Sunday, May 17, 2015

What's in a Number?

Let's look at the numbers for our county from the state data book. These are the official numbers from the Office of Financial Management (OFM). The 2014 numbers aren't ready yet, so we'll take a look at the 2013 figures.

The total population of our county is 16,000. We rank 32nd out of 39 counties in that regard. 

Based on information from the data book, we are able to get a rough idea of the number of adults in our county ... and that number is 13,448. It's probably a bit more because we don't have exact numbers for 18 and 19 year olds, but we'll use 13,500 as an approximate number of our adult resident population.

So, we have 13,500 adults, and according to the latest figures available from our County Auditor, we have 11,985 registered voters (down slightly from 2012). That means we have about 1,500 unregistered voters, which is about the same number of voters as live on Lopez (2,000 registered voters). We might, therefore, think of our 1,500 unregistered voters as the equivalent of a "missing island" of unrepresented residents. No telling why they are unregistered ... they might be disengaged ... or some might be non-citizens. We don't know their status, but considering that some of our most important elections have had margins of victory of one hundred votes or less, the "missing island" could be influential if it were ever able to become engaged.

Among registered voters, we generally have quite high voter turnout (~8,000 votes), so our elections are determined by about 60% of the adults in the county, or about half the overall population).

More people die here every year than are born. Whatever population stability or growth that we experience comes from net migration here.

Regarding employment, our average number of employees according to the state data book is 5,201, and this figure is in line with data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS data also shows that monthly employment peaks at about 6,400 jobs in August and dips to about 4,700 jobs in January. We interpret that to mean that our county is able to provide about 4,700 year round jobs and about 1,700 seasonal jobs ... meaning that 25% of our jobs are seasonal. Overall employment is flat, and statistics from the Regional Economic Analysis Project show that we lag both the state and the nation in job growth.

Government, according to the state data book, provides 971 jobs or about 19% of total average employment. It is our second largest employment sector, as measured by number of employees (accommodation/service jobs are our largest); however, since our government jobs are relatively highly paid, government is our largest employer by dollar volume at 24% of wages paid. On a per capita basis, the total compensation of government employees is 27% above our county average. The only employment sector that pays significantly more than government work is utilities. 

Our biggest employment sectors are government, accommodation/service, and construction. No other employment sector breaks double digits percentage wise. We think of ourselves as an agricultural community, but agriculture/forestry/fishing/hunting combined don't even crack the 1% threshold. The much touted "recreation" employment category (i.e., think Friends and PSP targeted awareness of "Our Environment is Our Economy") is our lowest paid employment sector, with wages 37% below the county average. It accounts for 2% of our employment.

Looking at the numbers above, you will notice that we have 13,500 adults, but only 6,400 have any kind of job. More of our adults (7,100) don't work than work. The state data book also gives us some insight into the incomes of these two groups. Total wages paid in the county is $163 million, but total income earned by all residents in the county is $854 million. If we assume that our workers have little to no income beyond their wages, then that would mean that the average income of workers here is about $31K, whereas the average income of adult non-workers is $83K.

In other words, it would suggest something we already know ... that jobs here are not creating wealth here. We import our wealth. The data also show that we have the lowest percentage of workers and lowest earned wages (as a percentage of total income) of anywhere in the state. In terms of average wages, we are 37th out of 39 counties ... and yet, on an average basis, we rank 2nd of 39 counties in terms of per capita income. Averages do not tell the story of our economy here ... so beware.

We will delve more into the state data book numbers in the next post, especially as it relates to property values, taxes, and the (dis)connection of government to the local economy.


  1. Superfly Mike Thomas gets a $20,000/ year pay raise after 9 months on the job almost equal to what the average wager earner makes in a year.
    In fact Superfly earns that avaerage $31,000 in just a few months.
    A County of a few thousand actual working adults surely doesn't need a county manager earning $145,000/year.

