A Message from Commissioner Bacon

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Island County

District 1 News - September 29, 2023

South Whidbey State Park

Thank you for reading my newsletter for the 39th week of 2023.

  • Regular Session.  The agenda and recording for the September 26th regular session can be found here: https://media.avcaptureall.cloud/meeting/b862d494-2000-416e-99fe-18b0db4f484c
    • Public comment was heard about LIHI, shoreline flooding, homeless encampments and drug trafficking, and the desire to be able to speak openly and anonymously when communicating with law enforcement.
    • Resolutions passed on the consent agenda: We passed two resolutions setting public hearings: C-57-23, Ordinance Amending Title VI – Animal Welfare of Island County Code, public hearing scheduled for October 17; and C-58-23, Approving apportionment of Benefits for Diking District No. 4 – public hearing scheduled for October 24. We also passed another resolution: C-59-23, Approving and Authorizing Sale of Tax Title Property
    • During Commissioner Comments, Commission Johnson spoke about her frustration with the failure of the legislative committee of the Washington State Association of Counties (WSAC) to identify any legislative priorities for 2024. Mark 14.05 in the recording.
    • The agenda for the October 3rd meeting is here: https://media.avcaptureall.cloud/meeting/31ecefc4-f0ab-41af-b318-f08cfa16d23d.                                           
  • Today I gave the welcoming address to the Northwest Straits Commission, which provides funding, training, and support to seven county-based Marine Resources Committees (MRCs) in order to protect and restore the marine waters, habitats and species of the Northwest Straits region to achieve ecosystem health and sustainable resource use. I spoke about the connection between our Climate Resiliency Resolution passed last year, the upcoming Comprehensive Plan update, and the work our Island County MRC has done to develop a white paper addressing actions we should take to plan for the impact of climate change on our shores. To learn more about the Northwest Straits Commission, go here: https://www.nwstraits.org/. To learn more about our Island County Marine Resources Committee, go here: https://www.islandcountymrc.org/.
  • Once again we’ve had to reschedule work items for the remainder of the year:
    • October 11 work session: discussion of 2024 legislative priorities, finalize 2024 Budget (to be voted on in December)
    • October 17 regular session (10 am): public hearing on the Animal Welfare code revision
    • October 18 work session: Fee schedule updates, PBRS/Rural Service RAID
    • October 18 (evening): Listening session with builders and developers on the County permit processes
    • October 24 regular session (10 am): public hearing on Diking District 4 assessments
    • November 1 work session: discussion of County/community work to prepare for King Tides, Rural Economic Development
    • November 8 work session: Fireworks code revision discussion
    • Note: because the Commissioners attend the Washington State Association of Counties meeting in mid-November and Thanksgiving occurs at the end of the month, we have constricted work session time in November. Also, the Board tries to limit meetings and important decisions during the end of December. Therefore, most of our remaining work needs to be done in October or the first two weeks of November and December.
  • Our Department of Emergency Management is sponsoring an Emergency Preparedness Fair tomorrow, Sept 30, at North Whidbey Middle School from 10 am – 2 pm with many of our emergency partners. For more information go here: https://islandcountywa.gov/754/September-Preparedness-Fair.
  • This year’s Ebey's Forever Conference will take place November 3rd & 4th in Coupeville. This is also the 45th anniversary celebration of the Reserve's enabling legislation being signed by President Jimmy Carter in 1978. November 3 will also be the date of the community potluck at the Crockett Barn, which will be a (free) ticketed event this year. Tickets for the conference, the conference sessions, and the community potluck can be found both at www.ebeysreserve.com and at the ticket page here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ebeys-forever-conference-2023-registration-528625813037?aff=ebdssbdestsearch
  • As I’ve mentioned before, Whidbey and Camano Islands Tourism has now rebranded as Embrace Whidbey and Camano Islands, to reflect their new focus on regenerative tourism. There are four pillars to Embrace Whidbey and Camano Islands: Healthy Nature, Access, Bridge Building, and Transformational Mindset. Congratulations to Ebey’s Reserve Director Marie Shimada, selected as Embrace’s first “Pillar Ambassador” for her work on building bridges by fostering collaboration between organizations and agencies.
  • The Federal Mail-Order Covid Test Program has restarted as of  9/25/2023.  Free at-home COVID-19 tests can be ordered through the federal government and through USPS, https://www.covid.gov/tests and https://special.usps.com/testkits. Island County Public Health wants you to know that expired at-home COVID-19 tests are no longer recommended for use. Expired test kits can be disposed of as normal solid waste. For questions, please contact the County’s COVID response team, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday at 360-678-2301; they may also be able to provide you with free test kits.
  • You can find all of my newsletters for 2023 here: https://www.islandcountywa.gov/Directory.aspx?EID=62.
  • Most Mondays I hold Monday Tea with Melanie at 3:00 pm at the WiFire Community Space, 1651 E. Main Street, Freeland. Fingers crossed, I should be there this next Monday.


“The Pumpkin Spice Latte Will Outlive Us All”    ~headline seen in the New York Times, September 25, 2023