By Ingrid Gabriel, Council Clerk
We have a saying at my house, “It’s always either Christmas or the Fair.”
Both events stand out on the calendar of our lives as significant turning points in the year and seasonal milestones. One closes the cycle of the year and promises the return of the sun to our hemisphere. The other marks the dwindling of summer and signals that a new school year is on the horizon.
Just as Christmas keeps us spinning outside of our usual routines, the county fair has many of us baking a tower of pies, brushing our Flemish Giants and putting the finishing recyclables on our Trashion-Fashions. So, it goes without saying that the County Council (and staff) will not be meeting in the hearing room during fair week as they will be darting thither and yon (in a Footloose kind of way) along with the rest of the county.
Bob (Jarman) will be spending time at the fire district exhibit and offering his communications expertise at the CenturyLink booth. Rick (Hughes) and Ingrid (Gabriel) are acting as judges for various 4-H events and the entire council is traveling to Lopez on Saturday for the dedication of the new skate park (where Bob will demonstrate his kick-flip and an Airwalk Grab).
Updates from the Corner: Rick continues to pursue the issue of internet connectivity on the ferries and will be attending the Sept. 14 Ferry Community Partnership meeting in Anacortes.
Jamie (Stephens) raised concerns regarding the recently released Army Corps Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal. Apparently, the EIS lacks sufficient consideration of the impact to San Juan County waters and Jamie will draft a letter requesting that the Corps expand the scope of the study.
Bob has been attending the Town of Friday Harbor Council meetings and reports that the Turn Point/Pear Point connector road design should be completed by the end of this year.
The council is also encouraging interested citizens to apply for open positions on advisory committees in general, and the Marine Resources Committee in particular. Call Susan, our staff assistant, at 370-7470 for information.
At the regular meetings on Monday, July 29 and Tuesday, July 30, the council voted to schedule a special meeting for a public hearing to review the Orcas Recycling Services contract. The hearing was noticed for Monday, Aug. 19, 10 a.m., at the Eastsound Fire Station.
At the regular meetings on Monday, Aug. 5 and Tuesday, Aug. 6 the council voted to reduce the current-use open-space fee from $4,060 to the $2,030. The council also adopted an ordinance amending the San Juan Islands Conservation District Assessment by reducing the per parcel fee to $4.95 and adding a .07 percent per-acre increase.
Additionally, the council voted to reconsider recent Marine Resources Committee appointments and extend the terms of several appointees whose terms have expired. The council authorized a list of surplus equipment to be sold at public auction at a date and location to be set by the Public Works director.
Also, the final report on the San Juan Community Conversations was presented to the council and is available on-line at http://sanjuanco.com/conversation/.
The next scheduled regular council meetings are Monday, Aug. 19 on Orcas and Tuesday, Aug. 20 on Shaw.
On a separate note, if you remember a column written years ago called “The Courthouse Mouse” that covered the courthouse news and have information you could share, please contact me at email@example.com or call 370-7472.See you at the fair.
— Editor's note: Council Clerk Ingrid Gabriel's Guest Column, "County Council Corner (C3)", is published periodically by the Journal.