

    Why did they (the rich people from Hollywood, Boulder, Connecticut, South Dakota, etc. contributing to Byers) make this investment in our election? What are THEY afraid of? What is it they expected from the Lisa? Are they just so used to throwing their weight around that they think it is their right to tell the rest of us how to vote?

    Of course, the rich are different from you and me. They have more money. But that shouldn't mean they can buy our government.

    Dehlendorf attempted the worst kind of political smear campaign (as if there's a good kind) - one based on faulty logic, identifying the "other" so that you can point the blame at "them", innuendo and fear. Intelligent voters can't make someone like Dehlendorf shut up, but we can shine a light on him and make him scurry back to the drain he calls home. Let this election be the start of a new era of not letting the Dehlendorfs, the Kivistos, the Howies, et al smear candidates who are not the extremists they cherish.

    Candidates pleading for "civility" while they're supported by smearing hacks like Dehlendorf is the worst kind of political hypocrisy.

  29. Dehlendorf is a flim flam man.

    Looking at the Open Secrets data, Dorf gives to PACs.

    But Dorf whines and complains about PACs in the same breath.

    Hypocrite. No wonder Dorf has become the best fund raising Trust Islanders! could hope for. The more Dorf foams at the mouth, the more checkbooks are happily opened for Trust Islanders!

  30. Now really. A column analyzing the numbers by precinct and making a prediction is compared to the Chicago Tribune publishing a headline and story declaring Dewey the winner of the presidential election. Come on.

    The prediction was interesting to do, a lot of readers enjoyed it. It was a way to look at the numbers, a way to see the trends and how they differed - early Lopez and Orcas voters vs later ones.

    I could have posted my prediction of the reaction on the crazy way Ed Kilduff and this blog's readers would react but that would have been way too easy.

    Bob Jarman and I have been friends for a long time. We had a good laugh and the world is still spinning. Both of which I could also have predicted.

  31. @Kivisto
    "crazy way.....they would react"

    It was a good piece of comparative satire. Nothing more. I was actually impressed with the rapid assembly and publication. Hats off to the TH for the quick thinking.

    Your comments are welcome here. Please be advised, however, the TH has been designated a no pencil throwing zone. Thanks. Profanity laced tirades are allowed though but we keep those to a minimum.

  32. @11:00 -- and when you say "No pencil..." Here's hoping.

  33. And why did I bother writing. That pencil thing is really tiresome. It isn't true. Yes I did call Penwell a f-ing liar AFTER not during a public meeting. I did so because (surprise I lost my temper when he repeatedly lied and had other people lie and say I was on his property. Which days later he recanted. Really boys, grow up. Enough said.

  34. Tiresome or not, the pencil throwing incident is true, and there were several people there to attest to that. Your account of the past is about as good as your predictions of the future.

  35. @Kavisto
    You are assuming we are of the male persuasion. Do you think that women are somehow unable to detect a biased blog that masquerades as journalism??
    I missed the San Juan Islander story about the OPMA issue where elected public officials issued enough "I don't recall" statements to rival Ollie North.
    Seems noteworthy that our electe officials were caught breaking the rules and appear to be obfuscating during
    The whole pencil/profanity thing, well, generally we like to get about a year out of these sorts of things so it should be done soon.
    Your opening statement "why did I even bother writing"?
    We are asking this very same question about your online blog, in general. Why bother? And why masquerade as "news".

    To your credit, the classifieds are great. I have bought and sold things through there. Thanks you. And heck, the two candidates that your blog endorsed won. Congratulations.

  36. Thank you David Hume for all the info on contributors etc.

    Why are these people so involved? Who are they? Do they know ANYTHING about what's been transpiring the last few years? I think not!

    It's like voting ignorantly w/out PERSONALLY investigating what's going on. Travesty.

  37. @12:15 pm said:

    "Do they know ANYTHING about what's been transpiring the last few years? I think not! "

    Hmmm..... I suppose someone could write to them with the FACTS about who/what they've been supporting to let them know.

