Whatcom County Council
Compiled by Barry MacHale
Action Taken at July 11, 2017 Meeting
Shall the council:
129. Approve a memorandum of agreement with the the city of Bellingham? At the 6/9/2015 meeting, vote #108, the County Council created the Incarceration Prevention and Reduction Task Force to make specific recommendations for safely reducing the number of incarcerated individuals experiencing mental illness and chemical dependency, as well as those pre-trial defendants who can be safely released. This memorandum commits the City of Bellingham and Whatcom County to recognizing and “fully supporting” the goals of the Incarceration Reduction and Prevention Task Force to reduce incarceration and recidivism. Programs identified by the task force to help reach these goals include alternative jail programs, expansion of crisis triage facilities, mental health and drug courts, and pretrial supervision. The city will agree to commit at least 25 percent of the annual net sales tax revenue in excess of funds required for the capital costs of a new jail to the programs. The county agrees to match up to 25 percent of net sales tax revenue or $300,000, whichever is greater, to fund the programs. (AB2017-194A) Substitute approved 7-0
130. Fill a District 3 vacancy on the Whatcom County Planning Commission? There were four applicants for the partial term ending 1/31/2019. Appointed: William Dominic Moceri. Mr. Moceri owns Moceri Construction, Inc. and holds a B.A. in sustainable building from the Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies. (AB2017-204)
131. Authorize the executive to award the low bid of $446,252 to Foss Maritime Company of Seattle for dry-dock access and maintenance services for the Lummi Island ferry? The engineer’s estimate was $429,012. Two bids were received; the high bid was $447,307. The contract is for the year 2017. (AB2017-217) Approved 7-0
132. Authorize the executive to sign a $448,807 contract with Service Alternatives of Yakima for employment and community access support services to eligible individuals with developmental disabilities? There are a total of 328 individuals receiving these types of support services through the Whatcom County Developmental Disabilities Program. The contract expires on 6/30/2018. (AB2017-218) Approved 7-0
133. Authorize the executive to sign a $134,669 contact with The Arc of Whatcom County to support individuals with developmental disabilities? The contract will provide information, education and family support services to individuals with developmental disabilities, their family members, and the general public. The contract expires on 6/30/2018. (AB2017-219) Approved 7-0
134. Authorize the executive to sign a $15,000 contract (amendment #2) with Van Ness Feldman, LLP of Seattle to continue to provide on-call legal services relating to the Washington Supreme Court’s Hirst decision? Their discounted municipal rates range from a high of $400 per hour, with $300 hourly for transportation, to a low of $225 per hour, with $169 hourly for transportation. The contract also provides for mileage reimbursement at the standard IRS business rate of $0.535 per mile, among other reimbursable costs. The total amended amount is $50,000 and expires on 12/31/2017. (AB2017-220) Approved 7-0
135. Amend the 2017 budget (amendment #7) in the amount of $15,000? Appropriated: $15,000 to fund legal services related to the Washington State Supreme Court’s Hirst decision. AB2017-199A (Ordinance 2017-036) Adopted 5-2, Carl Weimer and Todd Donovan opposed.
136. Foward to the county auditor to place on the 2017 general election ballot a county proposition authorizing a local sales and use tax for public safety purposes? The two tenths of one percent sales tax will be used to finance, construct, maintain, and operate jail facilities, and provide incarceration prevention programs, including medical and behavioral health facilities and programs. AB2017-194 (Ordinance 2017-037) Adopted 4-3, Barry Buchanan, Todd Donovan and Ken Mann opposed.
