A Message From Commissioner Bacon

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Island County

District 1 News - February 24, 2023

Message from Commissioner Bacon

MB pic

Maxwelton Beach

Thank you for reading my newsletter for the 8th week of 2023.

  • Regular Session. You can find the agenda and recording for this week’s Tuesday’s meeting here: https://media.avcaptureall.cloud/meeting/a9f94fd1-3150-46bb-b3c7-e68abeed72a0 
    • I believe this is the third week in a row in which we adopted just one resolution: C-13-23 (consent agenda): Cancelling of Non-Collectible Personal Property Taxes as of February 1, 2023, and Prior. Some info about this: After diligent search and collection efforts were made without success, per RCW 84.56.240 the Treasurer requested permission to write off taxes, penalty, and interest due to prior business closure and/or inability of former owner to pay the balance due. The Treasurer is pretty diligent in collecting taxes: this action equates to just $211.92 in property taxes spread between the taxing districts, plus $14.38 in penalties and $42.53 in interest to Island County for 2018-2022. Other delinquent accounts are still being pursued for collection.
    • The agenda for next Tuesday’s meeting is here: https://media.avcaptureall.cloud/?customerGuid=7953d90c-21b5-49e8-b2bb-c8e5a65a54ca&target=foo&view=thumbs&tabs=past|today|upcoming&defaultTab=upcoming
  • There was no work session this week. The agenda and zoom information for the March 1 work session can be found here: https://www.islandcountywa.gov/Commissioners/Pages/WorkSessions.aspx.
  • The Board of Health met this week.
    • We welcomed two new Board of Health Members: WhidbeyHealth Hospital Commissioner and Board President Ron Wallin; and Captain Juliann Althoff, Commanding Officer of Naval Health Clinic Oak Harbor. Both were able to attend in person rather than virtually, which helped make a robust Board meeting even though all of the agenda items were fairly routine.
  • The Council of Governments (COG) met this week. The COG is made up of County Commissioners, Port Commissioners, and the Mayors of Coupeville, Langley, and Oak Harbor.
    • On a really pragmatic level, having a CEDS in place helps governments to receive certain grant opportunities.
  • The Island Regional Transportation Planning Organization (IRTPO) also met this week.
    • We heard a great presentation from the WSDOT Aviation Division, including very helpful grant and loan information. The information hasn’t been posted on our website yet, but if you’d like to see the presentation just call the Commissioners’ office and staff will send it to you.
    • This is the 3rd year I’ve been elected Chair of the IRTPO, and I’m really interested in bringing the topic of aviation transportation into our meetings more regularly. The IRTPO is a planning organization, and as we plan for the future it is clear to me that aviation will become more of a component in Island County transportation needs and activities.
  • You may recall that Governor Inslee appointed me to represent Washington’s counties on the Pandemic After Action Report Task Force (https://mil.wa.gov/pandemic-after-action-report-task-force). We’ve been meeting every month since early last year, and our report should be ready to submit to the legislature this June. In order to make the report less dry (more human) the task force wants to include actual stories about peoples’ experiences. We want to include stories about peoples’ frustrations, sorrows, successes, and suggestions; stories about your individual, business, school, medical, group or family experiences. Not every story submitted will be included in the final report to the legislature—but here in Island County we are also working on our own AAR so that a Board of County Commissioners or Board of Health in the future can use our experiences to influence how they respond to the health crisis of their time. Those Boards would also benefit from your stories. If you would like to submit a paragraph or two about your pandemic experience to help inform the State Legislature and future Boards here in our own County, please send your story to me at district1@islandcountywa.gov. Thank you for participating.
  • Today I sat in for Commissioner St. Clair to certify the results of the special February election, a school bond measure in Oak Harbor. I was happy to say yes to this task; you may recall from last year when I was Chair of the BOICC that I love working with the Canvassing Board, participating in ensuring open and secure elections in our County.
    • The Oak Harbor school bond measure failed. 55.86% of the citizens voted YES to this bond measure, but bonds require 60% to pass. Levies require a simple majority to pass.
    • Today the Island County Elections Office received notice from the South Whidbey School District that they will have a measure on the ballot for the special election in April.
  • Reminder: The first of the community meetings with LIHI about the Harbor Inn supportive housing project will be held next Monday, February 27 from 6 – 7:30 pm at Trinity Lutheran Church in Freeland. LIHI has a flyer with a lot more information; if you would like me to send one to you just email me at district1@islandcountywa.gov
  • I want to keep the issue of wildfire safety in front of us all this year. Hopefully providing reminders all year will help all of us (including me!) take the steps necessary to prevent a disaster. This week: Prepare for Wildfire part 1: Recognize Warnings and Alerts   
  • Monday Tea with Melanie will be back on Monday February 27 at 3 pm at the WiFire Community Space, 1651 E. Main Street, Freeland. Tea is on me.


"March is a month of considerable frustration - it is so near spring and yet across a great deal of the country the weather is still so violent and changeable that outdoor activity in our yards seems light years away."
~Thalassa Cruso