Whatcom County Council

Compiled by Barry MacHale

Action Taken at April 2, 2019 Meeting

Shall the council:
73. Affirm a commitment to Whatcom County’s young children and their families? (Council acting as the board of health.) The first year of life is important for development of the brain and other body systems. The Whatcom County Health Department and the Opportunity Council are co-sponsoring the Generations Forward initiative. It focuses on young children and families, emphasizing the prenatal and early childhood periods to age 8. The Public Health Advisory Board in collaboration with Generations Forward shall create a Whatcom County Child and Family Action plan to be presented to the Health Board no later than 1/31/2020. AB2019-197 (Resolution 2019-020) Amended and approved 7-0 Action Taken at April 9, 2019 Meeting Shall the council:

74. Authorize the executive to sign a contract not to exceed $200,000 with Pacific CM of Everett for hot mix asphalt, aggregates, and other construction materials? The contract will cover various 2019-2020 public works projects and also provide material sample collection, on-site material inspection, on-site construction inspection, concrete testing. The contract expires on 12/31/2020. (AB2019-189) Approved 7-0

75. Authorize the executive to sign a $40,000 contract with Cascadia Law Group of Seattle to develop text amendments to the Whatcom County Comprehensive Plan and Whatcom County Code relating to the Cherry Point Urban Growth Area? A $40,000 contract was approved at the 8/8/2017 meeting, #153 and a $25,000 amendment passed at the 10/24/2017 meeting, vote #195. A substitute amendment was approved at the 12/5/2017 meeting, vote #236 and Resolution 2019-004 at the 1/29/2019 meeting, vote 23. This contract expires on 3/31/2020. (AB2019-195) Approved 5-2, Barbara Brenner1 and Tyler Byrd opposed.

76. Send a letter in support of the Alaska Marine Highway System? The letter will be sent to the governor of Alaska, the state assembly speaker and state senate president. Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy has proposed dramatically cutting the ferry service to help balance the state budget. Declining oil production has projected a $1.6 billion deficit. The Alaska Marine Highway System has not not scheduled trips from October 2019 through June 2020. (AB2019-209) Approved 7-0

77. Support funding for the stewardship forester positions with the state of Washington? Funding for forester positions in the Department of Natural Resources Small Forest Landowner Office was not included in the state budget. These positions provide technical support to small forest owners to maintain and improve forest health, including managing the risk of wildfire, invasive species, and forest conversion. AB2019-216 (Resolution 2019-021) Approved 7-0

78. Celebrate April as a month of Sikh awareness and appreciation in Whatcom County? The Sikh religious community originates in the border region between India and Pakistan in southwest Asia. Immigrants from the Sikh community have lived and worked in Whatcom County for over 100 years. April is the month that members of the Sikh community celebrate Vaisakhi, which marks the beginning of the harvest season and the Sikh New Year. AB2019-161 (Resolution 2019-022) Substitute approved 6-0-1, Carol Frazey abstained.

79. Amend Whatcom County Code relating to precinct boundary lines? (Public hearing held.) The ordinance will correct lines and maps reflecting annexations in the city of Lynden and the resulting requirement to adjust Whatcom County Precincts 118, 144, 201, 202, 607, and 611 in the Book of Election Precinct Maps. AB2019-183 (Ordinance 2019-028) Adopted 7-0

80. Amend the Ferry System Petty Cash Revolving Fund? The fund provides change for cash purchases of single- and multi-ride tickets. The fund will increase from $1,800 to $3,300, allowing for a $300 increase for each petty cash drawer. AB2019-176 (Ordinance 2019-029) Adopted 7-0

81. Appropriate an additional $115,000 (amendment #2) to the project budget for the East Whatcom Regional Resource Center expansion project? The county had the 12,000 square foot structure built in 2010/2011 at an approximate cost of $4.5 million. At the 2/9/2016 meeting, vote #28, council voted to increase the project budget $1,050,000 and at the 7/10/2018 meeting, vote #113, council added $425,000 from real estate excise taxes. The expansion project will provide areas for: storage and distribution capacity for the Foothills Food Bank, indoor/outdoor youth recreation, community events, and the Columbia Valley Farmer’s Market. This amendment brings the total project budget amount to $6,212,571. AB2019-184 (Ordinance 2019-030) Adopted 7-0

