Whatcom County Council

Compiled by Barry MacHale

The following resolution was missed by Whatcom Watch. It was passed by the Whatcom County Health Board at the November 1, 2016 meeting.

Support raising the legal sales age for tobacco and vapor products from 18 to 21? (Council acting as the Whatcom County Health Board.) According to a 2015 report, “Public Health Implications of Raising the Minimum Age of Legal Tobacco Products” by the Institute of Medicine (The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine-Health and Medicine Division) raising the legal sales age for tobacco products to 21 would reduce tobacco initiation among youth, especially those aged 15-17, improve health across the lifespan, and save lives. The Whatcom County Health Board calls on the Washington State Legislature to pass legislation raising the legal age for tobacco and vapor products from 18 to 21. 2016-348 (Resolution 2016-041) Approved 7-0

Action Taken at February 7, 2017 Meeting

Shall the council:

20. Authorize the executive to sign a $85,600 contract with Edge Analytical Labs of Burlington for bacterial analysis services? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors.) The Public Works department monitors water quality at approximately 150 sites in Whatcom Countåy and requires laboratory support for detect fecal coliform and E. coli in samples. The contract expires on 12/31/2017. (AB2017- 060) Approved 7-0

21. Authorize the executive to sign a $46,377 contract (amendment #1) with Kimberly Geariety, Attorney, for professional labor negotiation services? The county engages in collective bargaining negotiations with six groups at present: Teamsters Master; Teamsters Corrections; Deputy Sheriffs Guild, Ferry (IBU/MMP); Prof & Tech EEs Local 17; and WA State Nurses. The amendment reflects a change from a flat monthly retainer rate to an hourly charge of $200 with one-way travel reimbursement. The total amended contract is $86,376, it expires on 11/9/2017. (AB2017-061) Approved 7-0

22. Appoint one County Council member to the Transfer of Development Rights and Purchase of Development Rights multi-stakeholder work group? At the 8/9/2016 meeting, vote #150, council adopted the Comprehensive Plan, including Policy 2A-14, which requires the formation of a stakeholder workgroup for the transfer of development rights and purchase of development rights programs. These programs are planning tools used by the county to preserve farmland. (AB2017-064) Rud Browne appointed.

23. Fill a vacancy on the Jail Stakeholder Workgroup? The position is for a Whatcom County resident who resides outside the city of Bellingham. At the 6/14/2016 meeting, vote #98, the council established the workgroup to address the financial agreements required for the development of a new jail, including the size and cost of the new facility; the funding mechanism; and the allocation and funding for operating expenses. (AB2017-067) Appointed: Mathew Babick.

24. Accept the Whatcom County Treasurer’s list of petitions for 2016 property tax refunds? The refunds total $1,016,190; they reflect senior exemptions; taxes paid in error; changes in tax status; destroyed property; court orders; and miscellaneous exemptions. The 2015 refunds totaled $1,014,401. AB2017-058 (Resolution 2017-005) Approved 7-0

25. Amend the salary schedule and policies for unrepresented Whatcom County employees? At the 12/6/2016, vote #248, council approved the 2017 salary schedule for unrepresented Whatcom County employees. This amendment will increase the compensation rate from $175 to $250 for any attorney from the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office attending probable-cause hearings on weekends and holidays. AB2017-059 (Resolution 2017-006) Approved 7-0

26. Authorize the Public Works Department to petition the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission to improve the railroad crossing at the Yacht Club Road? A petition is the next step in establishing a railroad quiet zone. The estimated cost to the county is $50,000. Additionally, Public Works is requesting that the department utilize its employees to complete the necessary safety improvements. The project is listed as #R30 on the 2017-2022 six-year transportation improvement program. AB2017-043A (Resolution 2017-007) Approved 7-0

27. Provide local procedures to process development permit applications efficiently and to promote finality of decisions? This ordinance will allow the county to discontinue the permitting process for projects that have been denied by other local, state, and federal agencies AB2017-041 (Ordinance 2017-005) Amended and approved 6-1, Barbara Brenner1 opposed.

