Sunday, October 11, 2015

Mysterious Lawsuit

I know ... I know ... the TH disappeared again, but we'll be back in the saddle again soon. Life happens.

A lot has been happening. No shortage of things to inform you of ... just a shortage of time to do it. Here's a smattering of what's been going on:
  • There have been more departures of key staff from the county. 
  • The OPMA lawsuit ruling came down from the State Supreme Court, and the County won ... and the decision drives a truck through the daylighting requirements of the OPMA. If there was ever a case that illustrates our County's (and now our Supreme Court's) commitment to secret government, this is it.
  • CSA and the Friends have both petitioned the Washington State Supreme Court to hear the CAO case. The Washington Appeals Court upheld the County position that the County CAO ordinance is legal. CSA believes our CAO results in unreasonable takings ... a Constitutional violation. CSA is now being represented by the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF). You can find PLF blog posts about the case here and here.
  • The County Council gave up on passing greenhouse regulations. Now, they are focusing on the Shoreline Master Plan (SMP) update. The SMP update is a mess. We haven't focused on it much, but we will try to get some info to you as it progresses.
  • And of course, we are in election season. There are important elections for the hospital on San Juan, Port Districts, and School Boards. Too many to cover in a short post, but feel free to comment in the comments section.
However, while we wanted to quickly update you on all the goings on in the County, the main reason for this post is to let you know about a mysterious lawsuit that has been filed in Skagit County ... yes, Skagit County ... against San Juan County. We heard about this from an announcement on King5 News ... or that is to say, that we would have heard about it from King5 News if it weren't for the fact that King5 News is currently blacked out on our Dish Network because of an ongoing dispute. Instead, a TH reader sent us a video clip of the King5 News broadcast. It sounds like the lawsuit might be about Portland Fair, but we don't know enough to be sure.

We will be watching as this story develops

46 comments:

  1. Any idea when this news clip aired? Anyone?
    This is very curious....

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  2. This county is out of control

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  3. That's the understatement of the year.
    We need to begin a serious dialogue with community members from all political persuasions about how to bridge the larger philosophical divides and focus on electing two council members next year that truly represent WE THE PEOPLE.
    Not any FOSJ stand in. Not some hardcore Good-Ole Boy. Not Rick Hughes.

    Help.....

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    1. I could not agree with you more. We have to have a government our citizens can trust and look to for real solutions. Like family.... and the current state is far from it. Rick and Jamie made grave mistakes in not making sure this was handled properly. I believe they (and Bob) have opened themselves up to much larger problems.

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  4. I am in the title business and this is NOT good. What about the lender of projects like this. Do they realize the actual property owner is not the only owner and that they have put them in jeopardy with their request to waive state laws. RCW requires lenders be listed on building permit applications. Did they list theirs if they have one?

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  5. Holy poop the TH is back!!! Gotta love the Hospital Board race. Finally a real contest. But let us think positive, we CAN have such a contest for the County Council.

    No reason we can't have a young family member and an experienced old fart; both dedicated, hard working to achieve practical cost effective solutions and PERSONNEL MANAGEMENT!

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    Replies
    1. Well said. Being a public servant is about taking care of our citizens!!! These self servers need to find something else to do. The focus should always be simplified and cost effective solutions and not the train wreck we are on now.

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  6. We truly need to find and promote 2 new candidates for council for 2016.
    Our small local government has been overrun with self serving senior managers, an incompetent council, and staff that has to do their bidding.
    Last election in 2012 showed that we could come together and pull off a totally unconventional election win.
    We just need to find and get better candidates. (Although it would be hard to find worse ones....)
    2 seats. 2 new people.
    Not a puppet for the FOSJ and DOE.
    Not an octogenarian Good Ole Boy with an aw' shucks stick.
    Not an indecisive wanna be Ranker ass kisser.
    Someone who will make hard decisions.
    Scale back the size of our local government. Reduce staff by removing dead weight and those who have been complicit in the problem. (Hint, it's mostly management, not the line workers)

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    Replies
    1. Not just new candidates for county council. A new Prosecuting Attorney is also desperately needed.

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  7. Someone needs to tell these corrupt local officials to pack their stuff and get a one way bus ticket to New Delhi!!

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  8. Wow this is a step in the right direction...no one else seems to be able to stop the "do what you want" moto this place has adopted.

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  9. Anyone got a list of the line workers who have quit in the last six months? What the heck, we need to know the total staff turnover and movement in the last six months...one year?

    Facts are needed for the upcoming election. Knowledge is power. Find two good people and give them that.

