A Message From Commissioner Bacon

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Island County

District 1 News -March 3, 2023

Message from Commissioner Bacon


Penn Cove Sunrise

Thank you for reading my newsletter for the 9th week of 2023.

  • Regular Session. You can find the agenda for this week’s Tuesday’s meeting here: https://media.avcaptureall.cloud/meeting/bc456630-dc78-4f76-942f-6793d145a8ba
    • We approved two resolutions on this week’s consent agenda:
      • C-14-23: Authorizing the County Administrator to Approve and Execute Settlement Agreements for Termination of Employment
      • C-17-23: Establishing the use of the MRSC Rosters model small public works roster process to award Public Works contracts, consulting services roster for architectural, engineering, and other professional services, and a vendor roster for goods and services not related to public works contracts.
    • We scheduled one public hearing: March 28th, at 10 am: Franchise Renewal PW2022-0075–Bushpoint Tracpark Division #1 for Water Distribution System, Whidbey Island
    • 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
  • You can find the agenda and recording for the March 1st Work Session here: https://www.islandcountywa.gov/Commissioners/Pages/WorkSessions.aspx
    • The first item we discussed and forwarded to a future consent agenda was about a traffic signal improvement project for Ault Field Road/Goldie Road. During the discussion of this item, we talked about the issue of the Navy or other partners contributing to expenses for projects that are of significant value to those entities (this is the major intersection entering the Navy base and all the truck traffic enters the base from this intersection).
    • We received an overview of the budget and applications for the Conservation Futures Fund. The agenda includes maps and detail on many of the projects, including a great map of the 260-acre Lagoon Point Community Forest on page 16 of the agenda. One typo: if you look at page 6 and read that we’ve protected 22,519 acres with conservation easements, that’s an error—we’ve protected 2,519 acres with conservation easements. The CFF discussion begins at mark 00:15:57 in the audio.
    • Planning and Community Development gave us an update on their docketed items and 2023 work plan items, beginning at mark 00:36:08 in the audio. We spent a lot of time talking about the update to the Shoreline Master Program (SMP). The Board started this update in 2020; sent it to the Department of Ecology in 2021; got their suggestions and changes back last year; and now Planning is ready to send it back to Ecology again for their final review. We anticipate final approval by the Board of County Commissioners at midyear. One SMP item that I know many of my constituents who live on the shoreline have been following in particular is the consideration of requiring shoreline variances for buildings like sheds in the floodplain. In this most recent draft, shoreline variances will not be required if you build in the building set-back area, because the necessary protections are already established in the flood damage prevention ordinance. You can listen to this part of the Planning conversation beginning at mark 00:39:06 in the audio. The current proposed SMP draft will be posted on our website when Planning sends it to the Department of Ecology.
    • We received an update on the proposed animal welfare ordinance revision and animal control staffing issues, beginning at mark 01:08:30 in the audio.
    • We are updating our website to make it easier to navigate; it will also include page translation availability. The presentation on this can be found under the “other” tab for the March 1 work session above; the audio can be found at mark 01:33:04 in the recording.
  • The Island Transit Board met today.
    • We approved the Island Transit Zero Emission Bus Fleet Transition Plan, which can be found here:  https://irp.cdn-website.com/ac3d33af/files/uploaded/ZEV%20Feasibility%20Study%201.24.23%20DRAFT.pdf. We acknowledged that the plan may be amended over time as advances in technology occur during the next two decades.
    • As part of our clean fuel standards: we discussed selling fuel credits for our existing propane buses and future electric and hydrogen buses. We will need to aggregate our credits with other transit agencies and create a carbon credit aggregation pool. This will be done through the Washington State Transit Association and an experienced outside aggregator, who will manage the sales.
  • I was very disappointed by the public meeting held by LIHI this week regarding the Harbor Inn, because I felt the presenters weren’t prepared. I have communicated with LIHI management about the issues that were raised and have made suggestions about how they can improve their processes with our local government agencies and their communications with local residents. I am hopeful that they will hold another, more informative, public meeting soon.
  • A recent workshop by State of Washington Tourism featured the work of Whidbey and Camano Islands Tourism on Fostering Transformational Travel. The link to the entire workshop recording is here: https://youtu.be/4gMaoWrngfg. They start to focus on what transformational tourism means in Island County at mark 22:37 in the video, first by showing a great local video (https://youtu.be/l8eDS_46WcM) and then by hearing more details from people involved in the transformational travel program on Whidbey and Camano Islands.  
  • This week’s wildfire safety reminder: Prepare for Wildfire part 2: Make an Emergency Plan
  • Monday Tea with Melanie happens most Mondays at 3 pm at the WiFire Community Space, 1651 E. Main Street, Freeland. Tea is on me.


“Sometimes it takes only one act of kindness and caring to change a person’s life.”  ~Jackie Chan