A Message from Commissioner Bacon

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Island County

District 1 News - September 8, 2023

duck sculpture

I am very grateful to my terrific colleagues Jill Johnson and Janet St. Clair who covered for me while my attention was focused on family matters this week.

Thank you for reading my newsletter for the 36th week of 2023.

  • Work Session. The agenda for the September 6th work session is here: https://www.islandcountywa.gov/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_09062023-613; the audio recording is here: https://www.islandcountywa.gov/DocumentCenter/View/4540/09062023-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.
    • Merchant McIntyre, a Washington, DC firm that works to help us get federal grants for projects the County hasn’t the capacity to fund by ourselves, gave a project update, beginning at mark 0:49:32 in the audio recording. Their presentation is here: https://www.islandcountywa.gov/DocumentCenter/View/4536/Merchant-McIntyer-presentation.
    • We are concerned that there’s not enough campsites in Island County, and asked Public Works to give a presentation on what’s available. At the end of this discussion, the Board asked Public Works to include additional options for campsites in our 2025 Comprehensive Plan update. Kudos to South Whidbey Parks and Recreation for their planned campsite project, which was included in this discussion. You can listen to the Board talk about this beginning at mark 2:03:18 in the recording; you can see Island County campsite information, including a couple of maps, on pages 79-83 of the agenda.
    • Island County Public Health, in collaboration with Island Senior Resources, the SPIN Café, and the Opportunity Council, is requesting to enter into an agreement with the North Sound Accountable Community of Health to receive $193,000 to purchase a Ford Transit and support buildout of a comprehensive mobile unit to provide direct service supportive health education, prevention, referrals, and community mental health outreach. You can hear this discussion beginning at mark 3:00:48; the presentation can be found beginning on page 108 of the agenda.
    • We discussed the various Public Health Advisory Boards (see the list on page 130 of the agenda) to try to identify how to diversify those boards, and during that discussion we also talked about the feasibility of using the Water Resources Advisory Committee (WRAC) to work on the issue of aquifer capacity for our Comprehensive Plan Update. You can hear that discussion beginning at mark 3:22:10 in the audio recording.
    • Planning brought us their draft Public Participation Plan for the Comp Plan update, beginning on page 437 of the agenda. We’re interested in your input, especially if you think we’re missing any key audiences (see pages 441-442). Contact Emily Neff if you have thoughts on this plan (which remains a working document), e.neff@islandcountywa.gov. You can listen to the discussion beginning at mark 4:16:23 in the recording.
    • The next work session for the Board of Island County Commissioners will be held on Wednesday, September 13. The agenda is here: https://www.islandcountywa.gov/AgendaCenter/ViewFile/Agenda/_09132023-616. During the Public Works work session, which is scheduled to begin at 9:35, the Board will talk about Wildfire Risk, Preparedness, Response, and Mitigation.  At 10:35, Human Services is scheduled to bring the Board an Affordable Housing Update. And beginning at 1 pm, the Board will have a joint meeting with the Planning Commission, to discuss multiple points in the Comp Plan.
  • Public Works is holding four community meetings next week on four different topics. My thanks to the hardworking Public Works team!
    • Tuesday, Sept 12, 4:30 – 5:30. Public Works is holding two meetings at the same time on different islands. I will be at one, but not the other—don’t know yet which one I’ll attend.
      • At the Clinton Community Hall: Island County Open House for County Property Options, Brighton Beach. This is an Open House to get community input on possible options for the County-owned property adjacent to 6185 Brighton Beach Road, Parcel number R32924-330-4620.
      • At the Camano Annex: the Speed Study Open House focused on Camano Island roads.
    • Wednesday, September 13, 4:30 – 5:30, at the Useless Bay Country Club. A meeting with Diking District 4 parcel owners to discuss a proposed maintenance levy assessment to provide funds for ongoing maintenance activities within the District over the next 10 years.
    • Thursday, September 14, 4:30 – 5:30, at the Clinton Community Hall. An open house for owners of property that is within, or partially within, what’s known as the Marshall Drainage Basin, to discuss proposed changes to the assessment charges for the Storm and Surface Water Utility.  
  • Most Mondays I hold Monday Tea with Melanie at 3:00 pm at the WiFire Community Space, 1651 E. Main Street, Freeland. I will miss next Monday, September 11, but expect to be there through the rest of the month.


"Ah, September! You are the doorway to the season that awakens my soul."       

~Peggy Toney Horton