Action Taken at February 21, 2017 Meeting

Shall the council:

28. Fill one position on the Noxious Weed Control Board? The Noxious Weed Control Board facilitates public education and outreach addressing the environmental impact and management of noxious weeds. Appointed: Dale Yoder, District 1, to a four year term. Mr. Yoder, a farmer residing in Lynden, has served on the board since 2000. (AB2017-071) Approved 7-0

29. Authorize the executive to sign a contract with Jet Oldsters Association of Ferndale? The contract will provide custodial services, scheduling, oversight of public rentals, and supervision of activities at the Ferndale Senior Activity Center. The Jet Oldsters Association will receive 75 percent reimbursement of all receipts, minus county expenses. The contract expires on 12/31/2018. (AB2017-075) Approved 7-0

30. Authorize the executive to sign four contracts — totaling $480,576 — for staffing and operations of the Bellingham, Ferndale, Lynden, and Blaine Senior Activity Centers? The contracts are in the amount of $120,144 each and expire on 12/21/2018. The Bellingham contract is with the Council on Aging, the Lynden contact with the city of Lynden, the Ferndale contract with the Jet Oldsters Association and the Blaine contract with the city of Blaine. (AB2017-074/76/77/78) Approved 7-0

31. Approve funding priorities for the Criminal Justice Treatment Account? The Washington State Legislature established the treatment account in 2002. It creates treatment alternatives to incarceration for non-violent drug offenders as part of minimum sentencing reform. A local panel provides policy and funding recommendations which must be approved by the council. These recommendations include: substance use disorder outreach for inmates; dedicated funding for the provision of health care to inmates without insurance coverage; treatment capacity for inmates with co-occurring substance use disorder and serious mental illness; and funding for inmates to be transported to inpatient treatment programs. (AB2017-082) Approved 7-0

32. Cancel uncollectible personal property taxes totaling $9,705? State law requires that the county treasurer present to the council a list of taxes certified as uncollectible. Five businesses and two mobile homes are listed. The largest single amount is $5,522 for Krause Manufacturing. AB2017-073 (Resolution 2017-008) Approved 7-0

33. Amend the 2017 flood control district and subzone budgets (request #1) in the amount of $143,676? (Council acting as the flood control district board of supervisors) Appropriate: $143,676 to fund Phase 4 of the Lyden-Everson-Nooksack-Sumas numerical groundwater-modeling project. The Natural Resources Division of Public Works is developing a model to assess the impacts of groundwater withdrawals on surface flow, for the purposes of aquatic resources management. AB2017-065 (Resolution 2017-009) Approved 7-0

34. Set March 7 to sell tax-title property at public auction? TR2017-01, is located in the Paradise Lakes Country Club. The council has deemed a sale of the property tract to be in the best interest of the county. The property shall be sold to the highest and best bidder, for no less than the minimum price of $2,004, which includes foreclosure costs, interests, penalties, and taxes. AB2017-087 (Resolution 2017-010) Approved 7-0

35. Allow the use of parklands in the construction of Birch Bay Drive and pedestrian facility? The project includes beach restoration, construction of a pedestrian walkway and flood berm, and storm water infrastructure improvements. AB2017-080 (Resolution 2017-011) Approved 7-0

36. Establish a new level of service for the Lummi Island ferry system? At the 2/14/2012 meeting, vote #31, the council established the Lummi Island Ferry Advisory Committee to review ferry operations and make recommendations. The Lummi ferry and the Gooseberry Point ferry terminal facilities are approaching the service life as mandated by Washington State Ferries and the committee has submitted recommendations for vessel and facilities replacement. AB2017-081 (Resolution 2017-012) Approved 6-1, Ken Mann opposed.

37. Amend the 2017 budget (request #2) in the amount of $888,464? Appropriated: $150,000 to fund county legal fees related to the Petrogas facility property tax appeal; $7,000 to fund Health Department public outreach addressing youth tobacco use; $334,836 to fund an Opportunity Council weatherization and home repair project targeting 30 low-income, owner-occupied units; $321,036 for the sheriff’s department to fund Operation Stonegarden border security measures; $15,646 to purchase ballistic helmets for the sheriff’s department SWAT team; $1,630,000 to fund the Anderson Creek Bridge No. 249 replacement; $50,000 to fund the Yacht Club Road quiet zone project; $9,946 to fund an intercom and security system for Superior Court Departments 1 and 3. AB2017-066 (Ordinance 2017-006) Substitute adopted 7-0

38. Prohibit the appointment of declared political candidates to boards, committees, and commissions? This code amendment also require members the Ethics Commission and Salary Commission who are seeking elected position within the county to resign from the commission. This action is intended to prevent the appearance of endorsement of any candidate by the county government, and to prevent Ethics and Salary Commission members from exercising oversight over political opponents or benefiting financially from their commission activity. AB2017-057 (Ordinance 2017-007) Substitute amended and adopted 6-1, Carl Weimer opposed.