    I guess that's one risk of Washington having a transparent system - candidates who say one thing and do another, or say one thing on the campaign trail while espousing a totally different system (yeah, I'm thinking of the "You don't own that" slip up by Byers) can't hide as long as someone has the courage to hold them accountable, not just to the public, but to their contributors. Maybe Mr. and Mrs. Beverly Hills think small "s" socialism is fine when it comes a small archipelago 1,300 miles north, but I'm certain they don't want the dirty peasants with torches and pitchforks, quelle horreur, showing up on Hutton Drive to claim their share of the Beverly Hills property.

  38. Thanks to Mr Hume for the exposé of hypocrisy.
    Last night I discovered the TH section called "central casting". Good info there too on some of theses Dorfs.

  39. Hey Randy. Just because the election is over don't think that you can just sweep that secret meeting thingy under the carpet. So, let us see the depositions. Can our county officials break the law and you just let it slide? or what?

  40. Sharon,
    If you would like to be respected as the "journalist" you always label yourself try writing an in-depth story that Mr. Hume managed to do on his own on in this crazy blog.
    You have no respect because people smell a fraud a mile away, because it's not the stories (fantasies?) you write, but what you choose not to write.
    You seem to have no problem screeching about Catholic charities involvement in our Hospital (none of it true) and their apparent anti-woman policies, strange I don't recall your articles decrying the treatment Sarah Palin recieved by the Dems, nor your article bemoaning the fact that Nancy Pelosi pays her female staffers less than the men, while at the same time conveniently ignore Lisa Byer's many associations with leftist organizations, nor look at her curious amount of wealth accumulated by creating hovels for the hungry masses, or Lovel's attempt to drive out a humble kayak business - you are not a journalist Sharon, you are a a propagandist, and worse, an apologist.

  41. I think the TH could have called this post " the weight is over".
    A huge burden has been lifted.
    We can begin the long healing process.

  42. The wait may be over but the weight is still there.
    Although Jarman is in, Stephens is still there and Hughes is actually the “swing vote.”
    Hughes is a far better choice for our County than Byers, but make no mistake, we will have to watch Hughes very closely. No matter what Hughes says or commits to today, tomorrow is a new day. If Hughes finds it in his best interest to say it one way and then do the opposite, that’s exactly what he will do. When he smiles and says, “can we shake on it?” Your about to be had.
    He may very well make a good County Councilman. If he does because it is what is best for him. Everything Rick Hughes does is about Rick Hughes. It’s not about the community, County, state or nation, it’s about Rick Hughes.
    Let’s keep a watchful eye on all of them.

  43. Could not agree more with @ 3:02pm. We all have to be very watchful of the next steps. As mentioned above the county managers pick will be very interesting. I fear they will find some long standing gov't type who sees this position as a nice last step into retirement. Someone who will lack the courage to actually change the day to day relationship and culture of the gov't towards the citizens.

  44. @3:22 PM
    May I suggest we get PEG MANNING or one like her to go for it?

  45. I am hearing it is too late. They have a short list of candidates and not sure is any of them are locals

  46. The OPALCO board vote is also coming up with the final on May 4th (SAT) in the ferry boat annual meeting.

    Voting for new faces here is also a good idea. I voted for Gonce and Lewis. Gonce managed a Town where I once lived and I know he's a competent manager. And, I just liked the way Lewis wrote his motivation and ideas in a clear unprotected fashion. (The exact opposite of the Lisa Byers stuff.)


    We supporters of basic change just barely squeaked by with a win over much bigger bucks, and a very well entrenched, established, and organized power structure.

    Our smiles are well deserved, but a whole lot more work is ahead to return this County Government back into one that works FOR: "We The People."

  47. What you will probably find, unless Orcas becomes much more active within the younger demographics (and soon) that the voting majority of this council will trend toward Jamie and Rick, until we have a chance to get Brian elected on the next round.

    That means the policies and positions that Jamie is now the caretaker and protector of, will increasingly involve Rick's approval.

    Yes, this is better than the alternative. But Rick has made some fairly poor judgment calls both off putting to major supporters as well as very confusing to the voters.

    Independent is one thing. Loose canon rolling around on the deck is another thing.

    Remember: Private embarrassment is better than public humiliation. Rick has no honey moon. Quite frankly, none of them do. None of them have much in the way of political capital or mandate.

