Thursday, August 22, 2013

Conservation District Watch: The Series - Installment #7

I'm sure you're familiar with the Dos Equis commercial? Well, judging by the doors that fly open for Lyshall, Rosenkotter, and Zee, I'm really beginning to wonder if they might qualify as the most interesting people in the world? Consider the following:
  • Their organ donation cards also list their grants.
  • Salmon list them as their emergency contacts.
  • They've brought in over $12 million in grants, which used to be a lot of money.
  • Orca and sand lances live vicariously through them.
  • Our Prosecuting Attorney questions them, just because they're interesting.
Okay, let's expand upon that last point a bit further.  It's not so much that our Prosecuting Attorney questions the Conservation District, it's that he seems to be eager to provide them with free legal advice even though the Conservation District is not part of our County government. As a State agency, the Conservation District is supposed to go to the Attorney General for advice, or hire their own attorney.

Our Prosecuting Attorney doesn't even provide legal advice to the average taxpaying San Juan County citizen, but somehow Zee and Lyshall have been able to get Gaylord to act as the Conservation District legal advisor on occasion (see emails below). How do they do that? How is it that taxpayers can't get legal advice from our Prosecuting Attorney, but the Conservation District is able to get free legal help? Talk about a sweet deal ... the Conservation District doesn't even pay taxes; in fact, they get taxes. The Conservation District meddles in our County affairs; they receive tax money from us; and then on top of that, they get free legal advice from our Prosecuting Attorney too.

It's ... just ... mind ... boggling.

Below are some emails from the Conservation District regarding their involvement with Gaylord. The first email describes the critical assistance the Conservation District received from Gaylord regarding CD plans for an increased tax assessment. The second email is interesting for what it doesn't say. It was redacted because the County claimed attorney-client privilege between the Prosecuting Attorney and the Conservation District. The only trouble with that excuse is that it isn't true. As mentioned, the Conservation District is definitely not the client of our Prosecuting Attorney.

Remember, the Conservation District doesn't always scam people, but when they do, they ... oh who am I kidding, they always scam people.
From: Bruce Gregory <>
Date: Mon, Oct 15, 2012 at 2:43 PM
Subject: Re: Re-writing the C.D. Assessment Ordinance!
To: Madrona Institute <>


OH Boy...I am glad I went.  It was Randy only.  Today was the 1st touch meeting. He grabbed me and we had a pre-testimony conference out side the C.C. chamber.  Thank goodness they were running late!
Randy gave the legal background on the issue.  I gave the overview of what we have accomplished already and need to do.

We have had:
Board discussion.  Mimic Island County, .05 per acre.  We have had meeting with Assessor & Treasurer.  They are happy because they will be able to pay for the needed changes in software and implementation with part of the funds collected (as per RCW).

Next steps:

Randy is writing the new C.D. Assessment Ordinance that will update and supersede Ord. # 23-2010.
We should set a date for a public meeting by this Friday.  (For a meeting in Nov.)  I suppose you could roll this into a board meeting but change the location of the meeting like we did in 2010 when this happened for the previous ordinance.  We need two weeks outreach based upon the RCW 89-00-040.  (Although Randy conceded this was out of the time line presented in the RCW which is set up for the usual approach and not a re-active re-authorizing so he was okay with working outside the stated timeline).

We need to make sure we have support in writing from Assessor & Treasurer that this will be a revenue neutral cost .i.e. the added income will pay for the process needed in assessment changes in Treasurer and Assessor office.  This would support Randy's work on the wording.

The second touch is Oct. 29, special Monday C.C. meeting.  I would suspect Randy will have his draft done by then and present it.

So, some timely decisions from the board or Chair, another discussion or two, a public meeting in Nov. 2012.  Remember we have to accomplish this before the end of Dec. 2012 for the 2013 tax year.
Click to enlarge. Right click to download.


  1. Who is Bruce Gregory? What committees or boards does he sit on in addition to his work load at the CD?

  2. As further evidence of the de facto merger of the Conservation District with the Madrona Institute and other organizations, have a look at where Bruce Gregory sends this message. He sends it to Zee at his Madrona Institute address. Just imagine how much public business is being conducted via the "private" emails of these folks.