    1. That is a very large salary for a small town like San Juan. Why can he get his wife to waive laws for a building permit when she is not even a county employee. A top down firing is necessary here. As a former public employee what is going on here is absurd. We are public servants for god sake and should manage monies as if they were our own not figure our more ways to spend it. We need true public servants to stand up and run for council so we can clean house. As a professional I have never been so personally and professionally humiliated with what has and continues to go on here. We need not be republicans or democrats just people doing the thing and abiding by the laws. We must also keep it simple and remember the little guys in all of this. There are simply ways to make things better but government in their thinking almost always snowballs out of control.

  2. Looking at the data book myself, Columbia, Ferry, Garfield, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Skamania, and Wahkiakum have smaller working populations. Pacific is very similar. No one has the county budget we have. We're bigger than all of them by a mile. Okanagan has over 3 times the working population we have, and they still have a smaller county budget.

  3. Absolutely 9:08, and remember the pile on of Friday Harbor government on top of County Government.

    We know it and most of us have known it for a long time; San Juan County is stupid weird. Thanks to the TH in giving numbers that really can't be refuted.

    Let us all make an effort to talk voting to what I suspect are mostly non-voting working people about VOTING.

    If it takes a little hand holding, do it.

  4. I'd be curious to see the breakdown on the "971 government jobs". That seems a bit high. the county has about 200 ish? The town, what another 30? Border patrol, 10-20? ferry workers? 20? heck, throw in the universities, FH Labs and SVC, maybe 30 more, Park rangers, conservation district,
    I'm still only seeing maybe 500.
    What am I missing?

    One thing that accounts for adults not registered to vote, although I hope it isn't a large amount, is convicted felons. I'm sure we have a few in the midst.

    1. You are underestimating county employment. Public works has over 200 employees by itself. You also are forgetting schools.

    2. The county budget says they have about 220 FTEs in 2014, but 220 FTEs equates to more than 220 employees because not everyone is full time. I agree that you are underestimating county employment.

    3. Public works doesn't have 200 employees.
      220 from the budget book. Call it 250.
      Schools --ok. Say another what? 150-200?
      That still only gets us to 500-600.
      I'm just not seeing 971.
      It sounds either a tad high or I am missing something.

    4. Just run down the taxing districts. All of them are government employees because they are paid with tax money. Libraries, EMS, ports, cemeteries, parks and recreation, and post office too. It adds up.

    5. And federal jobs, and UW jobs, and state jobs. And on and on. I'm actually surprised it's only 971.

  5. Maybe some of the county workers have such a large body mass index that they count as 2?

  6. Does the County 220 include the Port? I agree the County counts estimated here seem low. Hells bells, about $51 MILLION bucks are pissed away every year. Take 35M and divide it by an average pay and benefit cost of 75K and you get over 460 employees.

    Only Henley knows.

  7. And of course, Mike "Don't you think I'm worth it" continues to collect his close to 3k per week salary to be a bureaucrat.
    Spending other peoples money seems to come naturally to this guy.
    If you have ever spent a second with him, he is really quite transparent. He will put on a good public face (which is a step up from Pete Rose and Bob Jean) but he is absolutely arrogant, dismissive, and agenda driven.
    He thinks Gibboney is a great leader, so that's all you need to know to pass judgement.
    He obeys the council. Which they like. He does the heavy lifting, which they like.

    1. Honestly, that's what he's paid to do. Obey the council. Didn't you read the charter amendment?

  8. We need to understand that our analytic framework of the county is antiquated and so it is impossible to really make sense of any of this. This is easily remedied through dialectic narrative and the neodialectic paradigm of discourse. Let me explain.

    “Sexual identity is impossible,” says Marx. Thus, the premise of Baudrillardist simulacra suggests that class has intrinsic meaning. The subject is contextualised into a neodialectic paradigm of discourse that includes narrativity as a reality. If one examines cultural discourse, one is faced with a choice: either accept Baudrillardist simulacra or conclude that the county is capable of intentionality.