    I hope that I will not see evidence of a managed coalition between Jamie and Rick. By managed I mean back channels between the two involving the usual suspects.

    Watch very carefully. Especially when issues involving the national monument, economic development, the CAO or grant projects are in play.

    If Jarman starts to feel left out in the cold we'll need to turn up the heat real fast. Jarman will be the canary in the mine-shaft.

  48. Quite franky, I have little faith in any of the currently seated council (bob excepted) given what they did with the pictrometry issue.

    The council was clear in their original directive - "Get the other parties on-board and committed". What Happened?

    We got private citizens and some private enterprise on board and a large portion of the public entities backed out.

    Just listen to the discussion in front of the council again:

    "Many countys are not making this available to the public" 4 mins later "This will end up being a great tool for the public to use..."

    "The images dont give any better detail than google earth..." 4 mins later "We cant rely on google earth to give the detail we need for emergency responders"

    (quotes above are not exact, but I'm not on the stand either!)

    The whole thing is a big un-budgeted fiasco that is not fully thought out and being driven as an afterthgouth to work in other counties.

    I challenge the council to do this: Call each of the fire chiefs and ask them if the information presented to the council fits with their beliefs. i.e. will our emergency response vehicles be pulling into a driveway and logging onto the system to see where trees, ponds and rocks are located? The answer is no. Our volunteer public safety crews are better than that... they actually know just about every piece of land on these islands and dont need to waste time dialing up pictures of a driveway while fighting a fire, they just fight the damn fire or provide aid to the victim.

    The Council has been sold a bill of goods and unbelievably, they are buying it. This is a case of buying technology for technologies sake - not for the good of the people.

    Strike #1 Rick. I dont care how many beers you buy at the tavern (before the election was over by the way) to make people like you. We're counting the strikes and it's a short path to an out!

  49. Well, that didn't take long. The Trojan Vultures are already ripping into Rick's hide.

    This is going to be fun to watch.

  50. If anyone is in letter writing mode, let's ask our esteemed council elect of they think is a good idea to have Shireene Hale in charge of updating our storm water ordinances.
    Let's set aside the utter embarrassment and legal fiasco that her CAO has caused and look at the fact her husband will be on the receiving end of benefits of enhanced rules, either grant money or further justification of his questionable existence with in the county.
    Nepotism and conflict of interest may not be the best phrases to describe the situation, just the first ones that come to mind.

  51. @ 5:14 PM

    Welcome to planet Earth. Rick will not be surprised. There is good communication. We've all learned lessons.

    This council will be managed, issue by issue. And this time, not by the Machine. Not by staff. Not by advisory gadflies. Not by outside special interests. Reform will be a little different than what we've been dealing with over the past 10-15 years.

    We'll leave the Dorfs to hop around the road-kill from this election and pick through the bones.

    The rest of us are moving on and will manage issues to satisfaction and completion and with full transparency.

    If the candidates are up to their campaign promises, this should work out just great.

  52. This comment has been removed by the author.

  53. AVOCATS said...
    Well, so much for a sigh of relief, some celebration, or "healing."

    Are we really ripping into the guy who just beat the Machine candidatewith the biggest war chest--and did so handily, on Orcas and San Juan? How about a pause, some congratulations, and a focus on issues?

    The notion that Rick is doing stuff in his own personal or financial interest is just dumb. You don't devote that much time and effort and subject your own business and family to the stress of a year-long campaign out of personal or financial self-interest.

    How about we talk to Rick about issues. Call him. Write him. Ask questions. Give him the information he needs to make decisions. Don't just snipe in the Heron.

    As for the committees, please be aware that the Winter Council is about to have a hearing/third touch on new rules for them, including term limits and procedures to make appointment more open and diverse. Patty Miller has done a lot of work on this and if you have an interest in seeing the rules go forward, you should let Council know. The Winter Council will almost certainly address this before their terms expire.

    Finally, the Winter Council is winnowing down the candidate list for manager, and this is one of the most important decisions that will be made this year. There seems to be some idea that career bureacrats are the only ones to be considered for the job. I think our experience over the past six years brings that into serious question. Ask Council (Winter and Spring) to seriously consider bringing someone with real-life business experience on board.

