Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Guest Post - OPALCO By-Law Change

Proportional Representation ... It's Time

OPALCO elections are upon us, and here is a guest post by Rob Thesman, the author of the OPALCO by-law change.

If you’re an OPALCO member, you’re being asked to vote up or down on a bylaw change contained in the ballots that are being distributed. While opponents are characterizing the bylaw change as “dangerous”, “unnecessary” and “irresponsible”, the truth is those people are simply trying to avoid fairness and balance on OPALCO board representation.

You only need to understand the numbers 2,432 and 345 to see the importance of making this change. The change itself is simple and straightforward, it’s two sentences: “At the end of the existing Article III – Directors, Section 1, General Powers, the following paragraph shall be inserted:

“As soon as practicable and at least once every ten years thereafter, the Board of Directors shall reapportion the number of directors seats attributable to each of the Districts listed in Article III – Directors, Section 2, Qualifications and Tenure, so as to align the representation of cooperative members as closely as possible with the actual number of energy members within each District. Furthermore, from time to time the Board of Directors shall update the boundaries of the above-referenced Districts so as to facilitate the goal of proportionate representation of the members in each of the Districts on the Board of Directors.”

That’s it – two sentences, directing the board to more fairly apportion the board seats. The separate districts covering San Juan, Orcas and Lopez islands each currently have two directors while the district covering Shaw currently has one director. Looking at the number of members in each of those districts, San Juan Island has one director for every 2,432 members. Orcas has one director for every 1,812 members. But look at Lopez – Lopez has one director for every 1,185 members. And Shaw has one director for every 345 members!

The current system of apportioning directors gives some members more and others less representation due merely to where they live. The proposed bylaw change simply requires that the board fairly apportion the number of directors in each district, and to update the boundaries of each district, as necessary to make the board representation better aligned with the physical location of the co-op members. This does not change the total number of directors.

At the end of the reapportionment, every member of OPALCO will be represented by a board director. The language of the proposed changed disenfranchises not one single member. Board seats will be reallocated and districts will be redrawn with the simple goal of having each board seat represent the same number of members.

Opponents of the proposed change should consider how they will look their fellow county residents in the eye and explain to them that members on certain islands are so wise or special that they should have a disproportionately higher representation on the board than others.

Opponents of the bylaw change argue that no re-apportionment is necessary because all members vote on all directors’ seats. While it’s accurate to say that we all vote on all board seats, the existing bylaws specifically contemplate that directors will “represent” a particular district – it’s a requirement contained in Article III, section 2. But on a more practical level, who do you think represents you more, the director you run into at the grocery store or the one from an island you never go to? Does every director have an obligation to look out for the entire co-op? Absolutely, but the idea of representing a particular district is so important that it’s enumerated as one of only three requirements to run for a seat on the board.

One of the opponents of the change calls it costly because it will require an independent auditor. This is completely false. There is no requirement in this two sentence change that this redistricting would need to be “audited” before or after implementation and to suggest that is, at best, disingenuous.

Another argument made against the change is the ridiculous statement that that this might require redistricting “every six months”. A plain reading of the proposed change requires that the board calculate whether reapportionment should be done “at least once every ten years” after the initial reapportionment is completed.

In the final analysis, this proposed bylaw change isn’t dangerous, irresponsible, costly or vague. It’s two sentences that attempt to create a more representative balance of members’ opinions on the co-op board. Could it be that the opponents of the proposed change are really against it just because it endangers the overrepresentation they’ve enjoyed in the past?

We members of the co-op exercise our governance in two ways – directly through voting at the annual meeting and indirectly through the actions taken by the directors chosen from each district. The governance exercised by the directors is far more important in the day-to-day and long-term policy decisions of our co-op. It is a simple matter of fairness that no district should have a disproportionate weight in board representation. I urge you to vote “yes” on the bylaw change.

(Rob Thesman is an OPALCO member and the author of the bylaw change.)

188 comments:

  1. Equal representation? In this county? Good luck. The lopezians will howl, scream, gnash their teeth, and call you a racist because you want to make life fair for everyone else.

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  2. Isn't Jamie Stephen's wife running for the OPALCO board?

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  3. So I’ve read all the criticisms of the proposed change coming from Lopez and Shaw residents that I found in the e-mail from Opalco, the election guide on the Opalco web site, and the various comments on Orcas Issues, Salish Rocks, and the San Juan Journal. It seems that the reasons not to vote for the the bylaw (or bilaw as that illiterate Lauren Stephens calls it) are legion: a) it’s dangerous, b), it’s irresponsible, c) it’s sad, d) it’s discouraging, e) it will lessen the representation of Lopez and Shaw, f) it will eliminate the representation of Lopez and Shaw, g) it doesn’t’ matter, h) it does matter, i) it isn’t worth serious consideration, j) this is too serious of a matter to consider without more specifics, k) every board member represents me, l) I won’t have any board representation, m) it’s too complicated, n) it’s a simplistic solution to a complex problem, o) it’s not fair, p) it would require way too many board members (? WTF?), q) board members should represent islands not people, r) Where are the maps?, s) maybe we should just have one district, and on and on. The single best one comes from Alex McLeod, who, after complaining about the Opalco board ever since his embarrassment at getting kicked off the ferry board, and at the end of a long complaint on Salish Rocks about how the board has done a terrible job representing Opalco members, says “the existing structure has worked for most of 79 years - no good reason to change it now”.

    What’s the ONLY common thread among all of the complaints posted in public about the proposed change? Yep, they all come from Lopez and Shaw residents, who are just covering up their love of having a disproportionate say on the board. Change is hard, especially if you’re being asked to give up your power.

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  4. So the murky old money on Shaw and home of the Friends has their very own highly disproportionate representative on the OPALCO board? What's the back story to that? No wonder they are yelling to maintain their status quo.

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  5. No one seems to know the backstory. One of the new candidates from Lopez (I'll leave you to guess which one) told me "it's always been this way" and then said "it's always worked out well for those of us on Lopez".

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  6. Do the reasonable people on Lopez just grit their teeth and ignore the "activist" fringe. Seems that there are a small but vocal group that wants to run Lopez, and even the County as a whole!

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  7. And much of the time it seems they do run the whole damn County. Orcas can't even muster a qualified candidate for their seat on the County Council. Now in addition to Jamie, we're going to have his wife lauren? Yikes!!!

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  8. Another Lopezian has stepped forward in the "it does matter camp" - Robert Harrison: http://www.salishrocks.org/page.php?type=item&item_handle=1460844984&menu_type=forum&return=36&limit_rock=&limit_key=&offset=2016-04-16 . Another Lopezian vote having Lopez continue with having a disproportionate say in managing the cooperative.

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  9. Anyone who does not live on Lopez who feels they have a stake in how they are represented on the OPALCO board and is wondering if they should vote FOR this resolution needs to read what this Lopez insider is saying: "2. Vote NO on the proposed amendment. If it passes, it will decrease our representation on the Opalco board."

    In other words, they DON'T want balanced representation from other islands because they KNOW they benefit from a rigged game and so the status quo is fine for them.

    So its real simple. Vote YES for balanced representation. DON'T vote for Lauren Stephens. Stop Lopez insiders from stacking the OPALCO board in their favor to the expense of thousands of over coop members.

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    1. One of the things I find most interesting about how the anti-bylaw change people are framing their reasoning is the difference between their reasoning depends on the audience of the argument.

      If it’s a primarily Lopezian audience, like on Lopez Rocks, their argument is that the proposed change is dangerous, sad, disappointing, gerrymandering, irresponsible, is unfair, and will decrease their representation.

      If it’s a more general audience or aimed at people on San Juan or Orcas, the proposed bylaw change “doesn’t matter”, “the board already represents us all”, “not worth serious consideration”. The message they want to send to San Juan and Orcas people is that everything is fine, no need to pay any attention to that pesky bylaw change, don’t worry your pretty little heads about anything as complicated as “proportional representation”.

      Someone else noted that one of the candidates from Lopez commented that having a disproportional say “has always worked well in the past for us on Lopez”. No doubt.

      I realize how hard it is to embrace change, especially when it means giving up something you didn’t deserve in the past and desperately want to hang on to. They’re in a tough position - selling the idea that a small group of people deserve an outsized say in the governing of the cooperative is a tough sell. And by God, they’re determined to lie, smear, dissemble, and conceal their true reasoning if that’s what it takes. They should be ashamed of lying to their fellow coop members on San Juan and Orcas. I’ll give them credit for being determined at getting a very flawed message out there.

      But the real message to San Juan and Orcas residents is:

      “Don’t be fooled. This bylaw change is essential if you want to stop a small group of zealots on Lopez and Shaw from having an outsized say in the future of Opalco and your county”.

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  10. Randy rolls over again. Our blessed PA must know how poorly this County administration follows the law and so serves tax dollars up right and left and the sad thing is that the people getting these settlements deserve them! That's a clear indication of just how sadly incompetent County government functions.

    In this case Randy just settled with John Geniuch for $85 thousand dollars plus attorney costs, yeah like real money.

    At the end of this month most of us must send in a large property tax check to fund this huge waste. I know, with OPALCO you get to pay EVERY month.