    The neodialectic paradigm of discourse implies that the significance of the reader is deconstruction, but only if reality is equal to truth; if that is not the case, Sartre’s model of neomodern materialist theory is one of “pretextual theory”, and hence intrinsically used in the service of class divisions.

    If the cultural paradigm of narrative holds, we have to choose between posttextual theory and neodialectic narrative.

    I hope this helps.

    1. No, it doesn't help, Troll.

    2. Numerology may be the solution to what’s holding you back from an astonishing quantum shift of life.

  9. I just figured out how we can eliminate the drug problem on the islands permanently. 2 simple steps.

    1) Legalize all drugs.
    2) Require that all drugs can only be sold through the planning department at the county with a permit.
    You are welcome.
    Hope this helps.

    1. This doesn't help either, but there is an element of truth to it

    2. I like your sense of humor though. It has snowballed out of control that bad. Thank you for a good morning chuckle.

  10. Wasn't one of the centerpieces of Rick Hughes's campaign that he was some business wizard who would bring, recruit, or otherwise cause new business development through actions as council?
    Mr. ESPN & Disney....
    We are still waiting.
    The single best thing government can do to encourage new growth and business is to reduce regulations, simplify them, and get the heck out of the way.

    Rick has been an utter failure. Major disappointment. I know, I know, its probably complicated, or we probably don't understand...

    It's actually not that complicated. They electeds have had a chance to clean house and bring in new blood, non-bureaucratic types, but they have failed miserably. We didn't expect much from Jarman, but Hughes gave us hope.

    I guess we start looking towards next election and get some good, qualified, candidates. Ones with backbone. Ones that don't develop man crushes or bromances with County Managers or former Council members turned state Senator. If we could put all that crap aside and take the time to carve out effective regulations, reduce the burden on the locals, and do something, one damn concrete thing, to encourage a new business......

  11. I'm not sure we have had many looks from business seeking a nice cozy safe place to expand of set up, but right now I think anyone who attempted a serious foray would end up running screaming into the arms of those people in the white coats.

    Still there is absolutely no reason we can't have a qualified person working to bring appropriate businesses here. A real hard working press the flesh individual instead of another sit at the desk planner or coordinator of the eco grant generating Mafia.

    At the very least, if we had such a person, we could get direct feedback as to what is needed to get us on the road toward some full time, year round jobs, that are NOT tourist related.

  12. Exactly. One person is all it would take.
    We need two or three Luxel sized businesses.
    The little brewery on Orcas has done well. Expanding. A few jobs.
    What about the call center on Orcas? Can that be expanded?
    Fed Ex built a huge hub on San Juan Island. Take advantage of shipping resources.
    Anyone ever watch the show Shark Tank? See the one about cricket flour? That could be done here.
    What about growing non drug hemp? And actually making textiles on a small scale? Ag+mfg.
    come on. It's out there.
    Hell, I would even be in favor of grant money to get stuff going.
    Imagine if you had put all the "salmon recovery" dollars into small business ventures.
    We wouldn't be having this discussion.
    And the salmon would be just fine.
    The only suffering would be the paychecks of Gibboeny, Rosenkotter and the Lorings.

    1. How about using Land Bank monies to compensate and help people comply with wetlands and critical areas. Allow them to dig more ponds for storage (a great idea posted by another blogger) and pay people rent for their stewardship. We need to hold the water and quit messing with our future drinking water. Land Bank tax could be made permanent and used for practical solutions rather than buying tops of mountains. It would be really easy to enhance the island and add value to wetlands that folks think are so invaluable. Wetlands are the birth place of our drinking water something near and dear to me! I believe property rights and environmental protections can both be front and center you just have to use some sense (I said sense ...not common sense...since it is really not common).

      Sheryl Albritton.

  13. A very large man just introduced me, to his very large bicycle. 36" wheels and made of titanium, a very nice bike built by "Black Sheep Bikes" in Colorado. (You can look em up)

    Just another suggestion as to a type of business that would be good here. I think the main thing to concentrate on is lightweight materials, or small stuff, that can be easily shipped in and out. We do have excellent air transport, and pretty good package delivery too.

