A Message from Commissioner Bacon

Having trouble reading this email? View it in your browser

Island County

District 1 News - January 26, 2024

January 26 Newsletter Picture

Thank you for reading my newsletter for the 4th week of 2024.

There will be no newsletter next week, because the Board does not meet during the 5th week of the month (which will happen four times this year).

  • Regular Session.  The agenda and recording for the Tuesday January 23rd  Regular Session is here: https://media.avcaptureall.cloud/meeting/5414c1f3-095b-4610-9481-a2eb7c6ad90d. Due to technical difficulties, the sound was distorted for the first 3 minutes of the meeting (kinda creepy-sounding, really). But it goes away by 00:00:57 in the recording.
    • We took public comment as the first item on our agenda. We heard comments on State funding for affordable housing; the Freeland LIHI project; Freeland Hall; and sea level rise and tidal inundation policies in the SMP.
    • We approved a contract with the WA Department of Commerce to receive funds to support completing the Climate Sub-element in the 2025 Comprehensive Plan, mark 00:10:02 in the recording.
    • We held a robust public hearing on Resolution C-87-23, Amending Island County Code Chapter 9.08A, our Fireworks code. This amendment, which passed after the Board heard comments from 14 members of the public on both sides of the issue, bans mortar-style fireworks in Island County and eliminates July 5th as a legal fireworks day. This new code will take effect in July 2025, not this year. I have been a proponent of a change to our fireworks code for a long time, because I consider Public Safety to be the #1 priority of my job and I worry about the possibility of wildfire ravaging our beautiful home in the same way it did in Maui last summer. With our summers getting drier and hotter, the number of fires in Washington State caused by fireworks is increasing every year. The public hearing and discussion on this lasted almost an hour-and-a-half; it begins at mark 00:13:38 in the recording. You can hear me talk about my own patriotism and the importance of public safety beginning at mark 1:22:30.
    • Next week is a 5th week of the month, and the Board will not meet in regular session. The agenda for our Tuesday, February 6 regular session will be posted here https://www.islandcountywa.gov/AgendaCenter by next Friday, February 2. On that agenda: a public hearing on the draft Shoreline Master Program (SMP).
  • Work Session.  There was no work session this week. The agenda for the Wednesday, February 7 work session will be posted here https://www.islandcountywa.gov/AgendaCenter by next Friday, February 2
  • Other Upcoming Public Hearings (held during Tuesday board meetings, beginning at 10 am):
    • February 6: Shoreline Master Program (SMP)
    • February 13: Amending the Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) 2023-2029
    • March 5 (pending BOCC approval of date): Countywide Planning Policy
    • March 5 (pending BOCC approval of date): PSE Franchise
    • March 12 (pending BOCC approval of date): Marshall Drainage District Assessment
    • March 12 (pending BOCC approval of date): Franchise Renewal- Whidbey Country Club
    • March 12 (pending BOCC approval of date): Franchise Renewal Saratoga Shores
    • March 19 (pending BOCC approval of date): Compost Procurement Ordinance
    • March 19 (pending BOCC approval of date): New Franchise 58 W Camano
    • March 26 (pending BOCC approval of date): a water system approval and two franchise renewals
  • COG and IRTPO. The Council of Governments and the Island Regional Transportation Planning Organization met this week. I was elected 2024 Chair of the COG, and Commissioner Johnson was elected 2024 Chair of the IRTPO. Because there is always so much hassle around transitioning from one Zoom meeting that ends at 10 am to the next that begins at 10, we decided to start using the same Zoom meeting for the COG, the IRTPO, and the quarterly meeting of the Island Local Integrating Organization (ILIO) that begins at 11 am after IRTPO. With this change, I believe it will be easier for citizens to access the meetings and the recordings, as well as put an end to a lot of time wasted while we wait for technologies to get set up and taken down.
  • Planning Commission and the Comprehensive Plan Update:
    • The Comprehensive Plan Update public engagement website is now live: https://www.islandcounty2045.com/. I encourage you to join and participate.
    • The next meeting of the Planning Commission will be held Wednesday, February 7. You will be able to find the documents on our agenda center page, https://www.islandcountywa.gov/AgendaCenter, by next Monday.
    • Upcoming public meetings on the Comprehensive Plan:

Dates and Times


Thursday Feb. 1, 2024 6 - 8 PM

Island County Camano Annex - Convergence Room

Tuesday Feb. 6, 2024  6 - 8 PM

South Whidbey High School - New Commons

Saturday Feb. 10, 2024 10 AM - 12 PM

Island County BOCC Hearing Room

Tuesday Feb. 13, 2024 6 - 8 PM

The Center in Oak Harbor - Multi-Purpose Room


  • The Clinton Community Council will meet on Monday, January 29 at 6 pm at the Clinton Community Hall. On the agenda: Clinton Gateway Update, Affordable Housing Update, Island County Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS), the Legislative Committee, and the Deer Lake Dock, as well as updates from Clinton organizations and members of the Council. Here is the Zoom link: https://zoom.us/j/94722910250.
  • I received a note today from the Langley Library Manager, excited to announce that the Langley Library remodel project will start on February 20th. The last day of service at the library will be Feb. 17, 2024.  Temporary library service will begin on Feb. 23, 2024 at South Whidbey Community Center. Here are the timeline details:  https://www.sno-isle.org/blogs/post/langley-library-remodel-project-overview/.
  • The Navy is expanding the Area 6 Landfill PFOS & PFOA groundwater sampling area in 2024 to include an area one mile in the direction of groundwater flow from where PFOA and/or PFOS were detected above 70 ppt during previous groundwater sampling events. As part of the expanded sampling, the Navy has planned an open house to address public comments regarding the potential exposure to PFOA and PFOS in drinking water near Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island. The open house will be hosted at the Oak Harbor Elks Lodge #2 on Thursday February 1, 2023 with a midday session from 12:30 pm to 2:30 pm and an afternoon session from 5 pm to 7 pm.
  • You can find all of my newsletters since January 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, an opportunity for citizens to speak with me and with each other about issues of interest to them. I plan to be there this next Monday.
    • This Monday at 5 pm I will also be available at the Clinton Community Hall to meet with citizens, before the Clinton Community Council meets at 6pm.




Next Thursday, February 1, is National Freedom Day, commemorating February 1, 1865, when President Lincoln signed a joint resolution by the House and Senate that proposed the abolition of slavery in the United States. This resulted in the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, ratified on December 6th that same year.

“I leave you, hoping that the lamp of liberty will burn in your bosoms until there shall no longer be a doubt that all men are created free and equal.”            ~ Abraham Lincoln