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  10. John Geniuch, Building Official; Annie Mastamoto-Grah, Planner; Chris Laws, Code Enforcement Officer (he was the last to go as a result of the PF cover up and more I think). That makes three that I know of all in DCD. Are there more?

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    Replies
    1. Kathy Korth at the PA's office;
      Brad Korth at the Sheriff's office;
      David Eubanks (plan checker) at CDP;

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  11. Don't know about recently quit.
    Here's a list of the soon to be indicted:
    Mike Thomas for violating County ordinances and coercing staff to violate county law
    Sam Gibboney for violating County ordinances and coercing staff to violate County law
    Randall Gaylord for violating state law and coercing county staff to violate state law
    Councilman Jarman for coercing staff to violate state law and cronyism
    Rick Hughes for defamation, slander, and violating county/state OPMA
    Jamie Stephens for defamation, slander, and violating county/state OPMA

    Dream on if you think the State Auditor is actually done with you crooks.

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  12. We failed at the ballot box by electing Hughes and Jarman. To the Jury Box we go.
    It's tough that we have to fight like this to keep our local government in control, but it has become quite apparent that they are completely incapable of basic following of the law.

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  13. To the previous poster who asked about recent staff departures, we have yet another to add....
    CDP Planner Elizabeth Anderson, formerly of Public Works has quit effective very soon.

    Perhaps someone needs to take a long hard look at the Manager of CDP, Sam Gibboney. Clearly she is wholly unfit for leadership. Given that a litany of respectable, polite, customer service oriented staff have been exiting en masse, a harder look needs to be taken at the incompetence of Gibboney.

    Nothing says "proven leadership" like having 1/3 of your entire staff exit inside a year. NOTHING.

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  14. Even the Prosecuting Attorney's office, under Pope Weasel, has a lower turnover...

    It's bad when your management "skills" and "style" make Public Works look well run....

    Great work Gibboney! Keep it up! You will get promoted in no time!

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  15. A reduction in work force by any means can't be a bad thing right? Just be sure the positions are NEVER. EVER. re-hired.

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  16. Who on Orcas would be a worthwhile candidate to oppose Rick Hughes?

    Word on the street is that Hughes is running for reelection, and is already gathering his supporters and organizing his campaign. Any opposition better get organized soon.

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  17. Agreed!!! This guy should be easy to beat. The main critique is basic. He has been well paid and accomplished absolutely NOTHING!

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  18. We need true public servants! I guess this current group forgets who they work for.

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  19. Hughes is organizing a re-election campaign? Is this a joke?
    This guy can't be serious about running again?
    I will switch my vote and support the communist Byers out of spite. Rick has done nothing other than kiss up to Ranker and Jamie Stephens.
    No reform that we sought and elected him to do.
    He is a cheap empty suit.

    drink up Rick, this is your last year in office.

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  20. Someone that has recently completed a college level civics class would be good. I joke not. The level we are currently at is significantly below freshman level in any category you may wish to look at.

    The good and bad about our dear Country is that many start at the bottom with nothing and work themselves upward to a successful level. That's the good. the bad is that others are just plain lucky or fall into success through birth or the uncanny ability to sneak into success without any substance or accomplishment. I would suggest Mr. Hughes fits well into this latter group.

    So in casting the net for someone, almost anyone, to run for the County Council, let us find those who have worked and accomplished success in a way we admire rather than in a way we can't trust or even understand.

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  21. I totally agree. This is our government and we need it to be run by someone with more experience than those currently elected. It is hard for me to watch this council because there is an apparent lack of experience and flat out desire to follow proper procedures. They must have thought they could get away with this one and I think it is refreshing that someone is finally calling them out on it.

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  22. Adding to the growing list of county staff to leave...
    County PA's office deputy prosecutor, Hyram Hemmingway. Leaving.

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  23. Many thanks to the community of the TH for the ever growing list of staff turnover, read quits. Time, and blood pressure permitting, take a regular look at what goes on with the web listing for the building dept. staff. Also take a look at the ever changing permit time line.

    SIX WEEKS for a revision to an existing permit! Every builder will tell you there are changes to almost any construction project. So let's see, we gotta shut down for how long??? because a simple revision goes on the bottom of a pile that has six weeks of dust on it.

    As to staff, we're losing all the wrong people. Little old San Juan County does NOT need overlapping bureaucracy with the many State departments. Staff doing all this overlapping are the ones we need to say good bye to. Also, "Long range planning." In this World can there even be an attempt at such a thing? Or, is it a complete waste of time and money.

    What is desperately needed is someone who seeks out and encourages businesses to bring year round, decent pay, employment here. But that's not an empty employment slot, because it does not exist.