Action Taken at July 26, 2017 Meeting
Shall the council:
137. Appoint committee members to write pro and con statements to appear in the voter’s pamphlet on a proposed sales tax increase? At the 7/11/2017 meeting, vote #136 , the council voted to place a sales tax increase on the 2017 general election ballot to fund the construction, maintenance, and operation of a new jail and various corrections-related programs, such as mental and medical health services. Appointed to the “pro” statement committee: Jon Mutchler, Scott Korthuis, and Gene Knutson. Appointed to the “con” statement committee: Josh Cerretti, Doug Starcher, and Dan McShane (AB2017-194B)
138. Appoint committee members to write pro and con statement to appear in the vote’s pamphlet for the proposal to form the Lummi Island Park and Recreation District? At the 7/11/2017 meeting council held a public hearing to collect comment on the formation of the district. Appointed to the “pro” statement committee: Randy Smith, Tamia Sorensen, and Ian Kirouac. Appointed to the “con” statement committee: Patricia Dunn, Michele Morrissey, and Wynne Lee (AB2017-200B)
139. Appoint members to the recently formed Behavioral Health Advisory Committee? At the 4/18/2017 meeting, vote #73, the council voted to combine the Behavioral Health Revenue Advisory Committee and the Chemical Dependency/Mental Health Program Advisory Committee into the Behavioral Health Advisory Committee. Nominees: Whatcom County Sheriff, Bill Elfo; Chief of Corrections, Wendy Jones; Judicial Representative, Dave Reynolds; PeaceHealth Representative, Chris Phillips; Health Department Director, Regina Delahunt; former Whatcom County Public Defender and Mental Health Court Attorney, Darrin Hall; former educator and counselor Susan Wood; and former member of the Bellingham Police Department, Dascomb (Dac) Jamison. (AB2017-228) Confirmed 5-0, Satpal Sidhu was out of the room, Ken Mann absent.
140. Foward to the county auditor an advisory ballot measure to be placed on the 2017 general election ballot? (Public hearing held) The advisory ballot would seek citizen input regarding the use of eminent domain by pipeline companies to acquire land for the development of oil and gas pipelines in Whatcom County. (AB2017-233) Failed 3-0-3, Barbara Brenner, Rud Browne and Carl Weimer abstained, Ken Mann absent.
141. Amend the 2017 Flood Control Zone District and Subzones budgets (request #3) in the amount of $15,000? (Council acting as the Whatcom County Flood Control Zone District Board of Supervisors) The resolution will transfer $15,000 from the General Fund to the Natural Resources Fund to support ongoing legal activity related to the Washington State Supreme Court’s Hirst decision. At the 7/11/2017 meeting, vote #134, the council authorized the executive to sign a contract (amendment #2) with Van Ness Feldman LLP of Seattle to continue providing legal representation for the county response to the Hirst decision before the Growth Management Hearings Board. AB2017-199B (Resolution 2017-037) Approved 4-2, Todd Donovan and Carl Weimer opposed, Ken Mann absent.
142. Adopt amendments to the Whatcom County Code? (Public hearing held) The Planning Commission has recommended amendments to the Title 20 Zoning section of the code, including: the waiver of spacing requirements between marijuana production facilities and community centers in Rural, Agriculture, and Rural Forestry districts if all neighboring property owners agree. The amendment provides a waiver process that includes the permission of the authorized representatives of all neighboring community centers, and amends the definition of community center to include religious entities. AB2017-223 (Ordinance 2017-038) Substitute adopted 6-0, Ken Mann absent.
143. Amend the 2017 budget (request #8) in the amount of $851,061? Appropriated: $1,700 to fund training classes through the Washington State University; $4,850 to fund ballot drop boxes; $340,000 to fund the acquisition of jail transport vehicles; $385,000 to fund additional support for the Homeowner Incentive Program, which reimburses homeowners installing stormwater runoff controls; $29,485 to fund Purchase of Development Rights for the Williams I and II properties; $27,800 to fund building repair and maintenance for the Williamson Way building; $49,259 to fund return of equity for animal control vehicles. AB2017-222 (Ordinance 2017-039) Adopted 5-1, Barbara Brenner1 opposed, Ken Mann absent.
144. Forward to the county auditor to be placed on the 2017 general election ballot a proposition to form a Lummi Island Park and Recreation District? At the 7/11/2017 meeting, the council held a public hearing to consider the formation of the district. If approved, the district (all of Lummi Island) will be funded by a six-year property tax levy in the amount of .60 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation on real property. AB2017-200A (Ordinance 2017-040) Adopted 6-0, Ken Mann absent.
1. From Barbara Brenner: I opposed one item in the budget amendment, the Homeowners Incentive Program (HIP) because of the way the money was to be used. I don’t believe people should be paid to clean up pollution that runs off their property. Instead there should be a fee charged to those who create the problems which should be used to create solutions, such as rain gardens, lawn removal, sand filters, and permeable pavement. People who do not cause the problems should not have to pay anything. I am a big supporter of the conservation district and believe the district should provide technical assistance, education, oversight, and guidance on maintenance. I am just not supportive of the payment scheme to property owners. I would have supported the budget amendment if the HIP was not included.