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  11. It's easy for them because it's not their money.
    Government = thieves

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  12. I think these employee disputes when settled get paid out of the "risk pool" if I understand it, a state wide state sponsored insurance fund that covers local government when some staffer gets uppity and sues. So what I want to know, is how does San Juan County rank against the rest of the thirty odd counties in the state, in number of claims paid out by the risk pool. Anyone know?

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    1. https://www.wcrp.info/about.asp

      https://www.wcrp.info/PDF/Annual%20Report%202014.pdf

      Interesting organization - it's a WA State Risk pool in name only. Basically, it's a group of the counties organized separately from the counties themselves and separately from state government under a provision within the RCW. The annual report isn't especially helpful in figuring out how individual counties pay or get reimbursed for claims. The latest report does make the comment that employment claims (i.e., probably wrongful termination and harassment claims) make up the largest dollar amount of claims.

      From the latest report, it looks like it operates like any other captive insurance company - members pay premiums to the pool based on the level of deductible they've chosen and the coverage they want. Those premiums pay: a) administrative and outside consulting costs of the pool, b) claims up to certain levels, c) premiums to third party insurers to reinsure for claims over a specified level, and d) premiums to other third party insurers to pay for reinsurance catastrophic claims over and above the reinsurance purchased in c).

      What the web site and the annual report doesn't indicate is whether the counties have some element of their annual premium based on their own claims history. Example - the insurer who covers your car will absolutely jack up your premium the year following an accident or a DUI conviction, etc. If it happens again, they may cancel you entirely or move you to an affiliated high risk carrier - if you ever get that letter, it means you should prepare to be a very unwilling bottom in an essentially unfriendly relationship. It would be interesting to know if "bad boy" counties have their premiums jacked up because of claims made. It's not fair to the good guys if that doesn't happen, but we all know that it's fairly common in government for the bad boys to impose their will on the good guys. The premiums for every member have to go up if you don't charge the bad boys extra. Economists consider it a free-rider problem - there's no incentive to change your behavior if it doesn't cost you anything. It's the reason that smokers get charged more for health insurance.

      I'm wondering if the risk pool is subject to the Public Records Act - I'll bet that it isn't and the member counties consider that a feature, not a problem. It allows them to hide the cost of all manner of sins outside of the public eye. Might be interesting for someone to submit a PRA request to the risk pool just to see what they say. Another angle might be to submit a PRA to Pamela Morais for any and all correspondence with the risk pool regarding pricing and the coverage on closed claims (I imagine they'd have a legitimate reason to claim that open claims aren't subject to PRA requests).

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  13. Employee lawsuit concerning employment MAY be covered b the risk pool (and it would be very good to know our claims history, given the parade of people being fired, but the public record act request fines are probably not. This one (approx. $100,000--$85,000 for the requestor, attorney fees for the runaround the PA gave them, and the costs of hiring yet another outside law firm to work on the case) plus the one last year could have funded three staffers to do the public records work. But instead of producing what the law requires, our County drags its heel and gets into personal spite situations.

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  14. Perhaps unsubstantiated, I have heard the claim made that getting out of the GMA may have cost us some grants, but also would have saved us countless hours of staff time, read planners and reams of paperwork. So just like the above where the PA says he is saving money by his settlements, 10:23 is correct. The best way to avoid litigation costs is to correct the CAUSE of litigation and that takes good management, which we have never had and certainly don't now. If fact I believe the County has established a reputation where almost every employee separation results in litigation or the threat of it.

    It also appears the State is loaded with poor actors. I hope the Honeywells prevail and the power tripping Stockdale finally gets nailed for his self righteous bull shit.

    The risk pool managers certainly would have the data on SJC for at least some of this stuff, and I'm sure our experience mod is grossly affected by claims made on that policy. More money wasted!

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    1. Getting out of GMA and loosing some grants will be a much better deal. GMA ties our hands by not being able to allow ADU's on less than 5 acres. Agreed we need good management who make decisions which are legally sound.

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    2. How can we get out of GMA at this point?

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    3. We can't. The deadline was December 31st and our elected officials opted to do nothing.

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    4. Three stupid stooges leading our government. This is so flipping embarrassing.

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  15. Oh God. It's deja vu all over again. Due to a one time state law, we had an opportunity to opt out a year ago. That window closed. The council refused to even discuss it. Some would say that the law specifically precluded San Juan County but that was bullshit. The county fit the criteria of the legislation allowing small rural counties to opt out.

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  16. Oh God....so sorry for asking. I thought the window had closed but since 12:39 mentioned it I thought I would ask if there was any other way.

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  17. Bylaw change passed 1200 to 900 or so. But wait, the best part of the meeting was hearing the announcement that Lauren Stephens came in 4th out of 4 for the Lopez seat. She's doing better though - at least this time she didn't lose to a write in candidate. This really should end her aspirations for elected office - maybe now she'll understand that she's horrifically unlikeable.

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  18. Is there any hope for someone from Orcas to run against Rick? We need new blood. Friends appear to have hand picked Watson who will be bias on their behalf.

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  19. So bylaw count was wrong? WTF?

    We are screwed. Getting control of the council is a pipe dream.

    We need to look for other solutions.

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  20. Shit! The bylaw change failed because there was no "Trust Islanders" type backing, and it seems there never is for any good sense initiative on the part of anyone in this shit hole county.

    Make the real estate people squirm by broadcasting this place for what it really is, totally anal, and we might get some traction forward.

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  21. So what happened? By the way, candidate filing week is coming up. Anybody got a pulse over there on Orcas? Sounds like we need a PAC or something to help out, we could call it "Fuck Islanders"

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  22. Orcas is loaded with people who care only about themselves, their lives, and a pile of garbage that the less fortunate citizens can paw through. Basically, they think Rick Hughes is doing a great job, he is going to get the rest of the taxpayers to subsidize their pile of garbage and we are stuck with at least 2 out of 3 of the council members being complicit with an agenda that is utterly destructive.
    Trust Islanders was a sham of overinflated self importance and has vanished. It was just some opportunistic ploy.
    What ever happened to the commenter on here who continuously kept beating the drum that we now need to "actively manage" the council? No idea who it was but probably some trust islander blowhard.
    We. Are. Screwed.

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  23. The council, especially Ricky, is nothing but an expensive rubber stamp. Watch the money flow into a huge planning dumpster as the latest GMA requirement, up dating the Comp Plan, now gets batted around for many months. (Years?)

    We can thank these three imbeciles for keeping the County in the GMA, in fact, they never even took a look at the costs involved!

    Has the incompetent Jarman actually paid the fees for running. Kinda expensive for three votes Bob.

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  24. It is too bad people will vote for him because he is known. Any other candidate would be better than some who has shown incompetence and abuse of power.

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  25. http://sanjuanislander.com/news-articles/people/21771/gibboney-finalist-for-director-of-port-of-port-townsend

    Please hire Gibboney and do us all a favor.

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    1. Maybe we could sweeten the pot for Port Townsend to make sure we can get rid of her. Like, through in a year's supply of bubble mix for those all-important afternoon staff bubble sessions.

      Seriously, the sooner we can get rid of her, the sooner we can reduce the county payouts for lawsuits by around 80%. A side effect of that is the contribution to the county GDP by lawyers pursuing civil suits against the county will fall precipitously. You can decide on your own if that's a bug or a feature.

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    2. Yeah, If I was an attorney, I wouldn't want Gibboney gone. Or if she leaves, make sure to start networking in Port Townsend.
      That's just good business sense.

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    3. Someone might want to contact Port Townsend and give them the equivalent of "you're going to need a bigger boat" talk - they'll need to increase their contingency for legal settlements if they hire her.

      How sad (and discouraging) that there's an emerging legal specialty of "Gibboney claims".

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  26. Or if you know people in Port Townsend, why would you wish the misery of Gibbboney on them?
    Since she actually had to apply for this job and it was competitively advertised, contrasted with being gifted her last 2 positions at San Juan.
    I would put her chances at way less than 1 in 3

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  27. Can we start a Kickstarter fundraiser to bribe Pt. Townsend to hire Gibboney with all due speed? That would be a better investment than to actively manage the San Juan County Council on behalf of the public interest rather than the full time paid lobbying staff of the Friends of the San Juans. One of the lessons of Trust Islanders was this: yes folks it actually takes time money and material to beat these bastards at their own game. Ranting on a silly blog or expecting folks to fight the County insiders every day for free is a fool's errand. Fuck Islanders.

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  28. We need a county council who directs the County Manager instead of the reverse. These jokers know nothing about running government and being accountable. Hopefully these new candidates spank Bob so that he does not make it past the primary. We need leaders who hire great managers who staff respect and want to work for. Unlike Thomas and Gibboney on their power trips. But there are people who will vote for him because he is known. WTF

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  29. The big problem with only three Council members is it is very difficult to change direction. Six was just plain stupid, but five would have made sense. In the usual small town configuration people serve on a school board or some volunteer capacity and then move up to the Planning Commission and after that get elected to a County Council or Town Council. This place has had extremely bad luck in this regard, maybe it's because of the geriatric population or maybe it's because younger people need to work their asses off to survive here. Anyway, it is seems rare here to get any good or even qualified candidates.

    Actually I thought "Trust Islanders" was going to be a breath of fresh air, but it flamed out very quickly. Too bad.