  3. @12:40

    Others may be able to add more, but BG is on the Ag Guild, Grange, Noxious Weed Board, and the Ag Resources Committee. It seems whenever there has been a divisive issue on San Juan in recent years involving the strident objectives of the Machine, Gregory has been somewhere in the mix, if not out in front.

  4. A quiet little soldier, doing what he's told, sitting on interlocking committees for years. Secretary/Treasurer of the Economic Development Council as well. Writes the minutes. Writes the checks. Good boy.

    Gets some grants for his farm once in awhile. He's in the know. Just over the horizon is coming the New Bright and Shiny Economic Development Element for the Comprehensive Plan.

    He'll help Ron Zee make sure its fully baked before served up to carefully selected bobbleheads at cheery community forums co-facilitated by Leadership San Juan graduates.

    Remember Noam Chomsky's famous book "Manufacturing Consent?" Well, it takes a Village. A Green Village, working quietly behind the scenes planning, planning, planning, planning.

    Here we go again. You go Bruce.

  5. Bozz Zee, Bozz Zee, Bozz Zee, Bozz Zeeeeee
    I'm begging of you, please don't take my land.
    Bozz Zee, Bozz Zee, Bozz Zee, Boss Zeeeeee
    Please don't take it, even though you can.

    Your arrogance is beyond compare
    Your neat trim beard and pulled back hair
    Your dull dead eyes, and cold complacent stare.

    Your Party power and money green
    Your grubby Ecomafia Machine
    And I cannot compete with you, Bozz Zee.

    I'm afraid you'll kill me in my sleep
    Around my place your zombies creep
    My privacy is nothing to you, Bozz Zee.

    And I can easily understand
    How you can easily take my land
    But you don't know what my place means to me Bozz Zee.

    Bozz Zee, Bozz Zee, Bozz Zee, Bozz Zeeeeee
    I'm begging of you, please don't take my land.
    Bozz Zee, Bozz Zee, Bozz Zee, Boss Zeeeeee
    Please don't take it, even though you can.

    You could have your choice of grants
    And intern stewards moaning chants
    But this island is my only place, Bozz Zee.

    I had to have this talk with you
    My livelihood depends on you
    And whatever you decide to do, Bozz Zee.

    Bozz Zee, Bozz Zee, Bozz Zee, Bozz Zeeeeee
    I'm begging of you, please don't take my land.
    Bozz Zee, Bozz Zee, Bozz Zee, Boss Zeeeeee
    Please don't take it, even though you can.

  6. Bruce Gregory is a full-time paid employee of the CD but also runs a farm and participates in all these other entities? (He's the one staffer that the CD kept when it laid off its trained resource planner and its administrative person to hire a full-time manager. I guess he must have superior resource planning expertise?)

    What a busy person he must be. Although with the CD becoming the center of the universe, much of this kibbitzing can soon be done at the water cooler.

  7. Starting to compile a list of "titles" that when you hear them, it means the "job" isn't really a "job" that involves actual work. Rather, it is an extended hobby or activity that produces nothing of value. Please feel free to add to the list.

    1) Life coach
    2) hobby farmer
    3) community organizer
    4) committee member
    5) ski tour guide
    6) utility manager

  8. @12:17

    Might want to add
    7) environmentalist
    8) philosopher

  9. "Outreach coordinator"
    "Community scientist"

  10. OK, so we could make another randomizer thing like the Dilbert mission statement generator. Arrange terms in two columns, pluck one from each and have a uniquely essential job description you could add to a grant budget. And, a job that only you can do, of course.

    For example:

    Utility philosopher
    Outreach coach
    Ski tour farmer
    Committee scientist

    You get the idea. Neat, huh?

    So we'd have the Rawson Randomizer to save hours of staff time writing grant proposals, now freed up for more productive ends like attending LIO and MRC meetings.

    Now we just need an Action Agenda generator. Spew out incomprehensible goal statements attached to unattainable schedules, implementation to be funded by the next big air drop from Helicopter Patty.

  11. Anyone going to attend the CD "open house" tomorrow from 4-6 at the new building?

    I think the Kool-aid is free. I asked what flavor it is and was told "Zee-blast"

  12. "Edhale: Utility Philosopher"

    Nice ring to that.

    Storm water phenomenology and the dialectics of reconstructed wetlands.

    Hey, someone's gotta do it. Edhale could do an episode on World's Dirtiest Jobs featuring the East Sound Mosquito Hatchery.