A Message from Commissioner Bacon

Having trouble reading this email? View it in your browser

Island County

District 1 News - May 26, 2023

Bayview Cash Store Corner Buiding

Thank you for reading my newsletter for the 21st week of 2023. Island County offices will be closed on Monday, May 29 in observance of Memorial Day.

Since the Board will not be meeting next week, I will not be publishing a newsletter next Friday.

  • Regular Session. The agenda and video recording for this week’s Tuesday meeting can be found here: https://media.avcaptureall.cloud/meeting/bd63f67d-c9db-4503-b7cb-8b572e37e701
    • We take Public Comment at the beginning of our meetings. Public comment this week focused on animal welfare and the Eisenberg Airport.
    • The Port of Coupeville gave a presentation about their interest in purchasing the AJ Eisenberg Airport. They are requesting an Economic Development Grant of $1.1M for this purchase. The Board will discuss this presentation in June, possibly during the June 7 work session. You can watch the Port’s presentation beginning at mark 00:28:38 in the recording. The Port of Coupeville also sent this youtube video link to the Commissioners as part of their documentation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vATP5rYiqm4.
    • The Board held a Public Hearing, Resolution C-27-23, “In the Matter of Amending Island County Code Chapter 2.32 Damage Claim Procedures.” This resolution, which was approved, gives the Risk Manager and County Administrator more authority in settling claims.
    • We held Round Table on Tuesday afternoon, our monthly meeting with all of the county elected officials and department heads. This week we discussed our proposed DEI policy. It was a really interesting, in-depth conversation with a lot of participation. You can listen to it here: https://www.islandcountywa.gov/DocumentCenter/View/3230/05232023-Roundtable.
    • Next week is a 5th week for the Board, so there will be no regular board meetings or work sessions until the week of June 5th. The agendas for both Board meetings that week will be posted on the County’s website on Friday, June 2. I have received a heads’ up that at the Wednesday June 7 work session the Board will be discussing the Shoreline Master Program (SMP); I know many people have been waiting to review that, and you will be able to read the draft when it’s posted on June 2.
  • The Council of Governments (COG) and Island Regional Transportation Planning Organization (IRTPO) met on Wednesday.
    • The Executive Directors of the Port of Anacortes and the Port of Port Townsend joined us at the COG meeting to talk about ferries. We will continue this discussion at the June meeting, when John Vezina of Washington State Ferries will join us. You can hear this week’s COG meeting here: https://www.islandcountywa.gov/DocumentCenter/View/3243/05242023-COG.
    • The IRTPO adopted the 2024-2025 Unified Planning Work Program and had a first review of the Regional Transportation Plan update. Unfortunately, our new website does not yet have the IRTPO pages uploaded yet (or else I can’t find them) so I can’t share links with you.
  • I learned this week that the types of trash that wash up on our shores most frequently are plastic shotgun wads. These are plastic tubes about 2” long, which you have probably seen if you’ve walked our beaches. I was gifted a gallon bag of the things—all of which had been picked up by beach clean-up volunteers just the day before at Windjammer Park Beach in Oak Harbor. This is what our beach volunteers ask: if you are a hunter, please consider using biodegradable shotgun wads instead of plastic ones. They aren’t just visual pollutants—they are also harmful to our sea and shoreline animals.
  • rePurpose is sponsoring a community work party at the South Whidbey Community Center on Saturday, May 27 from 10 am to noon. This event is a collaboration between rePurpose and SWCC to revamp the disposal area behind the Community Center into a zero-waste zone that is accessible for recycling, composting, and gifting and giving items. They will be building a permanent three-bin system, cleaning up brush, and beautifying the waste space to make it more appealing and inviting. You are invited to join them for two hours of meaningful work, cookies, and beverages. All ages and skill levels are welcome! Please wear comfortable clothes and shoes that you don't mind getting dirty. Tools and gloves will be provided, but feel free to bring your own if you prefer.
  • The Washington State Broadband Office invites you to share your experiences and needs for high-speed internet access on Thursday, June 1st from 10:30 – noon at the Oak Harbor Library, 1000 SE Regatta Drive. Refreshments will be provided. Also, the Island County Broadband Action Team asks county residents to take a one-minute internet speed survey to help pinpoint areas of Island County where better internet service is needed. Take the survey here: https://www.commerce.wa.gov/building-infrastructure/washington-statewide-broadband-act/speedtestsurvey/.
  • As you may know, Island County only permits 35 detached Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) to be built each year. As of yesterday, there is only one Detached ADU Certificate remaining for the 2023 year. Once we run out of certificates, if you wish to be added to our waitlist you must email Amanda at a.balga@islandcountywa.gov with your contact information and parcel number. You will have to meet all submittal requirements to be eligible to be placed on this list.
  • I was excited to read this very cool story in Wednesday’s South Whidbey Record about our champion underwater robotics team, six students between the ages of 11 and 15 who are competing internationally: https://www.southwhidbeyrecord.com/life/robotics-team-qualifies-for-worldwide-contest/. The story gives information on how you can donate to support these young scientists in their quest for greatness.
  • I will taking some time off beginning next week and will not hold my Monday Tea with Melanie gatherings on May 29 or June 5. I will return on Monday, June 12 at 3:00 pm at the WiFire Community Space, 1651 E. Main Street, Freeland.


“Honor to the Soldier, and Sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor also to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field, and serves, as best he can, the same cause—honor to him, less only than to him, who braves, for the common good, the storms of heaven and the storms of battle.”

~Abraham Lincoln