LWV Observer Corps notes on County Council meeting

Submitted by the League of Women Voters Observer Corps

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan organization, encourages informed participation in government. The Observer Corps attends and takes notes at government meetings to expand public understanding of public policy and decisions. The notes do not necessarily reflect the views of the League or its members.

County Council meeting of May 14

During public comment, six citizens spoke in opposition to a proposed cement plant at the Beaverton Valley Business Park zoned for business and light industry. They cited concerns about impacts on water quality, air pollution and noise near residential properties and two important wetlands. The Council Chair Jane Fuler said the council had no role in the process. A SEPA was completed and appealed and is open for public comment through May 15. Comments should be addressed to Kyle Dodd at the DCD The Hearing Examiner will hold a public hearing on the appeal the public can attend and make comments.

The council approved the Land Bank to submit a grant request to the Paul Allen Foundation for climate stability work in forest thinning and using basalt for carbon capture. Council member Wolf expressed concern about the lack of time for the council to review the proposal before the submission was due on May 15.

The council set a public hearing for June 4 to update and simplify the county code for public purchasing in line with state law. They moved a scheduled hearing on updating the county code on traffic and vehicles from June 4 to June 25. They approved moving the annual employee appreciation event from December to the summer and asked the planning committee to bring back proposed dates. They approved plans and funding for a skate park on Lopez Island with colored concrete in some areas and a steel outline of Lopez Island.

They had a legislative update with their state lobbyist. They discussed how best to advocate for funding requests and bills specific to San Juan County’s needs and how to lend weight for statewide issues with specific impacts here, especially ferry service and school funding.

After an executive session, the council passed a motion directing the human resources department to open negotiations for the County Manager position with the candidate selected by the council. The name of the candidate was not stated.