82. Revise membership in the Business and Commerce Advisory Committee? At the 5/22/2018 meeting, vote #86, the council created the Whatcom County Business and Commerce Advisory Committee with 18 members (eleven voting) serving four year terms. The committee advises the County Council on regulations and policies that impact local businesses, industry, and/or economic development in the county. Two members will be added, one from the health care industry and one for-profit business representing any industry. AB2019-187 (Ordinance 2019-031) Substitute adopted 7-02

Action Taken at April 23, 2019 Meeting

Shall the council:
83. Authorize the executive to sign a contract not to exceed $100,000 with Pacific Surveying and Engineering of Bellingham? Due to considerations of workload capacity, technical expertise, and the need for independent opinions, Public Works at times requires additional support on-call professional land surveying services. The contract expires on 12/31/2020. (AB2019-219) Approved 6-0, Todd Donovan absent.

84. Authorize the executive to award the low bid of $1,137,999 to Lakeside Industries of Issaquah for 2019 hot-mix asphalt prelevel? The engineer’s estimate was $1,202,470. The prelevel is used at various locations for the maintenance and repair of county roads. The contract includes all labor, equipment, and materials required to install approximately 9,957 tons of asphalt prelevel in an amount not to exceed $1,137,999. Two bids were received; the high bid was $1,356,120. (AB2019-225) Approved 6-0, Todd Donovan absent.

85. Approve the 2019-2020 collective bargaining agreement with Teamsters Local Union No. 231? The agreement covers 453 employees, including: administrative services and courts staff; and clerical staff at the health department, parks & recreation, planning, public defender, public works, and the sheriff’s and WSU extension offices. The agreement includes: a 2.5 percent pay increase for 2019 (retroactively to January), and a 2 percent increase in January, and 1 percent increase in July 2020, respectively; changes to paid and excess sick leave rules; and changes to vacation time accrual. The agreement runs from 4/28/2019 to 12/31/2020. (AB2019-237) Approved 6-0, Todd Donovan absent.

86. Approve the 2019-2020 collective bargaining agreement with the Washington State Nurses Association? The agreement covers 17 public health nurses and nurse supervisors. The agreement includes: a 2.5 per cent pay increase for 2019 (retroactively to January 1), a 2 percent increase in January 2020, and 1 per cent increase in July 2020, respectively; and changes to paid and excess sick leave rules. The agreement runs from 1/10/2019 to 12/31/2020. (AB2019-238) Approved 6-0, Todd Donovan absent.

87. Authorize the executive to sign a $398,130 contract with the Whatcom Humane Society? The contract will provide provide animal control and shelter services including: housing, administering regulations, enforcement, and penalties pursuant to applicable laws. The contract runs from 5/1/2019 to 4/30/2020. (AB2019-241) Approved 6-0, Todd Donovan absent.

88. Update the appendix of the 2015 Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy? State law requires grant applicants seeking public works funding from the Economic Development Administration to develop and update an economic development plan. At the 8/13/2002 meeting, vote #154, council adopted the first Comprehensive Economic Development Plan and updated it every five years. The 2015 strategy was approved at the 3/31/2015 meeting, vote #49. This update will add, remove, and/or revise projects previously listed. AB2019-239 (Resolution 2019-023) Amended and approved 6-0, Todd Donovan absent.

89. Support fair share funding bills before the Legislature? H.B. 1291 and S.B. 5073 advocate the state paying its “fair share” of election expenses in even year elections when most of the state candidates are on the election ballot. In 2014, the state had an unpaid share in Whatcom County of $383,770 and in 2016 of $398,843. AB2019-253 (Resolution 2019-024) Approved 6-0, Todd Donovan absent.