    As noted, craft brewing is growing, and Westcott Bay craft distillery is doing well. Hopefully these would not lean heavily on the seasonal tourist trade.

    And a remark. For me tourism is fine and can continue to be fine, BUT it must not be all we have, and it must be secondary, not primary. It would be cool if it was a distant secondary.

  14. How much doublespeak (soon a translator will have to be hired) was in the BLM announcement of a bunch of National Monument planning meetings. Grab your ass with both we go.

  15. It has been proven everywhere in this globe that if you reduce taxes and government bureaucracy established businesses grow and entrepreneurs will risk capital.
    This is lost on most government hacks who are products of leftist universities ran by communist proffs who have never held a real job or created wealth.
    Like our failed president they believe "you didn't build that" and if you didn't build it then it's not yours and they can take it.
    You see their abhorrence to free markets and small government in the way they persecute those who dare to speak out such as John Geniuch.
    If someone points out waste and fraud then the hacks go into attack mode trumping up false allegations and defaming their good character.
    I am saddened that the TH has let the County off the hook so easily.
    I thought it was a crime for government officials to engage in retribution?
    What the hell is going on around here when the media just allows a whistlblower to be attacked and fired without a peep, Without in depth investigation, Without a fight?

  16. Although I philosophically agree, when these days there only exist an oligarchy of government and phoney corporate criminals I don't know how you can defend a left vs a right. The argument no longer works. This government shows that it works for no other than a few egotistical assholes that feel no inappropriateness in overruling honest public debate as radical extremism not in the best of public interest. And although we may indeed have selected well meaning representatives they are too stupid to see their part in this ongoing inappropriate behavior.

  17. So that in itself I don’t find a particularly nefarious thing. It’s the cover-up and the lying and getting to the purpose of what is actually the motive is what actually interests me.

  18. Yes, possibly simply lazy game of pay check security, God knows everybody hates a whistleblower, when folks just wanna collect a pay check.

  19. And we likely may never know what really went on between Geniuch, Thomas and Gibboney. Why, because the legal personnel veil has been drawn. From now on it's a closed door process of negotiation between attorneys representing each side and of course in most cases themselves.

    IE, we had a County manager who the County Council wanted to fire. Behind door meetings for a "personnel matter" went on for months. Eventually he left and there were signed agreements and part of the severance package (substantial) that no one would ever say anything negative about anybody else ever!

    Well of course over several vodka tonics the truth was told to me as to why it took months to let the man go. It was DENTAL. He claimed he ground his teeth in his sleep at night and the grinding and damage to his dentistry was caused by the strife of dealing with the Council. Seems substantial bridge work costs were involved in the settlement.

    So look out for something like weight gain and a spastic colon, because whatever the claim, no matter how outrageous us taxpayers will pay for it, and perhaps never know what or why.

    That public employee personnel matters are shielded from the public is just about the worst law on the books. No one can be told someone is incompetent because of protected locked personnel files.