    Lastly, the Port at Port Townsend has been run very well, I used to get the boat hauled there by the County staff and I can't believe they would even consider Gibboney. Hello Port Townsend!!! This person is a complete jerk!

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    1. Agreed we need five not three.

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    2. Nope, the more the merrier. Or the more, the less any one individual can fuck things up. I'd go to seven - the more we can Balkanize those ball-less shit weasels, the better off we all would be. I'd suggest going to 9 except then those dumb bastards would want uniforms and hats.

      And we should amend the charter to forbid the shit weasels from hiring a county manager. Thomas is tits on a bull and proof positive that the position is not only unnecessary, but counter productive.

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    3. Agreed. The manager position should be eliminated.

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  30. I wanted to post this for the current council and managers. bThere are ethical standards we abide by as public servants. Please review ICMA.ORG

    Tenet 1 - Be dedicated to the concepts of effective and democratic local government by responsible elected officials and believe that professional general management is essential to the achievement of this objective.

    Tenet 2 - Affirm the dignity and worth of the services rendered by government and maintain a constructive, creative, and practical attitude toward local government affairs and a deep sense of social responsibility as a trusted public servant

    Tenet 3 - Be dedicated to the highest ideals of honor and integrity in all public and personal relationships in order that the member may merit the respect and confidence of the elected officials, of other officials and employees, and of the public.

    Tenet 4 - Recognize that the chief function of local government at all times is to serve the best interests of all people.

    Tenet 5 - Submit policy proposals to elected officials; provide them with facts and advice on matters of policy as a basis for making decisions and setting community goals; and uphold and implement local government policies adopted by elected officials.

    Tenet 6 - Recognize that elected representatives of the people are entitled to the credit for the establishment of local government policies; responsibility for policy execution rests with the members.

    Tenet 7 - Refrain from all political activities which undermine public confidence in professional administrators. Refrain from participation in the election of the members of the employing legislative body.

    Tenet 8 - Make it a duty continually to improve the member's professional ability and to develop the competence of associates in the use of management techniques.

    Tenet 9 - Keep the community informed on local government affairs; encourage communication between the citizens and all local government officers; emphasize friendly and courteous service to the public; and seek to improve the quality and image of public service.

    Tenet 10 - Resist any encroachment on professional responsibilities, believing the member should be free to carry out official policies without interference, and handle each problem without discrimination on the basis of principle and justice.

    Tenet 11 - Handle all matters of personnel on the basis of merit so that fairness and impartiality govern a member's decisions, pertaining to appointments, pay adjustments, promotions, and discipline.

    Tenet 12 - Public office is a public trust. A member shall not leverage his or her position for personal gain or benefit.

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  31. Gibboney was working over there before she came over here so her same friends in weird places that installed her both there and here have arranged for her to go back from whence she came to cause further chaos for the sake of our children's future. Trust Islanders succeeded completely in its initial goal: Prevent the election of Team Pratt and Byers. Trust Islanders was not involved in pushing anybody to run, in fact was not formed until well into the election cycle, nearly as a last minute desperate maneuver to attack the Mean Green Machine. It was a disappointment that TI did not go to the next level to actually hold the Council's feet to the fire after the election was over. But, that kind of work takes time labor and materials and is just not as exciting as a campaign. So we all got what we deserved, leaving only this little blog for the Monday Morning Quarterbacks and Arm Chair Generals to fuss and fume with sound and fury signifying nothing. Fuck Islanders.

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  32. Holy shit, you'd think somebody's were getting laid with the fuck islanders. Me, I'm just real tired of getting screwed and not enjoying it.

    On bended knee, Orcas people, isn't at least one of you in need of 75K a year + bennies for sitting on your ass, being reasonable. (Oh, yeah, thinking objectively is also slightly required.)

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    1. Thinking objectively is also slightly required?
      Bulls#!+.
      Jamie will do all the thinking for you. Just show up and get a check. Can't be worse than what we had.

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  33. http://www.ptleader.com/news/gibboney-offered-port-of-pt-director-job/article_28d09dec-1629-11e6-ba6c-e39641d6bf6a.html

    It's official.

    “…Tomorrow will be the most beautiful day of San Juan County’s life, their breakfast will taste better than any meal you or I have ever had…..” -TD

    (Sorry mom, sorry God).

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  34. Replies
    1. Not if you live in Port Townsend.
      Sort of a "better them than us" situation.

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  35. Granted the Port of Friday Harbor is not identical to the Port of Port Townsend, but they are at least similar. The point here is why do the powers that be insist on hiring people who are not experienced or competent to take on the job they are hired for. I frankly believe Marilyn O'Connor, Port of Friday Harbor Director, must be stunned with the hiring of Gibboney to run the Port at Port Townsend.(O'Connor at times has deserved pointed criticism, but she stands a quantum leap above Gibboney.) This is not an easy job, not a slot for a political appointment, this is a job that requires a huge knowledge of State regulations and a mountain of financial expertise. Lastly, docks might look the same but they are not the same!

    I fell sorry for Port Townsend, I really do.

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    1. Read the comments and articles about this and you will see that this was an inside job. Someone wrote "I feel that things will literally change overnight" (from Gibbon's hiring".
      They passed over someone who managed the Port of Seattle for 13 years.
      Gibboney told them her management style "involves walking around".
      Sorry Port Townsend.

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  36. And yet, there is more. Ed Kilduff waited 300 days for some public records. Randy, or PA/manager, has excuses. 300 days!

    Now dear Jamie is actually doing something to earn his pay. Problem is he is completely unqualified to do it, so our wonderful Randy declares "We need more staff."

    The real base line question is; would there be all these public record requests if County government was not such a disaster?

    Don't you love how Hughes has suddenly joined the talkers. Holy shit, Orcas, can't you at least front some under employed person to make some dialogue?

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    1. "Now dear Jamie is actually doing something to earn his pay. Problem is he is completely unqualified to do it"

      Randy summarizes the problem nicely:
      1. The council and the prosecuting attorney admit there are problems with Public Records Act requests (and, by inference, that there are problems in the county government.
      2. They've put someone in charge of the problem (Jamie) who already has a (supposedly) full time job.
      3. By saying they need someone else at a management level to do that job on a full time basis, Randy is admitting the current solution isn't working.
      4. But they haven't done anything about it yet.

      I think when your lead attorney admits publicly that you understand there is a problem, claim you understand the solution and then say you haven't done anything that will solve the problem, plaintiff's attorneys use a technical legal term to describe your legal position. That word is "trainwreck".

      Also, the county has a "risk manager", where the hell is she in this? I'd think solving this should be one of the priority items on her plate, if for no other reason than to stop the hemorrhaging.

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  37. We need to be able to trust our government and this is a sad way for them to have to learn that lesson but it is what had to be done (the lawsuits). Now if we can just get some decent folks on the council because this is not cutting it. We need someone who is tough who will knows what it takes to be an honest public servant and also no allow these other jokers we are stuck with to constantly break the law.

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  38. Does anybody know if there are more suits coming. How long will we operate this attorney gravy train, and the sick thing is, as someone said,these suits are justified. I don't think the PA would roll over so easily if they were not.

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  39. I frankly don't believe a word that comes from Gaylord.
    One thing I would like to mention, as candidate filing week progresses, we are likely going to have an uncontested race for the Superior Court Judge. It's no secret that Eaton will only be in for a year or so then subject to replacement by the governor due to mandatory retirement. How much you want to bet that Gaylord is gunning for this???

    My solution, I found someone in the local legal community that we should write in for judge.

    I have watched some council meetings as well as some supplement court sessions that involved San Juan County, and noticed that Deputy Prosecutor Amy Vira has a very deliberate and intelligent way about her. I can see from her expressions that randy gave her lemons and she made lemonade.

    Let's write her in. AMY VIRA for Superior Court Judge. Curious to see how many write ins we could get.

    Anyone else have a better idea?

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    1. Better idea? Yes - we all set ourselves on fire in front of the county building.

      Vira only looks good as an attorney when the ineffably corrupt Randy Gaylord is sitting next to her. The only way I'd vote for her is if she were running AGAINST Randy - in any other setting, I'll vote against anyone who's part of the machine or simply not vote on that office. We're completely fucked in any case, but the preening, mincing, corrupt weasel bastard that is Randy Gaylord is an affront to common decency. His main goal is to not leave any fingerprints on the twirling shitshow that he's overseeing at the county. As you can tell, I kinda sorta don't like him.

      Delete
  40. I'm not a fan of Amy Vira after watching the continuous hair brush back and the lame repetitive almost boring arguments she presented to the State Supreme Court. I'm sure she is not judgeship material. However it was interesting the dear Randy did a complete CYA job sitting there while the inexperienced Ms. Vera did the best she could. And, of course she won. Why the "of course?" There are some very good people on this bench, but still the majority will NEVER cut into government authority, no matter how bad it smells. Certainly the back room dealing done by the CAO council was pretty stinky and several of the judges made it plain they were holding their noses.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I heard that there is a Contractor on Orcas planning to run for council? Anyone else heard this rumor?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nope. And unless they file tomorrow, it's the Rick "Jamie's Boy" Hughes show, uncontested. We. Are. Screwed.