90. Install temporary stop signs during construction of the West Badger Road/Bertrand Creek bridge replacement project? (Public hearing held.) During construction West Badger Road will be closed and traffic will be detoured to Berthusen Road, Loomis Trail Road and Weidkamp Road. The signs will be installed at the intersection of Berthusen Road and Loomis Trail Road and removed at the completion of the project.The county has been awarded a federal grant of $1,430,008 for the project. The local share is estimated at $1,938,681 for a total estimated cost of $3,368,689. AB2019-190 (Ordinance 2019-032) Adopted 6-0, Todd Donovan absent.

91. Amend the Whatcom County Code relating to zoning? (Public hearing held.) The amendments will change the lot coverage limits for public community facilities. The lot coverage increases from 20 percent to 35 percent as the maximum amount that public community facilities can occupy with no limit on buildings located on lands zoned Residential Rural (RR), Rural (R), and Point Roberts Transitional Zone (TZ).  AB2019-207 (Ordinance 2019-033) Adopted 6-0, Todd Donovan absent.

92. Amend the membership-term on the the Surface Mining Advisory Committee? The amendment will allow the council to waive the current one-year separation period for individuals who have already served the maximum two full consecutive terms, in order to prevent or reduce vacancies on the committee. AB2019-179 (Ordinance 2019-034) Adopted 6-0, Todd Donovan absent.

93. Amend the 2019 budget (request #5) in the amount of $1,613,991? Appropriate: $15,393 to fund a sheriff’s office boating safety program; $272,221 to fund marijuana education and prevention programs; $154,982 to fund substance use disorder programs; $785,395 to fund behavioral health and supportive housing programs; $96,500 to fund the GRACE Program; $438,482 to fund the relocation of the Emergency Medical Services administrative office and other expenses; and $6,000 to fund a rebate and incentive program for users of on-site septic systems. AB2019-201 (Ordinance 2019-035) Adopted 6-0, Todd Donovan absent.

94. Approve the expenditure of $927,000 (request #4) for the project budget of the jail improvement fund? At the 7/26/2011 meeting, vote #121, the council authorized the expenditure of $3,117,700 to replace fire alarms and control systems at the main jail and juvenile detention facility. At the 11/8/2017 meeting, vote #213, council approved a $543,000 contract with design2LAST of Edmonds to conduct a building assessment for capitol improvements to the jail and work center. At the 1/30/2018 meeting, vote #17, council approved $350,000 for the design and construction phases. At the 10/9/2018 meeting, vote #157, the council approved a $4,589,000 expenditure for door and lock upgrades, fire detection and suppression upgrades, electrical and lighting system upgrades, installation of private pre-booking and consultation booths, and a Special Project Sergeant position to manage construction-related interruptions. Request #4 funds will replace detention door and hardware at the jail and work center. This amendment brings the total project budget to $9,294,700. AB2019-202 (Ordinance 2019-036) Adopted 6-0, Todd Donovan absent.

95. Amend the project budget for the jail project budget in the amount of $927,000? At the 1/29/2013 meeting, vote #22, the council established the new jail project. The voters of Whatcom County have turned down construction of a new jail. This vote transfers $927,000 to the Jail Improvement Fund for replacement of detention door locks and hardware at the jail and work center. AB2019-203 (Ordinance 2019-037) Adopted 6-0, Todd Donovan absent.

96. Amend the 2019 budget (request #6) in the amount of $836,000? Appropriated: $836,000 to fund roof replacement and heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning requirements at the Plantation Indoor Range. AB2019-220 (Ordinance 2019-038) Adopted 5-1, Carol Frazey opposed, Todd Donovan absent.

1. From Barbara Brenner: I opposed funding the Cascadia Law Group because I believe the law firm chosen is not objective, although I do personally like the attorney assigned to this work. I believe the council is setting up a scenario that will create huge costs for the public and the refineries and will likely not produce environmental or workable results.

2. From Barbara Brenner: I supported adding two members to the Business and Commerce Advisory Committee. At the 1/29/2019 meeting, vote #18, I opposed adding one member which would have created an even number of voting members. I believe it is always best to have an odd number of voting members to reduce the possibility of tie votes.