    Going back to sighs of relief, and sending congratulations now.

    P.S. The aerial photography issue, as I undertsand it, has not been voted on since the Council said many weeks ago that, if the first responders needed it, and someone else would pay for a share of it, it could proceed. This week, there was a report to Council about it--I did not have time to watch the live video--but have heard that a lot of questions have yet to be answered--there was NOT another vote, and indeed, I think that the new Council can vote differently if anyone can get some straight answers about the project and whether the first responders really care.

  54. The ability to apply for grants was always the banana on a stick for the whole CAO process. This getting grants was almost Lovel's total mantra.

    I see this as a battle coming up. The department head empire builders already understand that if it can be grant funded then you're very likely to get the green light from the Council.

    Problem is; when that grant is wiped out, then there must be another, and another to maintain the residual staff left from the one before.

    It's not a hot minute before you have people like the Hale's casting about for a new in house "job."

    Bottom line? Grant funding is a huge cost generator, and the only way this can be avoided is if you have a ruthless general manager who fires people right and left. In the real World that just does not happen and you end up with the totally over funded (48M ?)self perpetuation government we have right now.

    I am NOT a tea party person, I believe in government, but not like this.

  55. Agree with 6:47. We must provide Rick, Bob and even Jamie with the real unvarnished info they need to make good decisions.

    Since these three already sit on the Winter Council, an obvious one is this manager selection process.

    Totally agree they need to start fresh. Fresh thinking, fresh applicants.

    Great idea that they change focus from the government hacks to the CEO's who have run a company, who have the guts to be tough, but also the skill to motivate and inspire in house people and the public.

    No more whining and budget cry babies.

  56. @ 6:47

    Please se the last TH article, and youtube vid attached, Tuesday, April 23, 2013

    This is the council discussion on the status of the Pictometry contract that took place at the end of the IT Strategy presentation by Matthews.

    Only Jarman was willing to bring the issue up. Later on Bob, on his FB page apologized for not being able to get traction and votes.

    Matthews indicated the flights could begin in several weeks.

    Peterson suggested the council really ought to develop a privacy policy for this kind of photography but that would need to be the work of the next council. That's backwards.

    It would be good to read the draft contract and understand the terms and the exact time table for this thing.

    This is a big deal and Jarman lays the issue out clearly. It is not really about the money, its the invasion of privacy. It is about the oblique photography, not the vertical.

    Rick promised to vote against this. He has not. It is good to have him in office but this is an issue in his communications that he needs to fix. Other wise it will linger and work against him. Only Rick can address this properly and set things right. If he moves quickly to clarify his position and it will all be good. His call.

    There are already calls in the community for petitions and if the council won't do its job and create a privacy policy before allowing such data collection there are going to be problems. This is all so unnecessary and its a great opportunity for the new council to get this one right. It is going to set tone.

    Who said healing was painless? This might hurt a bit, but then things will get better.

  57. I agree with Peg. There is no sense tearing into Rick. He has a monumental job ahead of him and he needs our support.

    What we need to do is stand by to assist.

    So Congratulations Rick, I hope you draw from these interested citizens who have some insights to how this place is run.


  58. @ 7:38 PM

    It would be good if the Pictometry issue was not pressing and it would be good for Rick to clarify his position sooner than later.

    He has been in office for awhile. No one is tearing into anyone. This is an opportunity for Rick, not a problem.

    If there is a clear upcoming decision/action this council can take to remedy the issues raised by the Pictometry contract and the privacy implications great. But the information floating around is that the administration can execute the contract on basis of prior approval, and that the flights may begin in several weeks.

    If there is more time to get this right, terrific but it does not sound like there is much time. Here's the deal: Rick clarifies his position and agrees to stand with Bob, I will give him slack, I am sure he can use it. But let's get this handled right away.

  59. I sort of agree.

    To me this is not so much a privacy issue as a stupid government issue.

    Rick should consider that the resolution is no better than Google Earth. He should also consider the dual-speak of perhaps not letting the general public have the photos, but somehow accepting financial contributions for the project from Roche Harbor (as well as a yet unnamed "lopez realtor").