      Delete
  42. Sad day.
    Ranker = unopposed.
    and the 2 other incumbents, Morris and Lytton = unopposed.
    Well, there is always hope for a friday surprise.
    Don Eaton, unopposed. Judge for San Juan County.
    Ladies and gentlemen, congratulations and please recognize that given Mr. Eaton's mandatory retirement in the first year in office, the Governor is please to announce the appointment to Superior Court Judge of Randall Gaylord. (The booster seat will be at tax payer expense).
    Enjoy your reign of terror.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Well, Steve Wehrly's in: http://www.sanjuanjournal.com/news/379915251.html#

    "I ask San Juan County voters to let me work for you - all of you. Not just for those who make political contributions, who are the angriest, ***or who sue the county and their fellow citizens at the drop of a hat.***"

    W. T. F. Just what we need, another fucking jackass hellbent on blaming the victim. If the grand vision is to beg Olympia to name our roads as state highways and to blame the victims of government corruption, why would I waste my vote on Wehrly when I can vote for an idiot like Jarman who simply wants to label victims as profiteers but, to his credit, hasn’t said he won’t represent them? And Jarman hasn’t come up with something as stupid as naming rural roads “state highways” - yeah, what we need is certainly more oversight from Olympia.

    Ok, Stevie - you just lost any shot at my vote. I'd vote for fucking Jarman before I'd vote for you - I’d still hate myself, but it’s clear you don’t belong in government. The citizens you're referring to who are suing the county are collecting damages for actual wrongs done to them by the county. And the county is settling these cases rather than going to trial because the hazards of litigation for the county far exceed the amounts they’re settling for. Rather than say you won't represent those citizens, how about committing to changing the county from essentially a bad cartoon of Keystone cops screwups into something approaching a functioning government? One that doesn’t end up harming its citizens only to pay them off when they legitimately complain. After however many years working as a lobbyist, you may not know what a functioning government is, but in that case couldn’t you have just stayed out of the race? The worry here is that you might take votes in the primary from someone who actually knows what the hell they’re doing.

    I realize that with a population of 15,000, it’s not like this county has a deep bench of qualified people to run for public office, but seriously, how have we ended up with this collection of losers as office holders and aspirants? Who’d have ever thought we’d look back fondly on when Bob Myhr, Rhea Miller, John Evans, Kevin Ranker, Howie Rosenfeld, etc. were on the council as the golden era of the county government. We. Are. So. Screwed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. An attorney criticizing citizens for sticking up for themselves. Not sure what he is thinking, we need thinkers not finger pointers.

      Delete
    2. Wehrly was a "reporter" for the Journal for a year or so and did nothing but assiduously reprint the County's press releases. If he buys that BS, you can only imagine what he'll do when the County management start buttering him up.

      Delete
  44. The guardian article is titled "Race for SJ Council seat is crowded" highlighting his buddy Bob by including his photo from a days when he looked well. Also rumored that Sharon Kivisto is going to file. Anyone know if she followed through on that?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You think he looks well and I think he has the sly smile of someone who just dumped a pant load into his Depends and knows that someone else will have to clean him up.

      Delete
    2. Just saying compared to today. Very tired.

      Delete
  45. Kivisto didn't, but Michael Durland, on Orcas, did. At least Hughes will now perhaps get the scrutiny he deserves.

    ReplyDelete
  46. Good for him for standing up.

    ReplyDelete
  47. Great, only problem with Durland is that he has sued his neighbors multiple times and lost at the state supreme court level every time. He will absolutely be some one who abuses the power of that position. An absolute nightmare in the realm of county council. No f'ing way I want this lunatic in office. A vote for him is a vote to take our county into absolute anarchy. This guy is your worst nightmare come to life. Rick is nothing but a pawn, but he is controllable. Durland is the scum of the earth, and doesn't even deserve that high of a complement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rick is controllable? Sure. Sounds like the person who told us after the last election that we could "actively manage" the council.

      My only question is this. Did Durland file for candidacy with a serious intent of trying to win, or did he figure that, heck, for $750 bucks, you could guarantee that Rick would be hitting the cooking sherry on Friday?

      I think that the extent of Durland's abuse would be against the PA's office. For that, I am willing to roll the dice on whatever else he can do. Piss off Stephens while he is at it. Slash some budgets throughout the county?
      Doesn't sound like anarchy to me.
      We will still have checks and balances.
      You make it sound so dire, when in reality, it is what this county needs.

      Delete
    2. If Durland is a lunatic, it's because he's had to put up with the County's oppression (and I don't use that word lightly) for more than a decade. Much like the Pearson/Speed/Lancaster dispute, the County's incompetence turned neighbor against neighbor and our community suffered. Durland has real complaints, and he hasn't lost all of his court cases. He's also a soft-spoken, thoughtful person whose neighbors appear to have built over his property line and built in violation of the code. (I'm no expert, but from what I've read, there does seem to be a genuine issue there.)

      Delete
  48. Watch things start to fall apart. Someone herein said Watson, candidate in District 1-San Juan- was in the pocket of the Friends. That means he is backed by Doofus DD and those poor lambs that do everything "the party" tells them.

    There is supposed to be NO party in Council elections. It is non-partisan. But here's what I think will now happen. The friends will anoint their candidate, DD will salute, and Lopez will vote near unanimously as directed by the party faithful. Lopez runs the County, don't you know?

    So a clearly superior candidate can be beat by a political operative.

    Anybody who cares about fair and decent government needs to "out" any candidate who is in any way in alliance and or beholden to a "party" of any stripe.

    Otherwise we're all screwed. (Sorry Gordy, like you I thought having every voter on every island able to vote for any candidate was a good idea. In actual operation, it just means any political mass on any major island can control a seat in any district.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Watch things start to fall apart."

      Start? Come on - SJC has been corrupt as hell since the first hippies moved here and figured out they could run the place by spending other people's money. As one commenter here seems to observe every few months: "It's Chinatown, Jake."

      I'll wait and see, but Durland has at least one major asset he can capitalize on during a campaign - he's not Hughes. Hughes campaigned 4 years ago on being a small government guy who recognized that the future of the county was in private small businesses and not in a government encroaching on the middle class. And he's been 180 degrees the opposite of that - he's a reliable vote for the Friends and has voted for more regulations at every opportunity. It's not that he's been simply a disappointment; his entire term has been a fucking outrage. Thank god Jarman is on the council or Hughes would be the dumbest councilman. Thank god Stephens on the council or Hughes would be the most overtly corrupt councilman. Durland's campaign slogan can be "Don't vote for the assclown". If I'd known the extent of the lies Hughes was telling us about his attitude toward governing, I'd have voted for Byers the Socialist.

      Delete
    2. I agree, each island should vote for their own district.

      Delete
  49. Hughes feels entitled. He thought he was going to have an uncontested fight. Let's make this a real contest.
    For any of the Durland naysayers, honestly, what is the worst he could do? Gut the county budget to the point of collapse? Great. I see that as a plus. Maybe we can have a serious public discussion about the role local government.
    You can bet money that Durland won't be running around kissing the assess of jamie and ranker and whimpering to his constituents in an attempt to please everyone and be well liked.
    ARE.
    YOU.
    READY.
    TO.
    RUMBLE?

    ReplyDelete
  50. Several of us on San Juan reached out to people that we know on Orcas to gauge their interest in running. I did not reach out to Durland, and while I think it is good that at least someone stepped up, Durland will not be able to beat Hughes. He has already expended all his political capital in his bitter fight with his neighbors which alienated him from most of the community. I appreciate his wiliness to run and hope that at the very least he can expose some of the glaring flaws in Hughes.

    Scott Lancaster made the short list of possibilities, as did two contractors: Terry Gillespie and Justin Paulsen. Gillespie seemed like a likely candidate because he is recently retired and is intimately familiar with the flaws of CD&P and the building department. Word was that he was not interested in taking up a new career in his retirement (proving that he is too smart to serve on the council) Paulsen also has working knowledge of the building department and has a fairly moderate perception in the county political world. But he is also a working business owner so word that I got was that he didn't have time to run a campaign.

    The net conclusion is that in order to get quality people to run, we are going to need to not only ask them but also vocalize the failings of their opponents and then provide them with some serious backing. Asking some of these people to turn off the switch on their lives in order run for council is a big ask. Unless the voters start calling the current council on their shit regularly, at high volume and aggressively we will continue to struggle to get better candidates to step up and risk their current positions. Rick will win not because he deserves to, but because we keep letting him get away with it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If Scott Lancaster made your short list of people to run, then that makes me seriously question your judgement. And given your nay saying pessimistic attitude that Durland can't win, well, I think it's quite possible he can.
      No one thought we could get Jarman and Hughes elected but....

      Delete
  51. Yeah, Jake! Let the fun begin, but it is true we have nothing to lose at this point. You can't do worse than where we are now.

    Jarman, if he had any sense, would bow out early, he's 20 to 30 pounds over weight and he's too nice a person to die in the saddle with no chance of being re-elected.

    Hughes, on the other hand, has a real chance to be re-elected, why I don't know. He's been to many meetings, talked a lot of talk and shook a lot of hands, but that's it. The man has put forth not one initiative I know of and has accomplished nothing. Zero, Zilch.

    Durland has some island cache as a wooden boat builder, is better looking, and has had some serious fights with the County and let's talk about that.

