A Message From Commissioner Bacon

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Island County

District 1 News - January 27, 2023

Message from Commissioner Bacon

MB pic

Coming home

Thank you for reading my newsletter for the 4th week of 2023. Can you believe January is almost over already?

  • Resolutions approved this week:
    • C-08-23 (consent agenda): Initiating a County Road Project designated as Monkey Hill Road/Henni Road Realignment Project, Whidbey Island
    • C-09-23 (consent agenda): Initiating a County Drainage Project designated as Carp Creek Vicinity Drainage Improvement Project, Camano Island
    • C-10-23 (consent agenda): Initiating a County Drainage Project designated as Bonnie View Acres Road North Outfall Project, Oak Harbor
    • C-90-22 (public hearing):  Petition to vacate and dedicate a portion of County road right-of-way.
  • I hold two state committee positions, and both of those committees met this week. Tuesday was an in-person meeting in Olympia of the Wildland Fire Advisory Committee. Thursday was a zoom meeting of the COVID After Action Response Task Force.
      • I asked to be put on WFAC last year because I worry about the potential for wildfires on our islands. I was completely new to this topic and am still learning it (I’ll be attending an in-person 2-day training at the end of March on “Wildland Urban Interface: Fire-Adapted Communities – Introduction and Leadership”, which hopefully will help me to transition from a wide-eyed silent attendee at these meetings to someone who can actually contribute sometimes.) But one of the things I took particular note of at this week’s meeting was the plethora of recent technological advancements in both physical and online firefighting tools and intelligence gathering, including AI directional software and the use of drones.
      • The COVID AAR Task Force is nearing the end of our information gathering. I’ll let you know when the findings are ready to send to the legislature. My hope is that one result will be a response template that the County can use the next time we have a public health emergency.
    • I mentioned last week that WSDOT has been awarded $4.9M for the Clinton Ferry Terminal. At Wednesday’s Island Regional Transportation Planning Organization (IRTPO) meeting, a representative for Washington Ferries gave a presentation on how those funds will be used. The $4.9M is part of a $19.3M project to electrify the Mukilteo-Clinton Ferry Route through construction of an electric charging facility at the Clinton Ferry Terminal. This project will support two new hybrid electric Olympic Class ferries assigned to the route, enabling them to operate in battery-only mode. Engineering for the vessel build program is in progress, with delivery of new vessels for use on the Mukilteo-Clinton Route anticipated in 2027 and 2028. The key benefits of this transition to electric are: (1) reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; (2) reduction of exposure to air pollutants; and (3) reduction in operating and maintenance costs.
    • Monday Tea with Melanie occurs most Mondays, including next week, at 3 pm at the WiFire Community Space, 1651 E. Main Street, Freeland. Tea is on me


Today is Holocaust Memorial Day.
“Get it all on record now—get the films, get the witnesses—because somewhere down the road of history some bastard will get up and say that this never happened.”
~ President Dwight D. Eisenhower