    Also, it should be understood, if you need to measure a house or a tree you can get a 50 foot measuring tape for 16.95 on Amazon. Even taking into consideraton of staff time we could have a full time County height measureer for 121K.

    Incidentally, with 121K available for this project we would only be spending 5 times what we spend registering our dogs in SJC (24K per year).

  60. @7:12
    Sorry. No such luck On a do over. The manager selection has been underway with winter council and candidates providing input. WC will interview and make the choice.

  61. Patty Miller has moved on from her bush league solid waste proposal, and her mysterious support of a CAO this intelligent woman had to know was a piece of crap.

    Still she missed the big picture with her board and commission overhaul.

    The Planning Commission needs only FIVE members. There is no board or commission that needs more.

    The Spring Council should call the question. Motion, Second, Discussion, Done. No County board will consist of more than five members.

    Existing seat holders can apply along with any interested member of the public for the new five seat board. (give a date)

    Huge staff support reduction. Less politics. Less everything.

    Give us a legacy Patty. You can do it.

  62. Matthews said, " we are a week or two from being flown."
    PM's original motion required that any contract signed by Jean had to include the council's ability to cancel anytime and without cause. Until we are "flown" it can be canceled. Since all three elected are already serving, a motion should be made to cancel the flights, deferring to the next council's wish to establish a privacy policy first.

  63. Folks this is a real issue. And it is important to lay down a policy BEFORE the data is collected. The Council can either get this right, or get it wrong. This is really not too hard to do. If the deal is not inked, fine. But that is not the information going around. The information is that the administration has the leave to execute the contract without further council involvement.

    That is wrong. And it is easy to put the controversy to rest and just fix this now.

    ...Privacy issues have cropped up elsewhere about the use of such images that are being produced by two companies discussing the start of an aerial survey here with county officials. They are Pictometry International Corp. of Rochester, N.Y., and MultiVision USA of Orlando, Fla....

    ...More problematic is who controls the resulting photography commissioned by counties and other agencies ... Pictometry offers to discount its services if an agency agrees to license rather than buy the imagery. Pictometry then is free to resell the photos to other users, such as Microsoft, and then share some of the revenue with the original agency ...

    ... The Central Florida chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is questioning whether that resale arrangement is proper or constitutes an invasion of privacy ...

    ... Beth Givens, director of the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse in San Diego, said she is concerned that government-sponsored aerial surveys will become more intrusive as technology advances ... “What I'd like to see is the county develop a privacy policy surrounding its use of this technology and put some limits in.”

  64. @ 8:43 PM

    That is exactly right in far fewer words than I am capable of, thank you for succinctness.

    Pictometry deals with this issue. Have the them offer a solution acceptable to the county before the contract is executed.

    Privacy policy comes first. Then, we will see what makes sense. Matthews will counter that we get a deal because they will be in the area, we must act now. That is pure sales hype.

    Once oblique high rez photos are taken, reasonable expectations of privacy are diminished, because the council failed in their duty to put proper policy in place.

    That is not a good way for the winter council to exit or the new one to enter. Privacy issues like this fester, they leave a really bad taste in the mouth. We have a great chance for a fresh start.

    Getting this privacy issue handled, will support our rural character and contribute to the healing that is needed. Let's get this one right.

  65. From Bob Jarman's Facebook page earlier this week:

    "Yes we need to get this back on the agenda to note it down. Spread the work I have voted against this and will continue to do so."

    "I'm sorry I couldn't get the votes....I voted No every time, but the rest
    of the room was dead silent ..."

    We need the rest of the council to support Bob on this issue. It is important.

  66. @8:44 said:

    "...More problematic is who controls the resulting photography commissioned by counties and other agencies ... Pictometry offers to discount its services if an agency agrees to license rather than buy the imagery. Pictometry then is free to resell the photos to other users, such as Microsoft, and then share some of the revenue with the original agency "

    @8:52 said:

    "Once oblique high rez photos are taken, reasonable expectations of privacy are diminished, because the council failed in their duty to put proper policy in place."