    A surprise almost anywhere, but here several candidates, including Durland, have at one time or another sued the County. Others will try to make this a big issue. Seems to me the ones that sued the County at least had the brains to know how screwed up the County is.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Going after the County in court is the only way they had to stick up for illegal behaviors.

    ReplyDelete
  53. I think for this round we should echo Jimi Hendrix "Are you experienced?" Have you wrangled with the County or the occasional miserable cog in the Machine? Grinding through a land use related law suit while suffering the slings and arrows of insufferably smug green meanies and their Friends teaches hard lessons, serious new skill sets and iron will. These lessons and skills and will are what we now need. Look for those who got their lumps who are now passionate enough to take on the real problems here. Albritten interests me as does Durland. To paraphrase Sanders "Do not underestimate them." November is long time away, and just around the corner.

    ReplyDelete
  54. Agree. We need fighters with combat experience, warts and all. Don't expect them to be perfect. Expect them to fight. That's the track record that matters.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Honest fighters with some experience, yes Please. No one is perfect, it is about doing what is right and ethical. Most are sick of the good ol' boy and Friends Gestapo ways. We need middle ground.

      Delete
  55. The San Juan County District #2 newly elected council member, Michael Durland....

    Stranger stuff has happened.

    I'd say the odds of him winning are............

    Better than the odds of Gaylord telling the truth.

    Michael, where do we donate? And what can be done to help your campaign?

    ReplyDelete
  56. I'll take Durland over Lancaster and Hughes. Glad the better person stepped up. Lancaster is still working on destroying the Orcas School System. Don't let him destroy the County until he is done with his current disaster.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fifth rule of Fight Club: One fight at a time.

      Delete
    2. Lancaster? The only thing that comes to mind about him is the potential of how bad Jarman will lose in the primary. My bet is on him losing in a Lancaster Fashion.

      Delete
    3. I have to agree, I doubt Bob will make it past the primary.

      Delete
    4. It'd be for the best. Bob could move on with his life, relocate and get a job in keeping with his skill set. There's a Walmart in Oak Harbor and I'm sure there are openings for greeters fairly often.

      Delete
    5. Anyone who is responsible for hiring Mike Thomas should be fired. He is very bad for this county.

      Delete
  57. Man, sometimes I feel like this place is seriously ill. Orcas is more screwed up than Lopez? Holy shit!

    ReplyDelete
  58. It is will when you have leaders that break the law

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is ill when you have leaders that break the law.

      Delete
  59. Some of the new candidates have ideas they would like to flog. (Some ideas OK, others, not so good.) It seems to me they would do better to simply stand there and give understandable answers to reasonable questions. Don't come out with any new agenda; the incumbents are so pitiful you don't need to.

    Just be reasonable. The voters will be looking for anyone other than what they have, but won't risk trading for someone they don't understand.

    That said; there's nothing wrong with a full scale attack on the incumbents, they certainly deserve it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All we need is normalcy, something unfamiliar to those who lack experience.

      Delete
  60. Is anyone going to call out Wherley's BS? You spent your career as a lobbyist? You are part of the problem, not the solution. When you mention the industries that you "lobbied" for, you deliberately neglect to mention the one that speaks volumes to character. TOBACCO LOBBYIST? Its on your LinkedIn profile.
    Worst of the worst. Essentially, selling cigarettes to kids

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well he about ran into a friend of mine when he ran the stop sign last week at 50 mph. Slow the F*&*%^% down Steve. We need safe roads and you are not helping.

      Delete
  61. So we have greenhouse Bob,
    smokey or crash wherley
    your FRIEND Watson
    and need nicknames for Cheryl and Frank to round it out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sheryl and Frank seem like pretty decent people.

      Delete
    2. I agree. I know both of them and they are quite decent people. Sheryl has been working as an interface on behalf of clients with a variety of jurisdictions so she has a great unique perspective of what works and what doesn't. Also, she is very busy and is really making a sacrifice in order to campaign and possibly govern.

      Frank is a dedicated business man but has spent his latter years working on a large charity operation that processes e-waste, recycles, and in general makes some dump bound items available for the public to re-use, which has benefits all around. A lot of us Friday Harbor residents are grateful for the "Roche Harbor Home Depot" as it has been nicknamed. Frank, too, is a very busy person but is taking time to campaign and possibly serve out of his commitment to his community and a functioning government.

      No agendas here other than transparent government that is fair for all.

      Can't get that with the folks we have now, so lets see what we can do.

      Delete
    3. ...and we cannot get that with Watson since he is in bed with the FRIENDS.

      His donors to date are:

      ALDERTON JANET 3/30/2016 $1,000.00
      DEER HARBOR - RETIRED

      DAVIS LISA LOUISE 3/30/2016 $250.00
      REDMOND - MICROSOFT - SENIOR PROGRAM MANAGER

      ROBARTS JAMES 3/30/2016 $250.00 P
      REDMOND - E.B. & COMPANY - INVENTOR

      SEE MAUREEN 3/30/2016 $150.00
      FRIDAY HARBOR - RETIRED

      SLOCOMB JAMES W 3/8/2016 $100.00
      FRIDAY HARBOR

      DUSTRUDE JOHN 3/25/2016 $50.00
      FRIDAY HARBOR

      DUSTRUDE LOUISE 3/25/2016 $50.00
      FRIDAY HARBOR

      PINGREE HAWKINS 3/25/2016 $50.00
      FRIDAY HARBOR

      PINGREE SUZANNE 3/25/2016 $50.00
      FRIDAY HARBOR WA 98250

      Delete
    4. Watson was spotted today listening to the Dorf.
      I thought everyone stopped listening to the Dorf.
      Great.

      Delete
    5. Scary - we do not need a computer programmer from the East Coast in charge of us. Are the Democrats endorsing him?

      Delete
  62. Guess Steve got a bit too much of the beef jerky he now sells at Roche stuck in his cheek and completely missed seeing that 50 year old stop sign.

    There is no "Cheryl" but there might be a "Frank." Anybody know about "Frank"? Does he skin dive and talk to the fish?

    At the risk of being profoundly ostracized and corrected ad nauseam,
    it seems the fish and Orcas are doing well. Must be the result of all those new buffers. (Shit no, I just looked it up, it is not due to us ever caring property owners, it is Krill. The little bastards don't care about buffers.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I speak for the salmon now.
      But who will speak for the balless shitweasels we have on council??
      Thomas I guess.
      At least our county isn't infested with self serving, hopeless, agenda driven bureaucrats that bow to the whims of Jamie in what is simply a manifested man crush.

      Delete
  63. Amazing. Thanks for the donors list so far. What is with these machine backers, (Alderton, et al), who can't stand the idea of a non-aligned candidate.

    The Dorf continues to think he can and should pull the puppet strings of County government.

    Maybe, finally, this time the machine candidate will get rightfully stomped just like Jamie's wife.

    PS: Who in the Hell would want to be a machine candidate? This fact alone should be enough for any voter to check a different box.

    ReplyDelete
  64. Are you wondering what I'm wondering - if Jamie were forced to resign (hypothetically speaking), in council meetings after that event, whose hand would be jammed up Rick Hughes's ass?

    ReplyDelete
  65. Hypothetical musings about Jamie being forced to resign?! HA!

    Jamie could pass a law that required high power wi-fi transmitters to be placed on every single parcel on Lopez, while simultaneously banning farming and jewelry making, and he would still get elected by the herbs on Lopez.

    Get used to his presence.

    ReplyDelete
  66. Not herbs. Weeds. Invasive species. Use harsh chemicals to eradicate.

    ReplyDelete
  67. Thanks, June 7th 6:46: Agree the machine seems to going with Watson, or maybe they invented him? Good to keep the list going with each new filing. Yeah, what is with Lopez anyway? Seems like they have some small group that tells them how to think and how to vote. Let me just push this button and watch the vote totals.

    ReplyDelete
  68. UPDATED WATSON LIST.

    ALDERTON JANET 3/30/2016 $1,000 RETIRED
    DAVIS LISA L. 3/30/2016 $250.00 MICROSOFT
    ROBARTS JAMES 3/30/2016 $250.00 INVENTOR
    MEILAND DAVID A 5/31/2016 $175.00 BAILER HILL CONSTRUCTION
    STREHLOU SANDRA 5/31/2016 $175.00 TOWN OF FRIDAY HARBOR
    SEE MAUREEN 3/30/2016 $150.00 RETIRED
    HAHN RALPH 5/31/2016 $100.00
    SLOCOMB JAMES W 3/8/2016 $100.00
    CLAUSSEN MATTHEW G 5/26/2016 $50.00
    DUSTRUDE JOHN 3/25/2016 $50.00
    DUSTRUDE LOUISE 3/25/2016 $50.00
    KENDALL ELAINE M 5/11/2016 $50.00
    PINGREE HAWKINS 3/25/2016 $50.00
    PINGREE SUZANNE 3/25/2016 $50.00
    STURDIVANT LEE 6/10/2016 $50.00
    ZEE RONALD A 5/11/2016 $50.00

    ReplyDelete
  69. So all the machine hacks are getting their checkbooks out early?
    Great. Just what we need. Big city values being pushed in a rural community.
    I guess being a lackey for the FOSJ is only slightly less despicable than say, being a tobacco lobbyist.