  20. County personnel files, by and large, are public records.
    Her highness, Pamela Moreass, would want you to think otherwise.
    Anyone starting to piece together that she might be part of the problem?
    Wasn't she the clerk at the auto parts store before she became the county HR manager? I seem to remember that.
    Sweetheart deals for her significant other.
    Punishing treatment of those who defeated her and hubby in the charter review scramble.
    0 for 5 record in wrongful termination cases.
    Why isn't anyone talking about replacing her?
    She has possibly cost the county more money than the Hale's. If such a thing were possible.
    Oh yeah, the Hale's. Personal friends and sailing buddies of hers.
    Cozy little upper echelon circle it is.
    She managed to preside over the first ever rejected union contract.
    What has she done for this county besides cost it literally millions of dollars in litigation?
    Reform is going to be a top down approach. Bloated departments need to be cut. Excess management gone. Shut a few programs down.
    Stop applying for grants.
    Stop giving people like Sam Gibboney more grant funds to grow a Eco-planning empire.
    Do we really need a green shores program? Grants to study how to get more grants? It's like an in house version of the FOSJ.
    A derelict vessel grant? How is this a function of planning and building?
    Remember we had a "pollution prevention officer"? Another grant funded outreach program. That went away.
    In it's absence, are people suddenly throwing garbage all over? Pouring gasoline down the storm drains?
    Well, the FOSJ did dump a bunch of painted plywood in the ocean.....Dang. If we only had a grant to pay a pollution prevention officer maybe that could have been stopped.
    What does a utility manager do when the county has no utilities?
    Why do we have a solid waste administrator when solid waste was successfully privatized and the new company is running it better than ever?
    Why does public works have 6 professional engineers? Seriously? What are they engineering on a daily basis that requires 240 hours per week of professional engineering services?
    Why is Mike Thomas getting paid 135,000 per year for a 90k job?
    Why is the Prosecuting Attorney's budget disproportionately larger than almost any other county on a population and case load basis?

    There are three people that have the power to fix this. In reality it only takes two.
    They clearly can't figure it out. We have tried to spell it out.

  21. RCW 42.56.230(3) lists the exemptions from disclosure.
    Personal information in the file of an employee that would violate their right to privacy.
    Translation: social security number, home address and phone, maybe DOB, any medical issues that were brought in to the file. That's about it.
    Remember when Geoegie Johnson was battling HR and the county over his wrongful termination? There was a ream of paper in his file, letter upon letter espousing negative interactions with him.
    He fought to keep that suppressed from Jack Cory. Took it to a court and then I think appealed it.
    He lost. The info was released.
    It's fair game.
    And, since we pay for these salaries with our taxes, we should know what going on.
    I disagree with the poster that says bad law locks these files up.
    Or maybe I missed the law. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

  22. You are not wrong. But the problem is that litigation and personnel matters can be, and almost always are, dealt with in closed session. This negotiation is usually between attorneys and these folks usually agree to keep whatever they agree to quiet. You might get some pap like: "Did not perform as expected." Crap like that and little else.

    And there are much different levels of treatment for public information. Dehlendorf and Rosenfeld would be good examples. One elected, one not, but you can say just about anything nasty about them because they voluntarily thrust themselves into the public eye.

    Not so sure about Johnson. (Certainly I could be wrong on current case law here) But even though Jack Cory won, I'm not sure he could dump everything he got on the internet, because Johnson was not an elected official, and to my knowledge he was not a screamer like Dehlendorf.

    At one point you could say just about anything about an elected person. Then it became illegal if you knew what you were saying to be false and had malice....almost impossible to prove. I'm not up on how it goes now, but I expect there is little change.

  23. Totally off topic here but a good piece by singer Charlie Daniels. About recent terrorist attack in Texas. Double standards.
    “Is America to walk on egg shells in practicing our constitutional rights from now on, observing strict rules of political correctness in a fruitless effort to placate the sensibilities of people who hack the heads off Christians and kidnap children for sex slaves?” he wrote in a commentary on his band’s website.

    “No other group in the history of America has been granted immunity from criticism or even ridicule for that matter, and one has to look no farther than the TV shows and art exhibits to find mocking of God and belittling of those who follow Him.

    “Yet, if followers of Christ went and shot up Bill Maher’s show or bombed the exhibition of a photo of a crucifix in a jar of the artist’s urine, I wonder if the critics would be so quick to condemn TV and museums for being the catalyst,” he said.

    “The point being that these radicals don’t have to be provoked by some special event or what they perceive as being an insult to their faith to kill innocent American citizens,” he said. “People, let’s face some cold, hard facts here. Radical Islam hates anybody who disagrees with them and their ultimate goal is to destroy every human who breathes, who will not convert to Islam and it doesn’t take a derogatory cartoon or a negative word about their faith to provoke them.