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    Replies
    1. Actually, That last paragraph sounds a lot like long range planning. Possibly the problem is that the long range planning function has been so eviscerated over the years.

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  24. 6 weeks for a Revision to a building permit?
    10-12 weeks for a standard permit?
    Crikey!
    Outrageous. I am a contractor and this is becoming a problem again. We had a great run for the better part of 7 or so years under the last crew. It was a problem before that, problem got solved with competent staff. Staff leaves. Problem resumes.
    Time to take a look at CDP management and identify the problem.
    They claim they went through "LEAN" training?
    And somehow in 2016, the permit process will be updated to fix all of this?
    Probably will decide to implement the new program the week the Shoreline Master Plan update is effective, knowing the level of stupidity demonstrated by CDP management. There will literally be lines out the door when people come in droves to submit permits before the rule changes....
    Why can't they fix this place?

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  25. Any details on the mystery lawsuit?
    Sounds from the news clip like it was about that Bob Jarman / Mike Thomas Fiasco on portland fair road.
    Newscaster mentioned Sheryl's name.
    Good for her. We need to stand up to corruption. If these clowns won't listen, make them listen.

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  26. P:roblem is, there is no jail time.

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  27. We should not be in a place where we cannot trust the actions of our leaders. Ugh!

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  28. Did you read SanJuanIslander.com? Interesting news about Gibboney.

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  29. Adding to YET ANOTHER county employee to recently leave....
    Maureen See of CDP.
    Brilliant leadership in this county.
    Get rid of those that don't march lockstep with corruption

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  30. Adding to the list of YET ANOTHER county employee to recently leave...
    Kandy Seldin, assistant to Human Resources.

    Seems like a mass exodus of people in the most controversial departments. CDP, HR, PA's office.

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  31. Isn't Thomas from City of Enumclaw, is this a former employee of his? I speak of the new Planning Director replacing Gibboney.

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  32. Yeah. He is. So is the new hearings examiner. It must really suck there.

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    1. Or we have a bad case of nepotism going on. This Thomas guy needs to be the next to go.

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  33. We need a Building Contractor as a councilperson. Someone who will march into the planning office and force it into efficiency. 12 weeks for a permit is an outrage in a county that is so heavily dependent on construction spending for revenue.

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    1. 12 weeks is ridiculous.

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  34. Here's an interesting idea. In the height of political campaign season, everyone writes letters to the editor encouraging our neighbors to vote for a specific candidate. How about this year, before the season starts we all write letters to the editor encouraging the candidates NOT to run? Maybe that would help them all understand just how much we don't want them back!

    If anyone sees Rick Hughes at the bar, pass that idea by him.

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    Replies
    1. *If* anyone sees Rick Hughes at the bar?
      How bout if a week goes by and you DON'T see Rick Hughes at the bar, call 911.

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    2. The rumor is that Hughes auditioned for the part of the Most Interesting Man In The World in a Dos Equis commercial, the stumbling block was that it turns out he is physically unable to say the words, "I don't always drink beer....."

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  35. I assume the TH will be posting a copy of the suit that is pending against the county?

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  36. Article here: http://sanjuanislander.com/news-articles/government-news/san-juan-county/20337/lawsuit-filed-against-county-prosecutor-over-opma , unfortunately without a link to the legal documents. Reading through the article, it's interesting to see how many SJC dicks may be caught in the wringer: Jarman (yup), Gaylord (hell yes), Hughes (probably), Thomas (absolutely), Gibboney (well.... I'll leave the checking to someone else to see if there's a dick to be caught in the wringer, but you get my drift), JT (probably not - someone will have to be left out of the proceedings so the kids don't end up in foster care).

    Reading the tea leaves, Gibboney will be the first one for Power to try and flip - she's the locus of all the connecting lines. Then there's the thing about her being a staggeringly incompetent employee, yet she received a "promotion", presumably with a raise, to a job with essentially no responsibility. There's a reason she wasn't canned & Occam's Razor says she wasn't fired because Randy, Bob and Mike need her. For now. Hopefully she's sentient enough to realize that as soon as she's given testimony under oath, everything will be blamed on her and she'll be flushed like the used condom that she is.

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  37. http://www.sanjuanjournal.com/news/337584631.html

    “These lawsuits are expensive for both sides. The county wants the public to know that it has a procedure for resolving questions about public records requests without expensive litigation.”

    Sure Randy. Except your "procedure" doesn't trump state law. Eventually Gaylord will get the message - SJC isn't his personal fiefdom & no, really, he does need to follow the law. The Gaylord involvement here was solely to pull Jarman's and Thomas's dicks out of a wringer. He should have left them to hang.

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