    ReplyDelete
  70. Anyone know about public employee rules, specifically Lisa Brown Office Manager of CDP announcing she backing Bob Jarman on FB?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. Every year they send a reminder around to county employees about not using county resources for political stuff.
      She is free to do as she pleases in her off time.
      I guess this raises Bob's vote total to close to what, 15 now?
      I have dealt with Ms. Brown once or twice and she has a pleasant and professional demeanor. It is her judgement I question at this point. I imagine Bob is a great guy to have over for a BBQ and a Beer. I'll concede that. Legislating and leadership just aren't is thing.

      Delete
    2. I am very surprised she would publicly back anyone If she is truly a manager and not union. There are ethics rules for managers in the ICMA tenants. Guess, as we have seen, none of those apply here. The fact she would back someone who is a liar and who put her fellow co workers in a position of breaking laws is mind blowing. Once you cross this line it is time to step down.

      Delete
    3. ICMA tenants are only for the members.
      If you want to behave unethically without violating ethical standards, just don't join the group.
      Bob, sadly will take any endorsement he can get.
      A CDP staffer endorsing Bob is sort of like getting the David Duke endorsement. Sure, it's an endorsement, but do you really want it?

      Bob isn't going to make it past the primary.
      I am surprised that he is using FB for advertising. Someone on his crew must have told him that there is some technology that they could use to get his message across.
      Speaking of messages, what is Bob's message?
      Just read the comments and his responses on his page. It's not his fault, the voters have spoken, blah blah blah.
      Zero accomplishments. None.
      NOT A SINGLE ONE.

      Delete
    4. "Speaking of messages, what is Bob's message?"

      The only plausible campaign message that Bob could come up with is: "I'm not Doc, Grumpy, Bashful, Sneezy or Happy. I'm Sleepy. Well, and Dopey. On the plus side, if Jamie makes a motion about something that will really fuck taxpayers and residents, there's a better than even chance I'll be asleep. So while it's not like I'll be actively representing your interests, there's a pretty good chance that I won't be voting against your interests. Vote Sleepy! Vote Dopey! Two for one!"

      The sad fact is that Jamie and Rick have openly mocked Bob in public (cozy dinners that are not, I repeat: are not, meetings subject to the Open Meetings Act). Neither Jamie or Rick have intellects that scream "I'm at least average damn it", so when Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum mock you as being not the sharpest tool in the shed, it's sad. Especially that shed.

      And another sad truth is that SJC is basically run by a shadow, unelected government. Mike Thomas, Stephanie Buffum, Sandy Bishop, Tom & Sally Reeve, Janet Alderton, Lynn Bahrych, the eco-weirdo wing of Lopez and whoever it is who gives Randy his marching orders. Not one of them gives a shit about jobs for middle class people.

      Delete
    5. ANALYSIS: True.

      Delete
  71. Come here Watson. I need you. Sincerely, Janet Alderton, Ralph Hahn, Jim Slocomb, Ron Zee et al.

    This is the same small group of angry insiders who tried to ram Pratt and Byers down our collective throats a few years ago. Any questions?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pratt, and especially Byers, would have been much better, of course. Will you guys shoot yourselves in the foot again? Most likely.

      Delete
  72. Note. These folks have no faith in their candidate. Why the perceived need to rush out and raise funds.

    A little history is in order. If memory serves, and I admit it doesn't all the time, in the NON PARTISAN hospital board race (SJI) the winning candidate who got the most votes, was the one who actually spent the least money. (Almost nothing, I think.)

    Obviously the lady was a good person, and was recognized as such by the voters. Others spent buckets of money and came in trailing the top three winning candidates.

    Are these donations the kiss of death? Poor Watson, he knows not.

    ReplyDelete
  73. Free speech is good, but a County employee does not endorse their boss if only for the pragmatic reason that if he loses, a pretty sure thing in this case, then you lose too.

    The winner will do some house cleaning that very likely would include Ms. Brown.

    ReplyDelete
  74. Will disastrous party politics we see daily in our nation's capital descend to the local level? We're now stuck with two lousy choices for president mainly thanks to the two party primary system.

    The usual incurable string pullers are at it again in their never ending avarice to control county government.

    Let it be said early and often that any candidate announcing they are "endorsed" by a party or a party that claims them through obvious support will be treated as an outcast and get no votes.

    Remarkably, some candidates have already rejected the party endorsement system in this non-partisan election. Maybe we're finally headed home.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I noticed that The Dorf has opened a storefront called Democracy in FH. I guess "Douchebag Central" was more letters than they could afford for the sign. What a bellend.

      Delete
    2. Where?
      I'm sort of in the mood to "occupy" something.

      Delete
  75. There are at least three candidates who filed who are not taking campaign contributions. This position needs someone with a good head on their shoulders, who is not bought off and paid for by certain cliques. The fact Watson was a board member of Friends and taking monies from the same puts him in that box. The position needs a neutral person without party or activist group ties. We all know deep down what honest good governance is, the question is can you execute honestly after elected or will you be swayed by your contributors. You cannot be unbiased and bought at the same time - it is one or the other.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And Jarman is a tool for a small radical property rights group as well. He failed them, but only half of them seem upset about it.
      Sheryl, Penwell, or heck even the lunatic, what's his name, the tobacco lobbyist, would be better choices than those 2.
      Watson will get some decent support. My big concern is that in a 5 way race, if he is getting much more than 35% of the vote, it will be a tough fight to stop him.
      Not Jarman. Not Watson. Anything else would be tolerable.

      Delete
    2. Word on the street is that Bob is a really nice guy but that is it. No faith in his leadership.

      Delete
    3. Well, it's not only his lack of ability to be a leader, it's that he's the dullest tool in a shed filled entirely with plastic spoons. Let's face it - we've elected a triumvirate of dumbasses. Neither Jamie or Rick is ever going to explain string theory to anyone, but Bob lags even that group of slow children. The problem isn't that Bob is or isn't a nice guy, it's that he's too stupid to see when he's being played. By Jamie, Randy, etc. You can see it in the photo in his ad - it's the big, beaming face of someone who has no fucking clue what's going on. Because, damn it, Jamie and Rick told him they'd all be going for pony rides after this meeting.

      Delete
  76. Occupy? If you're having a really bad gas attack, the Dorf can be found across the street from the Big Store....no not the bike shop.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Are you serious he has an office promoting his word?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Democracy Now".
      Can someone let the Dorf know that we actually don't live in a democracy?

      Delete
    2. Oh, he knows. He also knows that we used to live in a constitutional republic until his ilk got their hooks into the gear works of government. Then we got a government made up entirely of dickless shitballs like The Dorf and the current council.

      Delete
  78. Money talks! Already the Machine Candidate, Watson, has roadside signs popping up everywhere. (Dorf likely owns stock in the sign company.)

    Problem is, the person who is not a political reader like herein, is completely blank that this guy is a tool and should be a pariah to the voting public.

    The good candidates, yes we have at least two; maybe three with Durland, need to bust ass and get out there and beat this guy up from all sides. Otherwise we're going to have him in the final choice and you ain't seen nothing as to how much money will be spent pushing his sorry ass uphill.

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  79. Whoever is doing the Watson donor list, many thanks. Please keep it going as the Dorf now claims his machine is not endorsing anyone, hell no, we just raise big bucks for em.

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  80. Sorry Watson it is not Elementary.

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  81. I actually have more faith in the honesty of the Purva Pius post, signed "managements", than I do in any of our local council or upper management at the county.

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  82. Make no mistake about the Watson machine. They will appear to only have the minimum amount of funding necessary, but if the need arises, they have tons of $$ lined up ready to go.
    The machine got stung last time, they are going to try and prevent that from happening again. Although I don't know why they just wouldn't support Jarman since he is the lackey for Jamie Stephens, as is Rick. Jamie runs the show and does whatever his handlers tell him. That's the part that is elementary.

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  83. It is so apparent the machine is the puppet behind Watson. We attended the forum today and there was no one person there from the Friends, no Kyle, no Lovel P? Is this to attempt to not align themselves with him. Very Strange.

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    1. " ... the puppet behind Watson??" Please explain your metaphor. I don't get it.

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  84. I don't mean to speak for a previous poster, but I am guessing they meant "puppet master" not "puppet"

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    1. Whoops Yes Puppet Master.

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  85. That's just good solid campaign advice right there.... "Keep Lovel Pratt the hell away from everything if you want to pull this off".

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  86. It's alimentary Watson.

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  87. I'm getting a little worried over other candidates seemingly doing nothing. Maybe I missed em, but I only saw Jarman and Watson in the 4th of July parade. Meanwhile Watson backers are papering the place with road signs and now an expensive glossy card mailing.

    The uninformed might think he's it. Most must be appalled that Jarman would seek a second term.

    Also notice the focus of the Watson mailer. ORCAS! Will they also get dear Patty to make nasty on Durland?

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  88. Penwell and Wherley had 4th of July floats as well. Franks was a bicycle with some signs. Not sure if it was recognizable.

    Agree, the amount of rubbish being generated by Watson is getting up there.

    Watson and Jarman came out in favor of some sort of new tax increase for affordable housing. These guys are clueless.

    Watson's mailer is interesting. Basically accusing the council of not following the charter and it's own rules. There are numerous examples of senior management and council members breaking the rules for the benefits of cronies.