    “They live in a perpetual state of provocation and it’s not incident but opportunity that sets them off and the more solace they can get from the ‘kill the messenger’ crowd and a president who can’t even bring himself to call them radical Islamic terrorists the bolder they will become and if every federal agency, local law enforcement, intelligence agency and every other entity charged with protecting America is not focused and fine tuned to root out and destroy the terrorist networks in America, we are in for a mass blood letting on the streets of our nation"

  24. The Island Museum of Art (IMA) is opening a new art exhibit titled "spineless".

    Who would want to see a bunch of art about Rick Hughes and Bob Jarman?

  25. How does being neutered equate to spineless?
    I see some similarities, but they are very different.
    It's complicated.
    Plus, isn't the most important quality in a leader knowing where every mile of phone line is buried?
    Oh wait, maybe it's making sure that everyone likes you. That could be it.

  26. This all has me reflecting now on the classic Far Side cartoon: THE BONELESS CHICKEN RANCH."

  27. Hey there Heron readers:
    Jones Family Farm of Lopez is working hard to get a kickstarter funding program to upgrade a bunch of meat processing equipment.
    They are within less than 10% of reaching the goal!
    If you can help support this, please do.

    One of the hardest working families I know. Providing great food, local jobs, and always improving their products.

  28. Don't know if any heron readers gave $ to the JFF, but they did it!
    They are funded on their kickstarter goal.
    Worth following how this will improve process.
    Over the years I've seen the Jones Family Farm product appear on various local restuarant menus, and more recently in our stores.
    This is simple hard honest work, feeding people and providing jobs.
    All in spite of the mountains of regulation.
    Congrafulations to JFF.
    Thbak a to anyone who supported them. That is the island spirit that we know.
    Hopefully this is a sign of positive changes in the paradigm.

  29. Awwwww......
    Princess Rickii Hughes got his picture taken with the governer.
    Why not just let your accomplishments stand on their own? Why the need for recognition? Ever see our soldiers being media whores? No. You know why? Dignity. Pride. Selfless service without the need for recognition.
    Not like the princess here.
    Let's look a bit more at what he did.
    Basically helped to change the definition of how road fund money can be spent to include docks and other maritime structures.
    Well, well, well.....
    During the good ole Jon Shannon days, public works would "loan" the county $1,000,000 or so every year from the road fund. They couldn't give it away, had to be a loan.
    Did these ever get paid back? Nope.
    They finally phased this out.
    Now we know why they allowed someone as blatantly disastrous and incompetent as Shannon to stay.
    He helped them balance the budget.
    Same with Hale. She went out and fetched massive planning grants. That keeps you in the good graces of the county management. Geniuch on the other hand, well he pointed out how they were breaking the law.
    You see how this works?
    Follow the narrative. Bring in those grants.
    Anyone else wonder what could have been accomplished if princess Rickki had spent this time working to cut the budget and eliminate waste as he did on figuring out how to spend more and more taxpayers money?
    Worth considering.

  30. In countless jurisdictions you read time and again about knock down drag out budget fights. Not here. Why?

    I don't remember any effort by any of the three councilmen to ever manage, trim, or even attempt to move the County workforce in any direction--up--down--or sideways.

    So there are no budget fights. A primary duty of almost any elected official anywhere, but no, no, not in the blessed SJC.

  31. @9:40
    These guys are on the path of least resistance.
    Taking everything staff says at face value.
    They have trust with no verify.
    If Thomas speaks it, to them it's true.
    Does anyone believe that a department head at the county will come out and say "you know, we have a few folks that don't really do much on a daily basis. If it would help out, we could let a few of them go."
    Nope. Not a prayer.
    Thus the government waste continues.
    That is not to say we are a crazy lot of anarchists who only desire to have no rule of law.
    Far from it.
    Limited government is necessary.
    Accountable and responsible government is what we seek.
    At times, most times, it appears to be a unicorn beyond the rainbow running in the Möbius band treadmill.

  32. If you read the Henley report (thank you IG) with any thought it is obvious that inspite of a fairly decent County financial recovery we're still over spending. Over spending, OVER spending, OVER SPENDING!

    $650,000 is not chump change even for the profligate managers and Council people we employ.

    Where is the red pencil? The line item veto. The demand for a staff reduction. Staff that really has no real job. Solid waste? We have an excellent private contractor; got a problem or complaint, call em and I guarantee you will get a prompt and thoughtful response. You get paid to make that call, not to ask someone who has nothing to do to do it. Are we sure we need anyone at all employed in solid waste management?

    "Lead agency coordinator." What the F does this person actually do to benefit the public paying their wages. Not special interest, the public.

    In fact any title using that word "coordinator" should be suspect as unnecessary.

    Six engineers, if not running up travel expense, putting in 240 hours a week around the water cooler. Outrageous waste.

    Any person who spends any time at all doing the management they are paid to do can find a lot more than 650K being wasted.

    Can't you already hear the whining when they have to do it.

  33. Can someone remind me why we have a paid 50+k per year Ag Resources Committee Head person?
    I thought these committees are supposed to be volunteer.
    And while we are at it, can anyone list the names of 4 commercial farms On the islands?
    Committee reform is much needed.
    Reform at all levels of government.

  34. Well, on the other hand, I think the paid ARC position pays better than jewelry making and life coaching.

  35. Looking at the TH analysis of the local economic numbers, one thing is glaring to me. Government spending is a large part of the problem.
    Creating a workforce that depends on the taxpayer cash infusion is simply not something that can continue in it's present capacity.
    Size reduction.
    Program cuts.

  36. I'm still scratching my head at how low the percentage for Agriculture came in at. Less than one percent, next to nothing!

    Now think of all the concern, time and effort and money that has been put in County wide on helping to pump up and support "AG."

    Obviously somebody in our illustrious County Government has been doing a seriously lousy job, and has accomplished virtually nothing.

    And, we should remember, that dear SJC managed to shut down the Jones Family Farm roadside stand and scare the living shit out of anyone else who contemplated setting one up.

    So years go by, buckets of money wasted, nothing accomplished. Isn't it time to kick some ass and name names. Especially in those cases where committees are a hedgerow of other government agencies.

    7:44 is spot on. There needs to be changes made and they need to be very large changes. Any committee not producing tangible benefits to the San Juan County Public (NOT special interest or other government) is terminated along with any support staff. It currently appears that very few would survive in the woodpile.

    If we get all this bureaucracy out of the way, I believe you might just see AG step up, because what we're doing now sure as hell ain't working.

  37. What's in a number?
    I'd say two, as in how many knuckles deep I saw Gibboney's finger up her nose as she was driving by in her junked up RAV-4 the other day.
    What a pig, how much booze and pills was the Israeli guy on?
    He should get some help - fast.

  38. @10:16
    That comment is uncalled for, addiction is no laughing matter.
    Picking your nose in public?
    That's just disgusting.

  39. What's in a Number?
    That's the number of documented salmon increased by MRC glossy brochures, outreach, and grants.
    Zero is the number of benefits to tax payers the CD has produced.
    Notta is the number of new farms and increased farm income the AC has produced.
    Zilch is what the Lead Entity Coordinator (or whatever the idiotic title is) does that is necessary for SJC tax payers.
    Zero is also the number of meaningful proposals the Clowncil have offered.
    Zero is the number of intelligent thoughts coursing through Bob Jarman's head at any time.
    Zero is also the amount of faith any of us have in the current Clowncil.

  40. I think it was in 5th grade we were introduced to the number line. That's the line where zero is in the middle and anything to the right is plus and anything to the left of zero is negative or minus.

    The three Council members have discovered the minus side of the number line and they like it there.

    And they say the people on the TH are crazy???? I'd say these elected officials are the ones in need of full psychiatric.

  41. What is in a number?
    The number of blatant lies told publicly by Bob Jarman since the Monday Council Meeting.
    I would expect to see more in the days ahead.

  42. It's never the crime that ends careers and sends arrogant public officials to jail.
    It's the cover up.
    What will be fun to watch is the scramble to throw people under the bus and point fingers.
    Hold on boys and girls the ride is about to become bumpy.
    Going to be fun to watch too.

  43. Speaking of "watching", check out the video of the council meeting on Monday. 5 separate citizens spoke up about the same issue. It took a little bit of talking to folks to get the total picture, but it's not good.
    Hopefully the Heron runs a story on this topic.

    Sharon, of the ran a great intro piece on Tuesday.

    Watch the first 14 minutes of the Monday council session.
    Look at the contempt and hostility coming from Jamie Stephens. Sharon is a journalist, asking a few basic questions. She gets lied to by Jamie Stephens, in addition, he is just abrupt and rude to her.
    Jarman, to his credit, just laughs and "aw shucks" it while lying. I guess that's what is meant by leadership style.

  44. I watched the video but I don't understand what's going on.
    Is the gist of it that managers don't have to abide by the county's personnel rules?
    Mrs. Dehlendorf seems to be saying that staff was ordered to do something illegal by management?
    WTH! Why can't we ever get honest people in government?

  45. While it is still unclear as to "wetlands" yes or no, on Councilman Bob Jarman's neighbor's land, what is clear is at least one of the ridiculous new CAO rules is starting to bite people in the ass.

    Likely in this case it is the one where man made ponds are considered wetlands until you pay enough money to some functionary to write a report and say: "heavens no, this is just your unsurprising man made hole with water in it."

    People tend to disregard such nonsense and will do so successfully until someone wants to be mean and nasty, a loving neighbor, and rats them out. This is the society now of the San Juan Islands. Welcome aboard.

  46. There is nothing unclear about wetlands or not. What is not clear is why Bob Jarman thinks lying will somehow help him out now. He would be well advise to shut up.
    Department of Ecology found 3 wetlands. There is an extensive history of wetlands in the area.
    It's not about the man made ponds.
    Heck, it's not even about whether or not there are wetlands.
    It is about the process.
    Our elected and hired leaders, those paid tons of money to make decisions and operate a 50 million dollar county are circumventing the rules, coercing staff to break the rules, and then lying to cover it up.
    If you or I did this, we would be fired, in trouble with the law, or similar consequences.
    Question now is will anyone be held accountable?
    Bob Jarman got elected by simply being "not Lovel Pratt".
    It has gone to his head.
    He has accomplished nothing, until now. He has managed to destroy what tiny amount of trust we had left in local government. He has destroyed the hope that came with his election that somehow the status quo and political machine would be dismantled.
    Bob, you have gone from being a severe disappointment to a serious liability now.
    We all know you are way to stubborn to resign out of dignity of the office.


  47. Obviously you are more up on this one than me, and I thank you. Got any idea who called in the DOE? Will the DOE now be called in over ever bit of wet ground we can find.

    And certainly the "process" if there is such a thing in SJC would have been for Councilman Jarman to openly call the question (if there is one) up to the Council in open meeting.

    Closed door, "I can't recall," Pratt, replaced by closed door Jarman; Da Hast Dein Scheiss Salat.

  48. If a Council member resigns what happens next? A special election? And in the meantime, UGH!

  49. In many, many months if we are very lucky we will hear what Geniuch has to say about his "termination" and the Gibboney/Geniuch fiasco in general.

    In many more months some of us may be returned a very modest part of our permit processing costs. (Good luck on that one.)

    And finally we may, courtesy of TH & IG, find out how and why the "Land Bank" takes large tracks of land and makes them useless except for tourist photo ops. By the bye, is not the name "Land Bank" intended to infer there is a future return. In like when will that happen.

    So all this is at the whim of none other and our beloved prosecutor, Randy Gaylord. I have no doubt that quick resolution of any of these above matters means jack shit to him and he will delay movement till Hell frosts over.

    Live a long life people, your gonna need to.