A Message from Commissioner Bacon

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Island County

District 1 News - August 4, 2023


Commissioner Bacon with Petunia from Ballydídean Farm Sanctuary in Clinton

Thank you for reading my newsletter for the 31st week of 2023, another beautiful summer week in Island County. After that awful winter, I am really luxuriating in this weather.

  • Regular Session.  The agenda and recording for the August 1st regular session can be found here: https://media.avcaptureall.cloud/meeting/6af4d548-d6d6-4d04-9a5e-025e80135e78
    • The first item on the agenda was public comment. This week the Board heard public comment on horse welfare and the homeless encampment on Hoffman Road.
    • The Board passed one resolution on our consent agenda, C-43-23, “Approving Interfund Loan from Island County Road Fund to Island County Marshall Storm and Surface Water Utility Fund.”
    • The agenda for the August 8th regular session is here: https://media.avcaptureall.cloud/meeting/a5dcea71-295b-463b-ada3-e7f75c2d2e99 We will be making decisions regarding two proposals for Conservation Futures Funds, and will hold a public hearing on Regulating Parking on County Roads and Amending Island County Code Title X, Chapter 10.02.                                       
  • Work Session. The agenda for the August 2nd work session is here: https://www.islandcountywa.gov/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_08022023-593 The recording is here: https://www.islandcountywa.gov/DocumentCenter/View/4052/08022023-WS-Audio If you want to fast forward to the conversations I note below you will need to download the audio instead of just streaming it, which you can do by clicking on the three dots at the right end of the streaming dashboard and clicking “download”. Depending on your internet access, this download may take a while.
    • Citizens often ask me what the County does to help people with addiction problems. On Wednesday we talked about the many services we provide, as we discussed a contract for our “Recovery Navigator Program”. You can read the “Recovery Navigator Program Standards” beginning on page 141 of the agenda above; recording begins at mark 1:13:55. Over 85% of participants are from Island County or have family ties here.
    • Public Works is going to do shoulder stabilization work in September on Lagoon View Drive that will last about eight weeks and require citizens in the area to use a detour. Public Works will send out notices before the work begins. Documentation of the project begins on page 487 of the agenda. The detour map is here: https://www.islandcountywa.gov/DocumentCenter/View/4053/Lagoon-View-Road-Closure-Detour The discussion begins at mark 1:46:52 in the recording.
    • A community asked the Board to let them set up cameras on County right-of-way. The discussion on this can be heard beginning at mark 1:51:54.
    • The Commissioners are often asked why we won’t set up speed bumps to slow traffic in neighborhoods. The Board discussed this with Public Works beginning at mark 2:05:59.
    • The August 9th work session agenda is here: https://www.islandcountywa.gov/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_08092023-597 First item on the agenda: discussion regarding homeless encampments. Second item: best practices for advisory committees. Third item (at 1 pm): 2024 Budget.
  • 2024 Budget: The most crucial work the Board of County Commissioners does is pass a budget to keep your local government going for another year. The Board held our first 2024 Budget Workshop on Wednesday afternoon, beginning at mark 2:36:55 in the work session recording. All meetings are held in the Commissioners Hearing Room in Coupeville (in case you want to attend in person). If you scroll down to the Events Calendar on the main web page, you will find info links embedded on the dates to each of these meetings. These are the remaining Budget Workshop meetings scheduled for August:
  • There were two presentations given at the Island Transit Board meeting today. Comments or suggestions may be emailed to heppner@islandtransit.org or sent via USPS to the main office at 19758 SR 20, Coupeville, WA, 98239. Please send comments regarding these projects by August 25, 2023.
  • At the National Night Out event in Oak Harbor this week, I learned about “North Whidbey Community Connect”. This is a way that that citizens in nonincorporated North Whidbey from Libby Road to Deception Pass can ensure that first responders have all the information they need to provide assistance to you when seconds count. If you live in this area within the North Whidbey Fire District, I encourage you to go to https://www.communityconnect.io/info/wa-northwhidbey and create your household life safety profile.
  • Also at National Night Out, I spoke with Public Health staff about how dangerous smoke from wildfires is. They had a University of Washington hand-out on “How to Build a Low-Cost Air Filter” in 4 easy steps using a regular box fan, a furnace filter, and duct tape, which they have now put up on the Public Health website for your convenience: https://www.islandcountywa.gov/323/COVID-19 Scroll down about half-way through the page to find the sheet. Thanks, Liz, for posting that!
  • I mentioned before that Washington State Ferries is trying hard to get demographic data on who is using the ferries. They have now resorted to offering you a chance to win a bribe (they’re calling it a “thank you”). I say, go for it. https://survey.alchemer.com/s3/7380624/WSF-Passenger-Demographic-Study
  • Another state survey (but alas, no opportunity to win money): the WA State carbon reduction strategy has been released for public comment. Whether your interests are bicycles, electric vehicles, buses, carpools, lights, business ops, land use, etc—they all have a role in supporting carbon reduction. WA state has $110M (2022-2026) to assist with WA carbon redux goals of 45% below 1990 levels by 2030 up to 95% by 2050. This is the Washington State Transportation Carbon Reduction Strategy: https://engage.wsdot.wa.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/wa-state-carbon-red-strategy-july-2023.pdf  Comment survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/RGG83GK
  • Speed Study Meetings—We’re trying to get your opinions on the formulas we used to make the recommendations. Historically, data points (including the 85% and 50% percentile), Average Daily Traffic (ADT), collision history and engineering judgement have provided the recommendation for a posted speed limit.  The current project also considers development density and pedestrian and bicycle use. 
    • Central Whidbey – Coupeville Rec Hall September 20th, 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM
    • South Whidbey – Trinity Lutheran Church August 23rd, 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM
    • Camano Island – The Multi-Purpose Room located next to the Camano Annex building Sept 12th, 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM
  • Embrace Whidbey and Camano Islands, the new name for the Tourism Board, has a beautiful new pamphlet: https://whidbeycamanoislands.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/07/Regnerative-Guide.pdf As I’ve mentioned here several times before, our new tourism approach encourages sharing our islands with visitors who will interact kindly with our treasures, understanding that we’re all part of a delicate ecosystem that must be preserved for the generations who will follow us. 
  • I attended the Clinton Community Council meeting on Monday. These meetings are held the last Monday of the month at 6 pm, in the Clinton Community Hall and on Zoom. All residents are welcome. https://clintoncommunitycouncil.org/
  • Every  Monday I hold Monday Tea with Melanie at 3:00 pm at the WiFire Community Space, 1651 E. Main Street, Freeland. I will be available every Monday in August, but will miss Labor Day, September 4.


“In August, the large masses of berries, which, when in flower, had attracted many wild bees, gradually assumed their bright velvety crimson hue, and by their weight again bent down and broke their tender limbs.”    ~Henry David Thoreau