    Not sure how Watson, former FOSJ stooge will be any different. Seems like a lot of bulls--t to me.

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  89. I missed the parade! Being self-employed, busy year and campaigning amongst family and volunteering duties too is tough. The building code and energy codes changed July 1st. I had to sacrifice myself for a week and a half to vest 7 applications for permits so the customers did not have to pay the thousands of additional costs under new code. Working away networking and sending letters to voters. A little more personal than a mass mailing.

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  90. Ref the tax increase proposed by Watson and Jarman. Who was it who spoke those words needing to be etched on a plaque somewhere: "Why is it that for every perceived problem, San Juan County's response is always, a new tax, an increase in a tax, new fees, or increased fees?

    At least Ms. Albritton knows very well what it is like to be on the receiving end of these "solutions."

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  91. If Watson and Jarman would study the issue they would know every jurisdiction confronting the lack of housing, especially reasonably priced rental housing, has come to the realization that short term-high price rentals are destroying the long term rental housing inventory.

    Now two years ago, WELL PAID COUNCILMAN JARMAN, could have proposed a solution to this large problem, but as usual he did absolutely nothing. Now the horse has long since left the barn and Mr. Jarman has left a every difficult issue for others to solve. Thanks sooo much "Good Ol Boy."

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  92. I agree there job was to dig into this issue and he has nothing. Watson wants a property tax - wow. How about dialing back the tourism the balance is off. Plus as one candidate noted to me the other day there are people who do not live here buying up houses for vacation rentals. We cannot encourage this much tourism without it effecting the rest of us. The balance is off.

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  93. Yes, we continue now via the juggernaut of Air B&B and the new National Monument ID, (many thanks, FOSJ and those who engineered this complete nonsense...even the president looked like...what the F is this?)to make the islands nothing but a tourist trap for four, maybe five, months of the year and a "sorry closed" the rest of the time.

    Merri Ann Simonson, who does her homework (see her Guardian piece) works it out that there is a slim chance the market will self correct and long term rental housing will survive. I doubt it!

    There is more regulation than even she has listed and I can't blame those people who pay no attention. The guest house fiasco firmly convinced property owners to go rogue.

    You know what, thank God they did. At least now every airplane hanger has a rental unit, every "bunkhouse," every converted "workshop" every barn....etc. Without these units, working people would have no place to live thanks to the idiots at FOSJ.

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  94. Merri Ann rocks. She does more homework than any Realtor I know.

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  95. Watson's membership with the FOSJ should disqualify him from public office. It is the FOSJ, their polices and tactics, that have harmed our community single handedley, more than any other event, group, or action.
    If this clown wins, it is a sad reflection on the agenda driven activist influence we have on our local government.
    We will be faced with a constant barrage of new tax schemes and additional regulations, all under the banner of "affordable housing" or some other feel good sounding talking point.

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  96. The guy has no clue about how to run local government equitably......he writes code for god sake and has managed people and budgets in the computer industry - not impressed. What he has said to date is what is being written for him by Pratt and company. Too much influence and bias with this guy. Yes he should be disqualified.

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  97. Anyone have the latest on the Watson WAR Chest? I think Penwell is the only one who has published a statement saying he will not accept donations, which is another way of saying you have no allegiance to a political machine. (No, payback due either.)

    I think there are other candidates who are following the same path. Unfortunately this gives them a very low profile in comparison to Watson, or even Jarman.

    Also, was Watson's board tenure at FOSJ at the same time the group was filing numerous suits against members of the public and the County over just about any trivial violation they could concoct. Several of this suits had devastating consequences to individual families and the public at large.

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  98. Raised, 8,463.25; Spent $7,797.80; Debt $3,000.00
    www.pdc.wa.gov

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  99. When on the board of FOSJ did Watson vote to sue the County? If so he better be mute in criticism of those other candidates who were forced to sue the County. Certainly no one forced FOSJ to ever sue the County.

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  100. Well according to his bio...From 2008 till 2014 I was on the board of the Friends of the San Juans

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  101. OK folks, place your bets...place your bets...

    Jarman - Good ole boy who has failed miserably in his first and only four years. If you vote for him, you are part of the problem, not the solution.

    Watson - Candidate of the Friends, by the Friends, and for the Friends. If he gets elected, kiss jobs goodbye (except grant funded eco crap)

    Penwell - Does tremendous amounts of community and charity work. business savvy. has been through the regulatory ringer. Would be a good choice.

    Albrittion - Probably the best experience dealing with the departments that are the most screwed up. Very unique perspective. This job is likely a pay cut for her. Also does tremendous amounts of charity work and does not seek recognition for it. Would be a great choice.

    Wherley - I wasn't going to mention this guy, but hey, if you have experience selling cigarettes to children, you are one step above Watson and Jarman in my book.

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  102. Based on the above list:

    Jarman is running at 4:1. Sadly, many people will vote for him simply because he is already there. our local "news" sources never tell us what is really happening in local government, so to most he is a fine choice.

    Watson is running at 2:1. Lets face it, his campaign is the only one that anyone knows anything about. His people are out there stumping for him and he has the Friends backing him. They are a loud group with a whole lot of supporters behind them that know nothing about what they really do. Good choice in naming themselves "Friends", sounds so warm and fuzzy.

    Penwell is running 10:1. Not a lot of name recognition off of San Juan and very little in the way of networking and outreach. He's a great person and NOT a government drone, which means that he wont get any support from the hyper-active political community.

    Albritton is Running 5:1. She is the obvious choice as a counterweight to Jarman. She successfully kicked the crap out of the county and essentially exposed the entire council as idiots. She has vast experience with government, without having to be a big part of it. She is educated, respected and knows how to read regulations. Currently she is lacking a presence in the local media and may fall victim to the name recognition of Watson and Jarman. If she can edge out Jarman, she is the best candidate to challenge Watson.

    Wherley is running 50:1. Who is this guy? Apparently he likes cigarettes, but we cant grow tobacco or pot here, so his skill set is limited.

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  103. Albritton would seem to be the best candidate by far, BUT (there's always that word) she needs help in the campaign department something she seems to nothing about. BIG SIGNS dear with huge letters---your name, and perhaps a few buzz words: "A QUALIFIED CANDIDATE!"

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  104. San Juan County tax payers pay bank for schools, the library, park & rec, and likely EMS, but gee whiz there is NO money for a general mailing from elections as to candidates statements, qualifications etc. Oh no, the absolute basics of the democratic process WE CAN'T AFFORD THAT.

    Well...you can just get it on-line shit head. Except you don't, especially with a big ballot like this one. So uninformed voters slog through kicking dirt to one side or the other, as they hopefully spend time looking up the few candidates they might care about. Except most of them don't even get that far.

    So completely unqualified people like Watson and Jarman get elected, why?, because they got the most yard signs.

    The right question I would put to Watson is why? I would understand maybe if he admitted he needed the money, that's at least an appearance of honesty. I suspect the real answer is he was drafted by his cohorts at FOSJ.

    Albritton and Penwell both have backgrounds in dealing with and knowing just how f'd up the County is, so it is easy to understand their bids.

    I think Wherley would like the paycheck, and Jarman is just a really minimal intellect looking for a final blessing.

    Problem is without a County Elections mailing outlining the candidate qualifications you end up with people like Hill and The Donald. DOUBLE UGH!

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  105. A vote for Watson is a vote for Lovell Pratt and Friends alright. She has manufactured this candidate. Otherwise he would have never ran.

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  106. Check out the article in the Orcas Issues by county council staffer. Jarman is the real deal???? If she has 12 years experience she must have worked for a very corrupt jurisdiction. The other council members do not think highly of Bob, sure they will put on a straight face for meetings. But that is it.

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  107. Oh My: Ingrid Gabriel (Orcas Issues) seems to know very little of actual fact about Councilman Bob Jarman. If only dear Bob was doing any of the things she claims he is. Jarman has never been forward looking and to my knowledge he has not put forth any visionary legislation, in fact little or no legislation at all.

    Bob Jarman has done NOTHING, ZILCH, NADA for Islanders during his term. Vote for somebody, Ms. Gabriel, but not this guy.

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  108. How unprofessional of her. Representing herself as a county employee and not as a private citizen. The Secretary to our County Council who proceeds in this article to assume the rest of the candidates (some of which do have more government and political experience than her and know the maze better than Bob) do not understand the complexities of the job. WOW!

    We all know Bob is a lame duck. This is a reminder to all - any of the others would accomplish far more than the sleepy. I agree with Mr. Sutton who responded to Ingrid's letter to the editor in Orcas Issues..... Ingrid owes the other candidates a public apology, one of them will be your boss soon!

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  109. I believe that Washington state law prohibits public employees from making political endorsements where they are using their position as a public employee to justify their endorsement - something about using public resources for political activities. Maybe to set an example for other county employees, Ingrid should be fired. Some people's destiny is just to be the bad example that everyone else learns from.

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  110. The letter is proof of just how inexperienced Bob is. To allow public employees to make an endorsement privately and especially as a public employee is insane.

    Bob is the only one who took two years to learn the job according to his last town hall meeting. I am sure any one of the other candidates could be up to speed within weeks. I have met them all and they unlike Bob know right from wrong.

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  111. Coming down to the wire: Both I and the wife voted for Albritton, unusual only because we often have different picks. This long ballot was a real job. This nonsense that you can get the info on-line is true, but also total bullshit.

    Each candidate,in most cases, must be pulled up, read, and then you start over for the next one. Total shit Henley! Get the money to write a voters pamphlet for EVERY election or threaten to quit!

    County government is filled with job protecting people. IE, Bob Jarman!

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    Replies
    1. No voters pamphlet is no good! Did they let the candidates know this before they filed? Is this a first?

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  112. Watson v Jarman, and Jarman loses in spectacular fashion.
    Watson v Albritton, and I think Sheryl has a fighting chance. She thinks for herself and Watson being a puppet for the FOSJ and the hardcore progressive crowd will quickly become apparent.

    But yeah, if it's Watson v. Jarman, his campaign slogan could literally be "Watson, I'm only 1/2 as stupid as Jarman", and that would be enough.

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  113. Sadly, this may boil down to who had the most yard signs. (Watson & Jarman) No voter's pamphlet! Virtual blackout by the Journal--now scared to death after the hospital board endorsements generated some hate mail--no coverage period outside of some weak woman's voters meet-ups. Ah yes it's democracy via the machine and status quo. UGH.

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  114. The yard sign election is over: Yard signs win. Thank you local media and elections office for so completely abdicating your responsibility.

    The chicken shit Journal could not even comment on candidate quality or qualifications.

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  115. I am pretty sure the candidates would have liked to have know there would be no pamphlet.

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  116. I frankly think there is always another motive afoot. Henley likely likes the way thing are. No one rocking the boat. Certainly the persona of Bob Jarman will never rock anything. Watson? What's new, just another FOSJ shill we know how to deal with them.

    So maybe Henley cares, maybe there is another family job involved, maybe she can write huge explanations of the process and yet not grasp the basics; whatever, not having a voters guide is death to anyone who is not a well financed machine candidate or an incumbent.

    So here we sit; faced with two bad choices, very similar to the national stage wherein a few actually good people are left out.

    Maybe we should run an independent write in campaign here? I mean Jarman (I can't vote for this guy) rightfully will be crushed by Watson, but Watson knows nothing of local government except how to mess it up via FOSJ.

    Seems the only option is a write in campaign. Even if you lose, you can't lose!

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    1. I believe the choice to not publish a voters guide was deliberate. This was an essential piece of the advertising given the fact I had spending limits.

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    2. Yep. System is rigged.
      Locals are super corrupt.
      It is about power and control. I don't understand it, but I accept that their lust and greed is real.

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  117. There's an alternative choice - vote for Watson, knowing that by voting Machine, you're hastening the day when the entire f'ing system crashes and burns. Just like an alcoholic, a political system can't even think about getting better until it's hit bottom - woken up in the gutter having peed himself, wife and kids gone, unemployed, homeless, with the DTs. SJC has done a pretty good job peeing in itself, but it's not hit bottom yet.

    Jamie is fond (very fond) of talking about how undertaxed residents of SJC are. He'd like to fix that problem. Levy for affordable housing. Levy for fire & police services. Levy for ag. Levy for giving Sandy the fucking money to finish paying for the silly ranch that LCLT has purchased and has no way to pay for. Levy for Lisa Byers to finish building the future slum of Orcas. Levy for Lopez Taproot. Levy for Jamie's Tesla.

    We've got a ways to go until we hit bottom, but with Watson's help, I BELIEVE we can get there. It's almost in our grasp - a vote for Watson is a vote for hitting bottom. It won't be like Jamie has three votes (his own, Jarman's and Hughes'), it will be as though Stephanie Buffum has three votes.

    A vote for Watson is like walking up to a street alcoholic and telling him you'll give him $50 as long as he PROMISES to spend it all on hooch. It sounds awful, but you're actually helping, in the long run.

    Fuck it, as long as we're hastening the destruction, we should INSIST that SJC make a permanent employee position for "JT". And tell the county they should just keep on keeping on with their procedures for responding to public records requests. At some point, we'll need a levy to pay for PRA legal settlements.

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  118. Shit the bed, Watson 2016!

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  119. I'll be writing in Allbritton on my ballot.

    I think there are enough people in the county who look at the choices resulting from the top two with concern that a true write in campaign would win.

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  120. Agree. The fact that the most qualified candidates were overlooked shows clearly that the system is more than flawed. Whoever voted to dump spending for a voter guide had to not give a shit for a basic tenant of our democracy, or liked the inherent power of the incumbent -- or existing power structure if you will.

    If we even had one damn investigative journalist, even one media person not just running government handouts and other garbage the voting public might be a tad more informed.

    Lastly, I suspect FOSJ and the DD machine hold hands and label any independent or anyone not in their pocket as a republican, an easy death blow in this very heavy democrat County.

    I'll be writing Albritton in as plainly the most qualified candidate in the field.

    As an aside; both Henley and Gaylord need a good hard look. Maybe they are clean, and I do hope so, but entrenched people tend to have power envy.

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  121. "Gaylord need a good hard look. Maybe they are clean"

    Are you serious? Randy Gaylord is essentially the eye of the hurricane that is the wet shitstorm that is SJC politics. Overlooking for a minute that his job is defending the (usually) indefensible, no responsible attorney, no, wait, no responsible adult, would look at the fact patterns of SJC behavior that he's asked to defend without going back to the idiots doing the things getting the county sued and not raising a holy fucking storm for putting him in that uncomfortable position. (Or what should be an uncomfortable position - I suspect Randy's had to put up with it enough that, like a $2 whore, he used to the idea that the johns almost always have hygiene issues and unusual requests.)

    Instead, Randy's just another no ambition government employee who's got a sinecured position and is patiently marking out the days until he can retire. Or more accurately, in Randy's case, until he'll be appointed as a Superior Court judge to replace Easy Eaton when Eaton retires. Here's the awful thing: as bad as Randy is, it's hard to imagine he'll be a worse judge than Eaton, who doesn't even maintain the fiction that he's either a) impartial, or b) has a waving acquaintance with the law or common sense.

    In most places, even the vilest, most corrupt politicians have the god damn common courtesy to at least pretend that they're not corrupt - it's the polite thing to do so as not to overtly embarrass the voters as being dupes and rubes. But the collection of stateless pimps and fixers that we're blessed with as elected officials and department heads in SJC go the passive/aggressive route - they insist rubbing our faces in their incompetence and malfeasance.

    Selah.

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  122. But we continue to elect them! We had at least two good people running this time and we got the FOSJ machine candidate and a complete do nothing doofuss named Jarman to pick from.

    Why is that? In my view it is like all things complicated.
    First many, many people who own property here and pay taxes here can't vote here, because they don't live here. So we loose the common sense of those paying the bills, replaced by those who think it's OK to gouge those very same people with base charges for utilities they use very little, for schools/library/ems/park & rec/ etc, stuff they use not at all.

    The place has now turned the corner via the National Monument ID where hundreds of tourist supported transient businesses now have a new dumping ground. Yes we had bicycle/kayak people before, but look what we have now!

    FOSJ could not be happier...gotta love the way they continue to exploit children in their latest mailer...they got Watson coming in for sure and lacky Hughes very likely, with their ECO tourism plan coming to a fund raising crescendo.

    Vote Durland and do a write in for District 1. (Watch the machine now snuff Durland on Orcas.)

    Watson looks clearly in unless Albritton gets pissed off and runs a big money write in campaign. Durland will have the fight of his life no matter what.

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  123. Durand doesn't have a prayer against the machine backed Hughes. Jarman is going to lose in spectacular fashion. Jamie, Rick and Watson are your next council. Just be ready for a new "housing authority" (and associated tax increase), a "clean water district" (and associated tax increase), and some sort of "regional oil spill coordination integration taskforce" (and associated tax increase).
    They will have the numbers and the votes.
    Even if Jarman wins, so what, he has been co-signing Jamie's bullshit from day 1.
    A massive Sheryl write-in campaign would be the only option but that would take a boatload of money, time and effort. I respect Sheryl but don't think that will materialize.

    As far as Durland goes, he would be a good voice but Randy and Rick H openly mock him so it's no surprise that they will help derail his election efforts in a variety of ways.

    We. Are. Screwed.

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  124. I found it interesting in talking to people who I respect and who are not liking FOSJ that they labeled Sheryl as a "lightweight" from day one. Why? Because she did not do the usual fund raising and toe kissing. As usual, it's money and a sign on to the machine that leads to a win.

    I think any campaign operative at this point would do well to look at the sheriffs race not so long ago past. We had a sheriff like Bob Jarman, we don't anymore! But we also don't have a completely un vetted uninformed person like Watson taking his place at the helm.

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  125. Funny. Nope not a lightweight, people hire me because I am a heavy weight champ. I was severely injured on June 4th and could barely do my real job let alone campaign, family etc when I was sleeping half of every day. Making it through the forums was tough when your pain is 8 on a scale of 1-10. Anyone who calls me a lightweight does not know me or my work. Also I had to limit spending to 2K and should have bought signs instead of ad space with online news. I did everything myself with very little help (all during a code change cycle with 8 deadlines). To those who underestimate me I am a very tough and accomplish everything I set my mind to with the exception of running for this office.

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