    Couple of observations:

    There's no way that $121K is enough money to cover the basic costs of a private company to use a drone to take high res photos of a large part of the county. No way. There's a reason for offering this service at that price that the vendor probably hasn't disclosed - I imagine there's some escape hatch where they can use this data for commercial purposes. There's a land rush to acquire this kind of information, but it's made more complicated by the fact that the FAA _will not allow_ commercial use of drones in the US. So vendors MUST have some governmental org as the primary contracting party in order to provide a cloak of the "non-commercial-ness" (if you will) of the data gathering. My guess is that SJC is getting pantsed here - it's like the old saying about real estate transactions: there's always an idiot at the closing table. If you look around the closing table and can't figure out who it is, then it's you.

    Second - "reasonable expectations of privacy" aren't diminished once the data is gathered. They're gone. Once the photos have been taken, there's no realistic way to prevent the third party vendor from profiting from them.

    There is simply no reason for the county to waste $1, let alone $121,000 on this information. The county (hence, the taxpayers) are being used here.

  67. @ 6:39 AM

    Yeah, you're right. They're gone, not diminished.

    People do we understand yet that property rights and privacy rights are basically one in the same?

    It is Friday and this train has left the station. There are ways to hook up on this over the weekend and come back first of next week with a gameplan.

    If there is a clause in this contract amounting to nonexclusive rights we are being taken to the cleaners.

    How long do you think it would take for the FOSJ to purchase the data set?

  68. @ 7:25 said:

    "How long do you think it would take for the FOSJ to purchase the data set?"

    Purchase? Given the cozy relationship between SJC staff and FOSJ, I can't imagine they'd pay for it. It would magically appear on their computer.

    If they don't want to be that brazen, it's not difficult at all to come up with a scenario where some dope at the county contracts with FOSJ (or some related entity) to do something (who knows what) that would involve the transfer of certain unspecified intangible property (only for purposes of completing the contract, you understand) to FOSJ.

    Make no mistake - if the information is gathered, there is no way the toothpaste is going back in the tube.

    The tentacles of FOSJ are wrapped into, through and around every aspect of the local and state government here - unwinding a 20+ year parasitic relationship will be a hurculean task.

  69. A few thoughts. I appreciate the details from the Council hearing. I have not had the time to watch the meetings the way I used to.

    The aerial photos are not drone photos. They are manned flights.

    This issue is occurring all over the country and to jump into a contract (1) without a privacy policy and (2) without questions being answered about the contract in advance--including why a realtor and resort company would want to "contribute" and how the data would be sold to others is irresponsible, and another example of staff-agenda driven policy.

    I suggest that we contact our Council members and let them know that this is not "just" a question of $120,000--it is a major concern on several levels.

    As for the size of committees and commissions, I believe that some are controlled by state statute and others, by ordinances that would need to revised separately. I agree that most of these groups are way too large and that they, like all other citizen volunteer committees in the community, should not need "staff" support beyond calendaring. The reason that committees elect officers is to handle these tasks as part of the volunteer effort.

    I also think that the new ordinance should require that all meetings including subcommittees be held in a public place, not the Cask and Schooner back room or someone's home.

  70. @7:53:

    We do not have to wait for the Friends to contract with the County to get this new data. They have not only "contributed" a lot of the GIS data that exists on the system (and rules our lives), but they also are involved in a number of quasi-governmental groups that have contracts that would allow access to most of this at any time. Look at the Conservation District and the "Stewardship" network.

    As for the importance of the privacy standards issue alone, it says a lot that both the ACLU and "conservative" groups are up in arms about these types of data collection programs.

  71. The Whatcom contract (referenced in another thread) is at:

    Article 3.1(c)(2) - see page 15/28 provides the customer broad leeway in allowing "persons doing business with the licensee" to have access to the data. Take a read - it's scary.

  72. Yes when the ACLU and conservatives join forces you know you have a problem, Houston.

    There is no council session next week. Damn.

    The flights are imminent.

    The contract is signed.

    We do not have information about flight schedules.

    There are calls out to see who the right person to speak to at the WA ACLU.

    This is an issue that is national. Other municipalities are beginning to grapple with the implications: