Sunday, June 28, 2015

That Hole Is Getting Deeper!

On Friday, the Council came out with a memo regarding their investigation of the Portland Fair wetland affair. You can find the memo here.

Anyone who has been through the wetland process would think the memo is a late April Fools joke. No one ... and I mean, no one ... outside of the authors and their most blindly ardent supporters would fall for it. But that's not the worst part.

It was written and signed by the Council -- Jamie Stephens and Rick Hughes, with Jarman recusing himself -- without any apparent input from the Prosecuting Attorney's Office. In fact, it is addressed to the Prosecuting Attorney, so the Council owns this one in its entirety. Given that the Prosecuting Attorney already found that Mike Thomas acted contrary to County ordinances and written policies, this Council memo suggests a significant rift between the Council and the Prosecuting Attorney over this matter. But that's not the worst part.

In the memo, the Council defends their man, Mike Thomas, to the hilt. We "learn" several surprising facts. We discover that Jennifer Thomas had no role in this wetland situation, despite documentary evidence in the form of emails from Sam Gibboney saying otherwise, and despite the fact that "JT"'s involvement was documented in the permit database.  Now we learn that "JT" never existed as far as this project goes ... a figment of everyone's imagination. But that's not the worst part.

The memo from the Council alleges that the determination of a non-wetland was made by Gibboney based on a review from Mike Thomas himself (is Mike Thomas a qualified wetland scientist?). Perhaps the most amusing lines in the whole memo are:
Although in this instance, the County was providing the wetlands review at no cost to citizens and paying for it from funds set aside in the CAO implementation plan, Mr. Thomas saved the County an unnecessary expense by his review, and Ms. Gibboney by her determination.
Saving money? They actually claim that Mike Thomas is saving taxpayers money, and the Council gives him a pat on the back as a result. But that's not the worst part.

The Council says there was no wrongdoing ... but there sure seems to have been a coverup. I guess we are supposed to believe that Annie Matsumoto-Grah wasn't ordered to rewrite her report? Chris Laws wasn't ordered to rewrite his report? Ecology wasn't prevented from providing a report, even after Ecology employee Doug Gresham went on the record about wetlands on the subject parcel? More shockingly, the official County enforcement file was redacted to remove all mention of Mike Thomas and Bob Jarman ... with all redactions ironically placed in a folder titled "Chris Laws Personal Information" -- ironic because Chris Laws refused to redact the file himself, and ironic because personal information is not subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act, and ironic because they are hiding Thomas' and Jarman's involvement among the whistleblower's own "personal" information. But that's not the worst part.

The County Charter requires the Council to take action only by Resolution or Ordinance. Nowhere is the power of "investigation" given to the Council. The word "investigation" doesn't even appear in the Charter. Moreover, the County is currently being sued all the way to the Washington State Supreme Court regarding violations of the Open Public Meeting Act (OPMA). The OPMA requires that all government actions be deliberated in public. Action is defined in the OPMA as (emphasis added):
"Action" means the transaction of the official business of a public agency by a governing body including but not limited to receipt of public testimony, deliberations, discussions, considerations, reviews, evaluations, and final actions. "Final action" means a collective positive or negative decision, or an actual vote by a majority of the members of a governing body when sitting as a body or entity, upon a motion, proposal, resolution, order, or ordinance.
The Friday memo is neither a Resolution nor an Ordinance, but it is clearly an action taken by the Council. It was not deliberated in public. It is a conspicuous violation of the Charter and the OPMA. The signature line says that Bob Jarman "recused" himself. Recused himself from what? It is obvious that the Council worked on this memo out of public view and came to conclusions and then signed their name to their final decision. On its face, this memo alone would appear to present enough evidence of procedural misconduct to justify its own separate whistleblower complaint ... which, if it were to occur, would be the fifth this year. But that's not the worst part.

The worst part is the situation in toto. It is inconceivable how badly our County government has deteriorated, and it is time to publicly call for investigations. We, at the Trojan Heron, feel it is time for the State, or even the Federal government, to investigate corruption here in San Juan County government. As a friend of the Heron says, it is time to take the keys away.


187 comments:

  1. Randy must be having fits. These misfits can't even do simple corruption properly.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The council. Argh! What will they step in next? They are hapless.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Apart from the fact that Rick Hughes and Mike Thomas seem to be having a bromance, and Rick should have recused himself. How does council take action in secret?

    ReplyDelete
  4. No,
    The most disgusting part is how the Council attempts to divert attention away from MT by slandering and defaming both Chris Laws and Randy Gaylord.
    What a debacle.
    They claim Laws was "erroneous" in assuming the mysterious JT had any thing to do with the wetland review. Erroneous?
    You've got to be kidding, Sam Gibboney's email says Mike Thomas walked the site with LOCAL WETLAND EXPERT JT.
    Yea, that was an erroneous assumption on his part, what was he thinking.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The memo is extraordinary in many respects. One aspect that hasn't been mentioned yet is that the whistleblower is accused of not reporting the alleged wrongdoing to the very two people who allegedly committed it.

    Inside baseball has reached new heights.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Time for a lie detector test. Do they think we really believe their line of bullshit?

    ReplyDelete
  7. I'm missing something. The enforcement file was scrubbed? Who scrubbed it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You didn't hear it from me, but it was Gaylord.

      Delete
    2. What?!?!? Randy? Are you joking? This is serious, and I can't tell if you are joking. Are you saying that the Prosecuting Attorney redacted the enforcement file to remove all mention of Mike Thomas and Bob Jarman? No, that can't be right.

      Delete
    3. It's not a joke. That's what happened. Gaylord redacted the enforcement file. Had to. No one else would do it. He was stuck doing the dirty work.

      Delete
    4. Gurgle! Pfft! Pop! Zip! Swiiii! Pow!!!!!!

      That was just my brain exploding.

      Delete
    5. Hmmm....now we've veered over into Lois Lerner-style criminal activity - using inappropriate files deliberately to hide/obfuscate inappropriate government activity. Well, it would be considered criminal activity in anyplace other than the broke-horse cow town of a county that we've become, at least government-wise. HL Mencken said something appropriate here about hoisting black flags and the natural sort of activity that follows.

      Delete
  8. "Although in this instance, the County was providing the wetlands review at no cost to citizens and paying for it from funds set aside in the CAO implementation plan, Mr. Thomas saved the County an unnecessary expense by his review, and Ms. Gibboney by her determination."

    Crap, turns out we're not paying that ignorant bastard enough. I see the table has been set for a big raise soon. Cha-ching!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Is this to say that the delineation work on the subject property was conducted by the county at tax payer expense and not by the property owner as a private expense cost of permitting? Errrrr ...

      Delete
    2. Yes. They went to great lengths to avoid review. Bob did not want the free help setting foot out here even though Sheryl a board member of PF already delineated the wetlands going so far as to contact the previous wetland guy John Bradley in Costa Rica. The entire ditch along the Hughes lot is a moved stream, very much wetland given all that water.

      Delete
  9. "As a friend of the Heron says, it is time to take the keys away."

    Right. Who thought it was a good idea to give car keys and whiskey to three 14 year old boys?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're missing the point. The entire system is corrupt and these three, and the six before them, and the six before them, and the three before them, and so on -- were not able to stop or dismantle the system. We don't have three corrupt councilmen, we have a corrupt government.

      Delete
    2. One correction -- we don't have JUST three corrupt councilmen, we have corrupt government.

      Delete
    3. The Charter Commission couldn't fix it either. Worse than ever.

      Delete
    4. "Who thought it was a good idea...?" Why, the Trojan Heron community, I believe.

      Delete
    5. Unattended clowncil critters will be given espresso spiked with vodka and a free alley cat.

      Delete
  10. "One correction -- we don't have JUST three corrupt councilmen, we have corrupt government."

    I won't argue that the entire county government is rife with sleaze, BUT, if we had three decent humans as the council, they could start by admitting they made a mistake and then firing Thomas. Still wouldn't be a perfect county government, but it'd be a damn fine start.

    ReplyDelete
  11. We need to get one of honest knowledgeable citizens to run for council. NOW PLEASE

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Voters don't vote for honest knowledgeable candidates. They vote for people they like, which is frequently the least honest and knowledgeable candidate.

      Delete
    2. Ahhhhh what is wrong with us then?????

      Delete
  12. We do need an outside investigator. This is shockingly unacceptable.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anyone know who can take this on?

      Delete
    2. AG? Justice Department? Bar Association? Auditor? FBI? All of the above?

      Delete
    3. Why? The Heron seems to want to have the Feral Gumit come in and investigate the county ... at no cost to the citizens of course ... What would Antonin Scalia say?

      Delete
    4. "The Heron seems to want to have the Feral Gumit come in and investigate the county ... at no cost to the citizens of course ."

      Compare and contrast to the cost of the status quo.

      Delete
  13. Attorney general said they don't deal with land use cases and said to call the county manager. That was the most hilarious reponde they could have given.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This isn't about land use anymore. This about misconduct, illegal activity, financial mismanagement, and coverups. That's just a start.

      Delete
    2. Well, except this isn't a land use issue. Used to be. Now it's a corruption issue, violation of the open meetings acts statutes issue, and a possible criminal investigation of falsifying government records.

      Delete
  14. We need to step carefully here. With the level of incompetence and blatant abuse of power a case could be made that the State should place a magistrate in charge of the County. (Yes, even more political government.)

    We need to finally and intelligently clean up our act. The six member council was a large mistake and the resulting backlash was overkill. A modest adjustment to a five member council and the election of some younger competent or at least clear headed people would have placed us next to other Counties that have such. (Remember the investigative report by Nick Jones not so long ago?)

    The problem now is Lopez failed to run anyone against Jamie and we're now all stuck with this dude. (A five member Council would buffer this situation.)

    Of course I would like to see Pratt and the entire secret clique get the shit fined out of them, but is it likely? And, of course I would like to see heads roll as they should over the stupid small time PF debacle. (Gee, I never knew wedding vows could include this.)

    Let us try to bring good competent people up the plate and give them the biggest bat we can.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Mike Thomas saved the County money by doing illegal stuff that could've been done legally for free.
    That's our brilliant council's idea of a great and diabolical plan to blame the whistleblower for Mike's actions.
    When I think these three mental midgets can't do anything dumber than firing John Geniuch three days after he files a whistleblower claim they produce this "memorandum" of smear and defamation.
    Crying out loud, Yes yes!
    Produce a DOCUMENT that will become the laughing stock of every court room it's read in.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Produce a document that will become the laughing stock of every courtroom it's read in.

      Word. If not before then.

      Delete
  16. I think "twirling shitstorm" is the legal term for the current situation with respect to the council helping out in this case.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Where's the regular commenter who keeps saying we should work with the council? I want to know if this is the sort of stuff he-she has been working with the council on? Is this your idea of results?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No one is naive and only a County resolution will kick the Growth Management Hearing Board out of local affairs. Sure, absolutely keep working with the Council, they are only the local officials we deserve. Think of them as the mirror you look at first thing in the morning.

      Delete
  18. They have no experience. When you are that ignorant to think you can do these back door deals and no one will say anything? We are fed up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Think of this as the Dead Parrot Theory of Local Government, as in "This parrot is Dead." "Oh no he isn't, he's just sleeping."

      Delete
  19. Does "JT" do any other work in the county? How do we know this is the only case? How much other work does Jennifer Thomas get special treatment on?

    ReplyDelete
  20. When you defend your illegal actions WITH an illegal action, and you sign and publish said illegal action for all to see, you are really beyond help and beyond redemption.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's not just stupid, that's council stupid.

      Delete
    2. It's because they gave NO experience in handling these types of matters. A phone guy?? Ugghh

      Delete
    3. It'd be funny if we didn't live here.

      Delete
  21. Does anyone know if the water Bob diverts from the pond effects Heritage Farm. The PF stream drains directly down to them. Not a wetland Bob really? ???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Take it up with Thomas and Gibboney. The council says they did the review and made the determination.

      Delete
    2. The "memorandum" says Thomas can do any job he pleases, hell I think I saw him patrolling with Felix the other day.
      Probably does some engineering over at Public Works and when he has a few extra minutes administers shots over at Health.
      Amazing what a public admin degree qualifies you to do.

      Delete
    3. Well now you understand why Thomas gets to legislate from the bench. Think of his job description like unenumerated rights ... unless the job description explicitly prohibits specific actions, then he may do anything else he pleases. If he screws up, he gets a raise.

      Delete
  22. Seems to me a recall is in order if these facts are substantially correct.

    ReplyDelete
  23. ECK,
    Please have the TH look at what it takes to recall these corrupt and inept fools.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://ballotpedia.org/Laws_governing_recall_in_Washington

      Interesting rules. If there's a vacancy due to a recall, the county commission/council selects replacements from the list provided by the political party of the individual who was recalled. My head hurts.

      The 35% of most recent votes cast is interesting. It's a high bar, but possible, especially if there were a real effort to educate people as to what Jamie and Rick have been doing in their copious free time.

      Delete
  24. Looking at the council agendas from last week. Monday - nothing about an investigation, but one executive session. Tuesday - no meeting. Thursday - executive session.

    This memo comes out on Friday. Gee, I wonder when they worked on it? The OPMA prohibits secret voting.

    Someone should hold up the memo at public comment this week and say to each of them point blank, "This was issued on Friday. There was no council meeting on Friday. It was not on the agenda for ANY OTHER council meeting. When did you work on it?"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Look at the memo. It says, "approved by the County Council on June 25, 2015." It's plain as day, and they admit it. There is no mystery here. They hang themselves.

      Delete
    2. Jeesus, you're right. I hadn't noticed that. Now it brings into question every executive session they've been holding. Holy smokes.

      Delete
    3. I think the story they're going with is that this is entirely a personnel matter, outside of OPMA and not subject to public disclosure. Whether that's at all accurate is what the question is. Their own memo seems to indicate the "decision" goes far beyond that.

      At best it looks like they're playing fast and loose with the HR exclusion for OPMA. Whether sneaky or incompetent, either way it looks bad.

      #teamwoodchipper

      Delete
    4. "The County has now spent significant time and resources to confirm/arrive at the same conclusion Ms. Grah made in her initial analysis, and to determine that there was no improper government action on the part of County Manager Thomas."

      Two points about this.

      1 - The council is referring to the analysis they forced Annie to rewrite.
      2 - They say they have now spent significant time and resources. Again, this is an admission of all the secret work they have done because none of it was done in public.

      It's unbelievable.

      Delete
    5. Personnel matter or not. They took action and deliberated. Wrong wrong wrong. As bad as the previous council holding secret meetings on the CAO.

      Wrong. No way around it.

      Let's see if the PA rescues them with some half-hearted legal opinion.

      Delete
    6. The OPMA says nothing about investigations being held in executive session. Like the Charter, the word "investigate" or "investigation" isn't anywhere in the Act. As I read the OPMA, the memo and the associated action are void. If the council has a different line of reasoning, they can tell it to a judge.

      Delete
    7. Let's imagine the executive session last Thursday. Jarman recuses himself out of the room. No texting allowed, yes? That leaves Manny and Moe and the County Manager. I am assuming the County Manager was there in the room or was he excused? I think he was there. I think they crafted a narrative. I think the County Manager wrote the memo. Hand carried it around the offices for comment. Or, even worse, had drafted the memo before the executive session and brought it to the meeting where the contents were "deliberated" upon, and agreed to. Action taken, purportedly on a personnel matter or potential litigation or real estate.

      Delete
  25. I read the memo...They keep skating the issue saying the Hughes house is out of buffer. The driveway fill in wetland/altered stream channel and clearing buffer is the problem here right?

    ReplyDelete
  26. They are fabricating a completely new story out of whole cloth. I shouldn't be shocked given everything we've seen county government do over the years, but I am shocked anyway. It never ceases to amaze me how fluently people lie to themselves so they can repeat the lie to others with the greatest sincerity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have see a lot over the years but this takes the cake.

      Delete
  27. We have a government that works as well as CenturyLink.

    ReplyDelete
  28. There is an email from Annie in December 2014 saying that she never received anything from a "qualified professional" about the suspect wetlands. Then, in February 2015, Doug Gresham of Ecology filled out wetland delineation forms and wrote a multi-page detailed letter to Chris Laws about two wetlands he identified on the property. Gresham said, "Any wetlands identified on this property would be waters of the state subject to the applicable requirements of state law (see RCW 90.48 and WAC 173.201A) and likely Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (33 USC §1341) and 40 CFR Section 121.2. The applicant should obtain all necessary state and federal authorizations for wetland and in-water impacts prior to beginning any ground disturbing activities or vegetation removal. To obtain state and federal authorization, any wetland impacts will need to be mitigated
    following the standards in Wetland Mitigation in Washington State - Part 1: Agency
    Policies and Guidance (Ecology Publication #06-06-011a)."

    Whenever anyone gets a letter like that from Ecology, it's big trouble. You're caught in the regulatory quagmire regardless whether there is a real quagmire.

    The fact that hassles with the state can all go away if you get Mike Thomas and Sam Gibboney on your side shows that all the wetlands talk is total bullshit.

    Aside from all the scandals piled on top of scandals, throw on top of the heap all the money and time that has been wasted talking with Adamus, talking with Shireene, and talking generally about all the fragile wetland BS. It's all BS. Every bit of it is BS.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you really believe there is a wetland on that property, you should bring a CWA lawsuit. The coverup and corruption have taken on a life of their own, but as far as the wetlands go, anyone can file a CWA lawsuit. All you hypocrites out there concerned about wetlands, you need to put up or shut up. If you don't file a CWA citizen suit, stop whining about wetlands.

      Delete
    2. Filing a CWA lawsuit? You're missing the point - the point is that, in SJC, the existence or non-existence of a wetlands seems to depend largely on your political connections. It's all about process.

      What seems plain from the episode is that any wetlands in SJC might or might not be a wetlands — it's sort of a Schrodinger's Cat form of wetlands: as long as Mike Thomas hasn't looked in the box yet, the subject property exists in two states: it is both a wetlands and not a wetlands. Once Thomas (and JT) has peeked inside, and evaluated the political currency of the property owner, the wetlands designation can then be ascertained.

      Jarman isn't the determinative party because he viewed the box as Schrodinger's Cat Litter Box -- seeing a tiny gap in the flaps at the top of the box, he jumped inside, pooped, and then tried to climb out.

      Delete
    3. "Schrodinger's Wetlands" I like that. Depends on the observer. Since the CAO was passed but simultaneously remains in litigious limbo (you could call that the Copenhagen State) possible wetlands exist in a paradox of conflicting quantum realities. Until Thomas looks in the box. Or Ecology looks in the box. God help us if Thomas and Ecology look in the box simultaneously.

      Then you will have a Big Badda Boom.

      Delete
    4. Immediately preceded by Badda Bing?

      Delete
  29. Doug Gresham's letter clearly states permits are required.

    ReplyDelete
  30. To @1:35AM commenter about the CWA violation lawsuit.

    You need to take a chill pill. You are being quite brash, unnecessarily.

    Not just anyone can file a CWA lawsuit. there is a process. Process has to be followed. You first have to send a letter to the EPA, and they have 90 days to determine if they want to pursue the alleged violation. Once that is done, they either pursue it or they don't. If they elect not to, then, and only then, a person in possession of the notice from the EPA can sue.

    So, again, please calm down. I believe the notice is being drafted already.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I have this morning written to Mr. Kory of the Island Guardian as follows:

    >>" You write today in an article entitled


    "County Releases Final Report On Wetlands “Whistle Blower” Complaint."

    As to the fundamental question of is there a wetland on or near the property that needed further review in order to assign a rating classification to it, that question was answered when the State DOE (Department of Ecology) showed up in response to a request by the code enforcement officer, and conducted his review, and found there were no wetland violations."

    Yet others have written recently :
    "Professional Wetland Scientist Doug Gresham of Ecology was undertaking
    his own evaluation in parallel. Gresham visited the subject property to
    conduct his own wetlands review, and he determined that there wasn’t
    just one wetland present, but three."

    Are you parsing your statement by using a difference of "wetlands Violations" versus "wetland present" ?

    An interested observer <<<

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gentleman Jack has not published any letters on this matter far as I can tell.

      Delete
    2. Cory has published a number of "articles" that state with great bias one side of the story--that of the homeowners and now the Council. The fact that he worked on that property has nothing to do with it. Sure.

      Delete
  32. When will everyone understand. This has nothing to do with wetlands and everything to do with process.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I despair that no one will ever get it. The CAO is the outcome of bad process, not the root cause. It's like blaming smoke for starting the fire, or blaming the rooster for the sun coming up. Our root cause problem isn't the CAO, it is the behavior of the electeds and their senior bureaucrats. That's why the PF story matters.

      Delete
  33. Whoa. I get it. Rules are made, largely rules generated by crazed people who worry themselves to death that mother nature needs their help. (You need not worry, when the time is right, mother nature will get rid of us, as millions of extinct species could attest.)

    But I understand 6:06pm, I really do. These rules concocted by the few to rule over us, the many, only apply selectively either to produce money in fines for the governing body or, more common, to showboat how necessary and how important it is to support the small raft of fools who generated this stuff.

    Selective enforcement of rules so diverse and so ungrounded as to be available for use against any person sticking a shovel in their land is the life that must be expected in San Juan County. It happened at PF and will continue to happen.

    Process? What the F is that?



    ReplyDelete
  34. Due process. Due FUCKING process. When due process has been side lined, hornswaggled, muzzled, bought off, corrupted yeah sure you still have process but it has become arbitrary, selective and quite frankly, illegal. It infects slowly, like cancer and when rooted, metastasizes I guess that is what has finally happened here. Maybe the council are just three fools pissing in the wind but still decent men at heart. If that is the case, they should be asking for our help, they should be screaming bloody murder, they should be writing rants in the Trojan Heron. But long ago discovered resistance is futile and they became assimilated into the collective. They are probably happier that way, and of course they are well paid.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Its about avoiding impacts to our water resources, obviously this is too much to ask of Chris and Jenise Hughes. Our water resources deserve respect. All would agree........ life starts in the wet spot!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Crikey. Not dreary buzz killing wetland kooky talk again. Thank you for channelling Shireene channelling Adamus channelling Stockdale, but you are one of the many who just don't seem to get it. I know. I know. It's about ecosystem collapse and climate change and the extinction of frogs and dying polar bears and butterflies and the delicate fragile one-ness of nature, and, and, and.

      No.

      It's about government abuse and the people who partake in it. The current council abuses people because they can't admit a mistake. You'd abuse people because they don't show wet spots enough "respect." You'd be no different from the council on the abuse scale then. You just have a different justification for abuse.

      Delete
    2. Nope, its both. Nothing worse than corrupt government, but if you don't like wetlands than quit drinking and using water. Where do you think the shit comes from?
      Shireen ahhh NOT, how insulting. Reveal who you are so I can come slap you. It about not fucking up your future drinking water, you live on a rock, duh. Cant get simpler than that. Sounds like you swing way to far the other way. Where is the happy medium?

      Delete
    3. Thank you for proving my point about abuse.

      Delete
    4. Sounds like 10:09/4:39 has a future in politics in San Juan County!

      Delete
  36. No thank you. 10:09 and 5:00 I am part of the solution here not the problem. I could never be a politician, and if I did I would probably work for free to make a frickin difference around here. Simple solutions that work for the little guy is what we need.

    ReplyDelete
  37. No if I ran for office I would donate half my salary and make a real difference around here. I have been serving the public my whole adult life and know how it can work well for everyone. People are selfish and taking advantage of their public positions. It is an honor to be elected then they turn around and abuse their power. Nothing makes me more angry than government waste.

    ReplyDelete
  38. .....I forgot to add.... Thank you Ed K. (and the others, you know who you are) for all your hard work in fighting for honest government.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree. Thanks to those who are doing what they can to hold government accountable. Sometimes this comes at great personal and professional risk. Those that really stick it out there to make a difference and try to steer the ship towards basic honesty deserve our support.

      Delete
  39. I'm kind of a Janey come lately on this latest bureaucratic belch in paradise so had to ask Sherman to set the dial for the Way Back Machine. Que in Wayne's World to June 8 2015: doodle-oodle-oo… doodle-oodle-oo ... in the distant past before Greece dissolved ...

    Fade to progressive collectivist Sharon Kvisto's heroic rhetoric free article of that day, on the heels of Right Hon. Council Member Robert Jarman's visit to the San Juan Islander's office, some moldering single wide out in hippy hollow I guess. But I digress. Somehow I don't think Sharon likes Council Member Jarman very much, he stole the position that rightfully belonged to Lovel Prattfall, Sharon's evil stepsister. But I digress. Anyway that article states the property owners of the drained swamp in question (that I guess screwed the water rights of the UN World Heritage Farm farm below, but we'll deal with that later) spoke directly to Jarman. In a rebuttal article by the notorious right wing fog horn Island Guardian, whose Editor in Chief dug holes in the subject property during a paid day job, the property owners denied they ever spoke to Jarman. An anxious world is confuse.

    Perhaps the Lord Prosecuting Attorney can clear things up. Well, according to Kvisto, the PA saw no wrong doing. First, to be clear, the PA made perfectly clear that clearly what the County Manager and alleged wife ... wait, alleged wetland scientist did on their informal walk-through of the subject property was A-OK because a grant paid for the time and cost the public nothing. But I digress. The point the PA was trying to make, or at least what Kvisto was trying to spin out, or maybe both were, that nothing JT (wink wink nod nod you know who that is) really meant anything or at least there was no ethical problem because, after all, nothing was written down. That means there was no influence silly people. Nothing to see here. The famous OPMA defense. But, I digress.

    And while the PA acknowledged that nepotism can be a bit awkward, county personnel policies only apply to non-exempt workers (don't worry the Union will make sure the rank and file behave themselves) but the policies don't apply to managers. So although the involvement of the County Manager's wife in an informal wetland delineation constituted a clear ethical impropriety ... of which the County personnel policies don't apply. Don't worry. The PA makes clear the huge International City Management Association has some boiler plate ethical policies that the PA thinks are pretty cool and probably cover all this stuff.

    So, when did the San Juan County ever resolve to incorporate and enforce the recommended ICMA ethical policies within its own personnel policies? Oh wait, the personnel policies don't apply to managers. Roger that.

    But, I digress.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Due process? That stuff has not existed here for a long time. There is faint hope for it now because there is no sex and violence to excite the ambulatory public.

    Eventually we will unfortunately get to that level and change might happen. Or, maybe not.

    ReplyDelete
  41. What an interesting situation we have.
    80 Proof Jack who was all too happy to excoriate Vivian Burnette for her hypocrisy was all too happy to expose her, but now he has no problem with good ol' boy Jarman's corruption.
    That's right folks, if you're a neighbor of good ol' boy Jarman you get the personal services of his bitch Mike Thomas and his wetland expert wife JT, if not well, then you get to pay thousands of dollars for Shireene Hale's and ivory tower Dr. Adamus's insane world of mud puddle wetland utopian wet dreams.
    In Jack's whiskey world this makes sense and since he was called out on his obvious double-standard he has taken his whiskey bottle and gone home, removing the TH link and gobbling as much of BJ's B.S. as he can with puff piece after puff piece.
    The lesson here my Trojanistas is that if it's your're a good ol' boy then all is well with corruption, if it's those goddamn FOSJ assholes well, then what hypocrites they are!

    ReplyDelete
  42. 3:42 p.m. Kivisto endorsed Jarman for county Council and I believe they've been friends for years. Also her office is in town. Have a good day.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ya shore. Ya betcha!

      Delete
  43. A lot of us endorsed Jarman too. Bummer ......that did not work out good for us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for admitting your mistake. Any thoughts about endorsing Hughes?

      Delete
    2. I voted for him too, but after signing off on this one.....he has proven he is not fit for the job of being fair, consistent and how to follow the law, etc. Maybe this is what we needed to wake us up and find the right person in 2016. Hey I know.......Lets get John G to run. He had our backs fighting for whats right for us the citizens, then they fire him??? We can hire him back. Now that would be smart.

      Delete
    3. Council could have admitted their mistakes and owned it, but NO! Idiots

      Delete
  44. Since the subject of "JT" came up.....
    Is this "JT" the same as seen in LinkedIn:
    https://www.linkedin.com/pub/jennifer-thomas/44/9b1/48a

    Who professes the following:
    "I'm an expert in Washington State and federal Natural Resource Management Policies with a focus on programmatic approaches to mitigation, such as wetland and conservation banking. I've worked on a wide variety of projects from wetland delineations and restoration plans, to monitoring plans, to developing local government land use policies, including Critical Areas Ordinances and Shoreline Restoration Plans. As a co-author of Puget Sound Watershed Characterization I am experienced in the application and use of the Watershed Characterization model. My goal is to provide my knowledge of local, state, and federal regulatory processes, as well as my background as a wetland scientist and restoration planner to clients in a creative and cost-effective way, whether their needs be related to planning, permitting, regulatory compliance, or natural resource management."

    I love the "provide my knowledge....to clients....in a creative and cost-effective way...."
    Sounds about right.
    "Local wetland expert JT walked the site with Mike Thomas last night. No report is needed."
    She's not lying about providing knowledge about regulations in a creative and cost effective way. That's for damn sure.

    Be wary of self proclaimed "experts". This expert couldn't find a wetland while standing in the middle of it?
    Oh yeah, Mike was doing the free wetland reconnaissance, JT must have been picking up the doggy doo-doo....
    Wait a minute. This wasn't free. It went beyond free, and actually SAVED the county money! By some miraculous feat of science know only to Ben Bernake and about 7 central bankers, he made money appear out of thin air. ALL HAIL MIKE THOMAS.

    Meanwhile, his wife was busy picking up doggy doo doo? Uh huh.
    So then, what? Gibboney was entirely mistaken?
    Or, the wetland expert is so gifted that she failed to pick up all the doo-doo, because it sure looks like Mike, Bob and Sam have stepped in it.
    Give these folks a point or two for loyalty. Mike falls on his sword to protect his wife. Noble. Jarman just gives us a buffoon routine and the Council cosigns his bullshit.

    I wonder if this JT lady is doing local work? She is now listing her business as "Friday Harbor".

    Since the ALLMIGHTY Council of 2 (Bob abstained, of course, because, well, this would be such a blatant conflict, unlike the other blatant conflicts that he aw shucksed away) has deemed that the County Manager not only walks on water but now can do just about anything he pleases, we are faced with a very important and serious question.

    Should his local wetland expert wife be doing consulting work that gets submitted to the county? Since he is now the ultimate authority? Seems like a conflict of interest for sure.
    But then again, the council can easily work on this when they shouldn't be and pass something without a vote when they shouldn't, right?

    And meanwhile, Gibboney is presiding over an abysmal failure of a planning and building department. It was as good as it has ever been for a brief stretch of time with Beleviau and Genniuch.

    Shit, I'm sounding like an old timer now. Wondering why we are asking the same questions every 5 years. Getting the same answers every 5 years, same promises, yet nothing new, or maybe it's new but worse.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Evergreen State College, Masters in Environmental Studies.

      Roger that.

      Delete
  45. Let me sum up the problem. MANAGEMENT AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS.

    Look at this Thomas fella.
    Look at the HR lady. She has her hands in all this quietly. Executive sessions to discuss the performance of an employee. That means Ole Pamela Moreass is in the closed door session telling these guys what to think. Problem is that they think she is smart when her failed record shows otherwise. Heck, even Randy had to mention that the HR manual hasn't been re-written for 24 years. Heck, the book predates Randy. First time ever a union contract was voted down. Pay raise for her hubby. Punishing whistleblowers.

    Remember when public works had like 3 division managers? Now, how many levels of management are there? And what? Messed up roads.....

    HELP.
    HELP.
    SOS.

    ReplyDelete
  46. JT has a Masters? Then she is not very good at her job. This wetland and stream corridor have already been delineated by the former PWS John Bradley who is old island family. Unfortunately all his records were destroyed about 5 years ago. However he clearly recalls Bob being very angry about his delineation. Bob knows there is a stream and wetlands, so does Jack. Just because Bob piped the headwaters to the ditch and allowed one of the former owners to fill the swale which fronts the drainfield does not magicallly make the stream disappear. The whole area is wet including the pasture across the street. So let it all be the way it was but NO that was not good enough lets fill it even more right under the nose of qualified professionals.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Actually we have sex here in our government, that is if they're not too tired from screwing the public.

    I refer you to the interlocutory marriage of so many of our boys and girls running the SJC show 24/7.

    Talk about double dipping. How many couples do we have anyway?

    ReplyDelete
  48. Thomas and his wife.
    Shireene and Ed Hale.
    Pete Rose and his wife.
    Building Inspector Fred Schaller and his wife at the elections office.
    Mike Thomas and Rick Hughes (Now legal in all 50 states!!)
    Sam Gibboney and her husband at Island Wreck.
    Milene Henley and George Johnson (Until his wrongful termination).
    HR Manager Pamela Moreass and her husband (recently retired) John Manning.
    Korth at the PA's office and her husband Deputy.
    Randy and his nephew Kevin O'Brien (recently left Orcas FD)

    I am sure there are quite a few others I am missing. With the exception of the building inspector Fred and the Korth's, anyone see a common thread among these folks.......

    It is disproportionately management. County is stacked around the 4 or 4.5 to 1 of worker bees to management ratio. Yet the dual employment is almost double that, in the other direction.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Easy explanation really. There is no work in the private sector here and the only work in the public sextor (sic) goes to the better connected not the better qualified. Its management by family affair. Nepotism is a right not a privilege where conflict of interest is a job requirement.

    So, what's the connection down there at the UN World Heritage Farm as an earlier comment alluded? That place is encumbered by so many conservation overlays, easements and tax breaks as to beggar the imagination. And that little stream goes under the road and ultimately dampens the Pratt Estate, another place checkerboarded by easements galore.

    I think there had to be enough water flowing through there to justify all the tax credits. But only just enough ...

    ReplyDelete
  50. As the old joke goes, "What is the difference between a Northern Fairy Tale and a Southern Fairy Tale?"......
    The Northern Fairy Tale starts off with "Once upon a time...."
    The Southern Fairy Tale starts off with "Ya'll ain't gonna believe this shit".

    Well, time for a Southern Fairy Tale, cuz Ya'll ain't gonna believe it.....

    A realtor friend of mine with an office in downtown Friday Harbor just witnessed Sam Gibboney, head of the CDP department along with what looked like the majority of the staff, gathered around the totem pole, blowing bubbles. Yes, bubbles, like the kind you give out at your children's birthday party.

    This is unbelievable. So, an hour of lunchtime, 15 or so people, times 30 bucks an hour, = $450 of taxpayer bubble blowing.

    How in any sane world is this woman still in charge of the planning department?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. $30/hr? Nope - just spitballing here, but I'd bet that the bare labor rate is nearly double that for CDP. With benefits, you're probably talking a loaded cost (bookkeeping wise, not 4:20 wise) of close to $80 or $90/hr. Some expensive friggin' bubbles.

      Delete
  51. Gathering staff and blowing bubbles is more of an accomplishment than anything Rick and Bob have done, combined.

    Hope it was eco friendly, non-GMO bubbles and they bubble residue didn't enter any waters of the state. Dang. This is actually in the shoreline.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Surfactant pollution. Tut tut tut.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Many thanks for the list of hook-ups in our sexy county government. I worked in a couple of places where any direct relationship with an existing employee was not allowed. You could marry someone on staff of course, but then one or the other had to leave city employment. This is probably illegal now, but it worked well then. "Well, you know, Bob, JT will come with me and she will put this matter to rest, I assure you."

    "Well, of course -------- can handle that; I'll ask him tonight."

    "I'm sorry she has not answered your calls, our car is out front and she is driving so I'll call you right back."

    It's all so f-ing handy, isn't it.





    ReplyDelete
  54. "Public servants: Persons chosen by the people to distribute graft."

    Mark Twain

    ReplyDelete
  55. Are you guys joking about the whole CDP blowing bubbles thing?
    I must have missed the punchline or is this some inside joke?

    ReplyDelete
  56. No. If it were a joke, the punchline would be something about "Bubbles was the Israeli diplomat".....

    This is for real. Stupidity has climbed to a new peak and jumped in to a hot air ballon from there, to ascent to higher levels of stupidity than ever previously imagined.

    ReplyDelete
  57. Two kinds of stupid here. One is blowing bubbles. Stupid yes. Waste of money. Sure. Down right embarrassing, you betcha.

    The other kind of stupid is much worse. Breaking procedures, circumventing rules that were passed after much opposition. Stupid, yes. Now, having been caught, covering it up, continue to deny and push further with papers that are so fraught with errors and factual distortions as to defy belief. Beyond stupid.
    The dimwits are dug in on this one for sure.

    ReplyDelete
  58. "... if you have selfish, ignorant people, you are going to get selfish, ignorant politicians." George Carlin. https://www.facebook.com/AlterNetNews/photos/a.206928327506.133239.17108852506/10153000163862507/?type=1&theater

    ReplyDelete
  59. And so, the people among themselves, began to refer to the Director of Community Development and Planning as "Bubbles." The appellation seemed an apt one.

    ReplyDelete
  60. Plop plop fizz fizz oh what a clusterfuck it is!

    ReplyDelete
  61. Blowing bubbles??
    Are you f*&in' serious?

    Why don't they do something like....I don't know..../
    APPROVE FUGGIN PERMITS?

    Come on. This isn't even the usual buzzword bingo or team morale building nonsense that incompetent micromanaging wannabe leaders like Gibboney are taught to do. This is some utter nonsense.

    ReplyDelete
  62. I'm sure there is a Dilbert cartoon about this somewhere ...

    ReplyDelete
  63. Bubbles?
    The only bubbles I see are the bubbling of crap coming from the council.
    Defend the dear leader at all cost. Punish the rank and file.
    Blame the whistleblower.
    Claim that this will be better in the future if only Annie had more training?
    Sickening how this council operates.
    And the HR lady is fully complicit in this too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What can we do to counter this horrid action or lack thereof. Is someone going to do something ?

      Delete
    2. Who needs more training? ??? WTF she has the proper education and knowledge ..that is bullshit. We'll since she has left now they can pat themselves on the back. She has a 4 year degree from Huxley what idiots. Bob is not qualified

      Delete
  64. We thought we did something the last election...what a fiasco.

    ReplyDelete
  65. Impeach Jarman!

    ReplyDelete
  66. Annie in planning.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Annie in planning.
    It's more than that.
    She was a very hard working, dedicated employee of the county.
    She was given the unenviable task of applying the new non-sensical CAO regs to building permits. Long time island resident. Went to high school here. Hired by Believau and Genuuch.
    She made her point known and documented the blatant corruption she witnessed.
    She drafted a statement about the incident. How she was pushed to approving something that didn't follow proper process.
    She was later coerced into rewriting that statement to soften the blow to the powers that be.

    That's who left.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh YES, sorry I did not elaborate, thank you for doing so...... you did good. Our loss. Some of us stand by our ethics and she is one of them. John, Chris and Sheryl too. The rest not so much.

      Delete
    2. Great we do this to our own????? WTF She should be the Director.

      Delete
  68. Where is the local media in all this i would love to see some real investigative reporting on the behalf of the local news outlets like the sounder or the journal but they are just sugarcoating this county so the tourists stay jacked up on ice cream and candied bullsh!t

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ROFL--since when did the local press do anything more than print County press releases--I mean, Sharon goes off on a tear every once in a while, but never anything coherent and sustained. The Journal and Sounder don't bother with anything that's not Girl Scout cookie drives or similar. Jack Cory seems to have gone down a rabbit hole too.

      We could use a good newspaper.

      Delete
  69. A bad manager can take a good staff and destroy it, causing the best employees to flee and the remainder to loose all motivation.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Bad management. That about sums it up.
    Mike Thomas was a horrible choice. He has done nothing but continue to grow the size of local government, in spite of the express desires of local people to reign it in and shrink it's size.
    Continues to parade some bullshit dog and pony show in order to get tax increases passed again and again.
    ENOUGH.
    Gibboney. FAILED. This woman was brought in to try to manage a department, that, for all practical purposes and intents, CAO nonsense aside, had been the best we have seen, ever? in decades? The french guy wasn't so bad. Geunnich did a good job on the building side. If Beliveau had reigned in Hale, he would still be here. But lets look at that a bit closer. Did he bow to political pressure to get rid of Hale? Nope. He stood behind his employees. Right or wrong, even if he couldn't see Shireene's bullshit, he still defended his employees.
    This concept has been lost on Gibboney. She is a pathetic excuse for a decent human. Honestly, she has been working with the upper management to concoct the narrative of this whole wetland debacle. Throw the whistleblower under the bus. Claim that Annie needed more training.
    Disgusting human being. Not fit to lead anything, much less the most controversial department in the county.
    Please note that Gibboney was not selected amongst a pool of people. She was mysteriously hand picked from Public Works by THOMAS. No vetting, no competitive hiring, no job advertised to the public. NOPE. Public Works probably said anything they could just to get rid of her. It all makes sense now. You would think we would have learned after Public Works transferred Shannon Stormwater/trooper Hoffman to CDP. Let's not allow PW to send employees to CDP. What's next, make Ed Hale in charge of something over there?

    Now, the HR manager. Sweetheart deal for her manager boyfriend. Major pay raise via a study she commissioned. This is called corruption anywhere else.
    Now she is quietly buzzing about exec. sessions about the "performance of an employee". We all know she is calling a lot of the shots, Thomas thinks she is smart, and she thinks she is smart too. Got a union contract rejected for the first time in history. Blame the whistleblower. Help concoct narratives that fit the story that county government is infallible. They can do no wrong. She commands it so.
    Thomas. My goodness. This slick willie car salesman has pulled it over on a lot of the people. Anyone who spends more than 30 minutes with this guy will realize that he is a cold, calloused, slimy, beaurcrat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pamela Moreass as you call her is also on the board of Potland Fair. Whoops I spelled that wrong or maybe they should change the name. Cause she is high to think this is all just OK.

      Delete
    2. "She is a pathetic excuse for a decent human."

      But but but but but............. BUBBLES!!!

      Delete
  71. @9:34
    You have identified the symptoms of the problem. In and of themselves, they are clear examples of failure of leadership, gross mismanagement, betrayal of public trust, misfeasance, malfeasance and nonfeasance, but the underlying problem is the Council of 3.
    That is where the buck stops.
    They, too, have clearly failed.
    It seems as though this is beyond repair.
    Our only option, the way I see it, is to fix this at the ballot box in 2016.
    Until then, keep the heat on them, keep the pressure on them, report them to agencies when they continue to break the law, but meanwhile we need to find 2 discerning candidates. One from San Juan Island and one from Orcas.
    Anyone have any thoughts who might be good?
    Talk to them.
    We can do this.
    We tried last time. It didn't work out.
    We can either continue berating ourselves for selecting morons, or, we can put that behind us and move on. Let's get together and rally and find 2 candidates that can both beat the machine candidate and beat the incumbents in a 3 way primary.
    Rick and Bob are too deluded to not run again. They love the power and probably think they are doing a great job.
    Time to advocate for real change.
    I would even suggest reaching out to the younger wing of the machine and see if we can find some common ground, meet that way.

    ReplyDelete
  72. "reach out to the younger wing of the machine"?
    Great....
    I-502 passes and we get even more half baked ideas.

    We tried to get our own candidates and ended up with Bob and Rick.
    You think that somehow working with the next generation of Dorfs and Pratts will cooperatively yield better results?

    Seriously?
    Please lay off the ganja before posting here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What makes this comment even more funny is that not all pot smokers look like losers. They come in all shapes and sizes just like those who booze it up. Some of the most intelligent people I have met smoke. Successful Judges, Attorneys, Directors of Planning and so on! Take your blinders off why do you think they legalized it, it is common place why not tax it.

      Delete
    2. You didn't mention "self professed weed lovers such as local Friday Harbor School Board Presidents".

      I agree.
      Even half-baked ideas are better than the product coming out of planning and the council now.

      Delete
    3. OMG I agree. I know some really really good people that smoke and they are very successful in their careers. Doesn't make you bad! Being a self serving asshole does though.

      Delete
  73. Seriously, Not all of us are bake heads. One of us will stand up and take the keys away from the kiddos steering this ship. Time to start driving sober.

    ReplyDelete
  74. It's obvious that Pamela Morais wrote the memo.
    The three stooges are too inept to think for themselves so Pam and Mike do it for them.
    Problem is Pam Thinks she's smart and isn't.
    Mike is smarter than all of them, but as someone mentioned before that's like being the tallest midget in the carnival.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, pretty sure Thomas wrote it. Morais writes really badly. Thomas writes bad stuff but it sounds a little better. Until you realize it's all manure.

      Delete
  75. Pamela has proved she's a genius, just look at how the county won wrongful termination cases based on her legal expertise in dramatic fashion against...uhm...against...
    Oh wait, the county loses every time.
    She obviously deserves a huge pay raise review and approved by her.

    ReplyDelete
  76. I have been in this field for over 30 years and have never seen government fail quite like this (and I have seen a lot). This is embarrassing to watch. There are smart ways to respect property rights and the environment at the same time. We need people who are qualified and have the tools to execute this simple goals. When you let your personal agendas get in the way of your public service it is time to step down.

    Sheryl Albritton

    ReplyDelete
  77. How many building permits have been issued since the CAO took effect? How many of those permits required a Wetlands Delineation?
    How many of the Delineations were challenged by someone or some organization? How does one go about finding the answers to these questions? I suspect a story lies herin.

    ReplyDelete
  78. How many people paid for their wetland divination?
    Too bad they didn't know JT would roll the bones for free!!

    ReplyDelete
  79. So wait a minute?
    The HR lady? The one that is suspected of quietly pulling a lot of strings behind the scenes, LIVES in the PORTLAND FAIR neighborhood? And is on the Board? The same Board that Bob Jarman Chairs?
    And Mike Thomas was living in this neighborhood when this all occurred? Sent his wife out to do a free "no-wetland" report, in spite of substantial evidence to the contrary?

    Who was ordering staff to re-write their reports? Was it this HR lady., or was it Gibboney? or did I miss another element?

    Jeeeze. The TH is going to have to make a county staff roster web like the old eco-machine one it had.
    Crazy.

    I agree with the TH calling for a federal or state investigation in to this little ring of cronyism, corruption, and subversion of process. It is unconscionable that these folks are doing this while being paid by us. In the private sector, they would be jobless. If they didn't have good attorneys, the would be likely in trouble with the law or civil litigation. Oh yeah, they are in trouble with civil litigation, they just have an attorney paid for by US, to represent them.

    This is beyond the fox guarding the hen house....
    I don't even have an appropriate analogy anymore.

    ReplyDelete
  80. Untalented hacks with government jobs

    ReplyDelete
  81. Thank you, thank you and good evening friends. We're coming to you once again from the beautiful Arrogant Ballroom at beautiful San Juan County, Washington. What is that noise there? Oh, its the Bubble Machine. Turn off...just a moment...
    I...hold it just a moment please...turn off the Bubble Machine...please turn off the Bubble ...

    Wunerful, wunerful. And now on with the show. Hold it just a moment. The bubbles don't come till the end
    of the program. Turn off the bubbles. Thank you ...

    What is the matter with that Machine. Here, hit it with your horn...hit it...here...stick your mouthpiece in it there.
    Wunerful, wunerful. And now on with the show.

    Hold it, somebody stop the Bubble Machine. The whole ballroom is lathering up with bubbles. And now I can't see the cameras. Here, let me set that accordion down on the stage and I'll try to fix that. Bear with us, folks just a moment please. Gee, the time is running out and we haven't even played the polka ...

    Where's the cameras...there's so many bubbles I can't...and so, friends, we...help, the whole ballroom is shoving off to sea...

    Help! Help! Wunerful, wunerful. Turn off the Bubble Machine. Help...help...

    ReplyDelete
  82. Have we found a meme? I see a campaign slogan, T-Shirts, bumper stickers, coffee mugs ..

    "TURN OFF THE BUBBLE MACHINE"

    Can you imagine this phrase spreading like wildfire across the islands.

    How about a County Fair booth, bubbles floating across the air. What an attraction. "What are these bubbles about, what do you mean turn off the bubble machine? Yeah? Really? Where do I sign up!! Gimme two bumper stickers and a coffee mug for the office!"

    ReplyDelete
  83. Love It. I'm all in. Call the shirt shops, the mug printers, etc. Ask for donations right here, many, many of us could not wait to help foot the up-front.

    ReplyDelete
  84. It's time to burst their bubble.

    ReplyDelete
  85. The bubble stuff is sad, and the jokes about it make a little light, but there is a serious issue here. Corruption. Our elected leaders have chosen to endorse corruption for what possible gain we still don't know.
    It's just wrong.

    We need to start finding people that can replace Rick and Bob and then Jamie in 2018. It's clear that they are unwilling or unable to do the job they were hired to do.

    The only thinking they appear to do is whatever Jamie tells them, whatever Thomas tells them, or whatever Pamela tells them.

    Sad. Just sad.

    ReplyDelete
  86. Satire is a serious weapon, let's use it. One way to pop their bubble is to make fun of them, the other is to expose them, and finally just replace them.

    We need to start keeping a sharp eye on the annual budgeting process ...

    ReplyDelete
  87. Who will speak for the bubbles?

    ReplyDelete
  88. "Dear, you were right, the Healthy Water for Healthy People scam is stupid so I thought I'd blow an Israeli"

    ReplyDelete
  89. I thought blowing Israelis was a UN violation?

    ReplyDelete
  90. These comments are beyond awful. What has happened to the TH? These have to be trolls wanting to damage the Heron. I can't imagine why anyone would leave these comments otherwise. If you don't have anything to add beside puerile insults, there is no point in saying it. Stick to Facebook or Twitter.

    ECK - would you consider removing some of these comments or limiting the number of comments. This is getting ridiculous.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I tend to be parsimonious with any persistent use of the word puerile, not because I am pusillanimous but, paradoxically, simply because too plentiful a praxis of the word makes it problematic for the public to be predisposed to a positive presumption.

      Delete
  91. What's truly aweful is the high level of corruption and low level of morality among our public servants.
    It appears some have become so frustrated they choose to use "puerile" satire to stress just how bad it has become.
    Instead of calling for censorship add something insightful to the conversation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Okay, you guys win. I'm outta here. I'm done reading the TH, or at least the comments. Nothing good to read after the first 10 or so. Thanks for ruining the TH because you're frustrated.

      Delete
    2. I'm taking my ball and leaving the playground because some poster made a bizarre or inappropriate comment?
      Really?
      I guess you won't even read this because you aren't returning.
      Sorry to see you go.
      See you next year at Lovel's election party

      Delete
    3. Tiny bubbles

      Delete
  92. ECK,
    Please don't change a thing.
    The few who chime in with nonsense are few in number and can never take away from the only source of free speech in the san juans.
    I encourage everyone to become more involved
    in the sharing of ideas and news.
    We can shine a light on the corruption, but we have to do something about what we see when we do, even if the cockroaches are people we know it associate with.
    We deserve better.

    ReplyDelete
  93. Well said thank you. It takes a lot of courage to take a stand.

    ReplyDelete
  94. YES, well said 10:17. But when a good idea surfaces here we need to act on it. "TURN OFF THE BUBBLE MACHINE." is not just a good idea; it is a fantastic idea. (But somehow we always seem to get mired down with some obtuse troll discussion.)

    Several people offered a thousand each to at least investigate and take action in dumping the GMA. Any attorney worth a good GD could have farmed this up to a decent 10K.

    What happened? Nothin.

    I got plenty of nothin...how bout you?

    ReplyDelete
  95. Is that possible at this point?

    ReplyDelete
  96. The new Council Agenda is out with a report by Mike Thomas on code enforcement scheduled for 0930 on Monday.
    Seeing how the Council's "Memorandum" was an all out smear job what could Mike be "reporting" on?
    This ought to be a fun dog and pony show.
    "Dear Council, I have investigated myself and find that I am amazing and deserve a pay raise, this "RE" is obviously wrong and should be fired. The HR manager has assured me this is perfectly legit, just like Maureen See and George Johnson and we face no consequences."

    ReplyDelete
  97. Shall we attend in the masses?

    ReplyDelete
  98. Couldn't this debacle work in the citizens favor? Those of us w/"possible wetlands"? Mike could walk by and save everybody TONS of money and pretty much fix things the CAO broke. If they're defending this situation then well....let's make that the norm!

    ReplyDelete
  99. Seems to me a precedent has been established.
    If the County asks you for a wetland report simply demand that Mike Thomas do it for free just like he did for Bob's neighbor.

    ReplyDelete
  100. Great idea...consistency is a must!

    ReplyDelete
  101. Not sure that will happen now.
    Look at the council agenda for Monday. Mike Thomas is presenting a report on "code enforcement".
    Also note the recent local press story about a "Crackdown on Vacation Rentals". It was just an op-ed piece but involved comments from Hughes, the fact that they now have a "databases" of all rentals, and discussions with the local busybody lodging committees.
    I haven't seen any discussion about this publicly.
    Was this "crackdown" approach decided by the council??

    Scary stuff now. Active code enforcement violation pursuit? By the county?

    Mike Thomas now presenting information on Code Enforcement?
    All at the same time Thomas and his wife are giving free wetland waivers and his wife is actively working on other projects that are directly related to code enforcement compliance?>

    Anyone else see the problem here>?

    ReplyDelete
  102. Have you ever wondered if you are impacted by a Schrodinger's Wetland? Well, the first thing you do is look for the tell-tale bubbles.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have wondered and not wondered simultaneously if I am impacted by a Schrodinger's wetland.

      The bubbles were there and were not there at the same time.

      And honestly, that makes more sense to me than the CAO.

      Delete
  103. The problem (or not) with the Thomas wetland delineation is that he/she did not do his/her job correctly. They PF wetlands are just that with a mapped stream they have diverted to the ditch. It's still a stream and still wetlands regardless of what the PF board has continued to allow in terms of flling of the wetlands and stream that front the entire Hughes lot.

    ReplyDelete
  104. Some have to pay for wetland reports, some don't.
    Those who live in neighborhoods with wealthy county employees don't.
    Those who don't do.
    Those who buy off the FOSJ don't.
    Those who don't do.

    Got it?

    ReplyDelete
  105. Got it.
    Why don't we just get Jarman to draw the wetland maps.
    That would take care of all of this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You don't spend 30 years knowing where every inch of cable is laid on these islands and NOT learn a thing or two about wetlands.

      I think it's a great idea.

      Can they readopt the wetland map? Do we have to use the half baked one from Adamus and Hale?

      Jarman actually would do a much better job.

      Delete
  106. Hey, look, the neo-Malthusians are planning a conclave later on this month. Mark it on your calendar for the 20th. You'll be expected to show up and shut up so they can claim huge numbers of rubes (er...sorry, I mean followers) support their conclusions, which are being drawn up ahead of time so that that pesky "discussion" doesn't take things off track. What's the over/under on the most important required action in SJC being: depopulation? Fortunately, we can expect the Zee-meister to be in charge, so there won't be any taint of rank partisanship. Practice your chants ahead of time - "It's for the children, it's for the children, it's for the children....." More info here: http://sanjuanislandscd.org/building-a-climate-resilient-san-juan-islands-community/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Will there be preferred parking for Priuses or is just expected that we'll show up in a Prius or on a bicycle?

      Delete
  107. Cut a check to the FOSJ and you can show up in a chauffeured Bentley awaiting arrival of your private jet. For an extra fee, a tribal elder will give a sage smudge blessing to the rear seat leather seats.

    ReplyDelete
  108. Does anyone know who's doing this secret database for vile reprobate unpermitted vacation rentals?
    Lord knows we gotta get these vacation rentals for the millions...er...I mean tens of thousands...uh...OK literaly hundreds of dollars in taxes these scoff laws are screwing the machine...um...the county out of.
    Secret watchers viewing your VRBO, or Flip Key, or Air BNB to make sure you have a permit.
    Tell me again why we voted in Princess Rickey and awe-shucks Bob?

    ReplyDelete
  109. Bubbles the ClownJuly 14, 2015 at 12:57 AM

    And the latest batch of stupidity to come from county government?
    They want to codify, yes, codify, pass legislation, that requires the code enforcement officer to produce reports on a periodic basis.
    Ummmm. Just ask the guy to do it?
    Add it to his job description?
    But legislation?
    Come on. Don't we have oil spills to prevent, roads to build crooked, and bubbles to blow?

    I don't get this at all. I have a hunch it is some sort of end run, big picture strategy to get rid of the guy who stumbled across the nepotism and corruption that Thomas is guilty of.

    I don't see the angle yet, but it sure looks like Mr. Laws is being targeted.

    I don't know who I envy least, Chris Laws, or a vacation rental owner who doesn't have a permit. Both of them are now targets.

    The machine churns on.
    Thomas needs to go. Gibboney too. And the council.
    We are so far away from the reforms we need, it's not even funny.

    Some of the clever comments on the Heron, now that can be funny.
    State of our local gov, not so much.

    ReplyDelete
  110. Well, I'd certainly like to have CDP produce periodic reports, including enforcement activity but I'd want the reporting done at the departmental level so it is comprehensive. Now, if no such reporting mechanism is in place, I do not know how the county manager can do his job and I do not know how the clowncil can be kept abreast of what CDP overall is up to. Is this really this simple and stupid? Does this mean there is basically no formalized periodic written update coming up the food chain from CDP to the clowncil (and uh ... to the public??)

    How about Public Works? Health? Etc? Where is the accountability for a coherent departmental reporting framework? That is a primary duty of the County Manager to design, recommend, implement and monitor.

    Am I missing something for the bubbles?

    ReplyDelete
  111. Under 50 huh?, maybe not a great idea

    ReplyDelete