Wednesday, October 31, 2012

ANOTHER GLOBAL WARNING

HEARTFELT PRAYERS GO OUT 
TO THE EAST COAST OF THE USA
Mason County Progressive
Photo by Tim Larsen (AP) made available by the New Jersey Governor's Office

WHEN CITIZEN CONCERNS ARE IGNORED...

  
Submitted to Shelton Blog by Patricia Vandehey    Mason County Progressive 
HOW THINGS ARE DONE IN MASON COUNTY

ROUND ONE: 

In an August issue of the Mason County Journal’s "Public Notice" section, I saw the announcement that the City of Shelton was planning to dredge the Shelton Creek. Because of the build up of sediment, there was a distinct possibility of flooding in some of the surrounding neighborhoods.

It spiked my curiosity, so I looked up the SEPA report. There already had been a Determination of Non-Significance (DNS) issued. DNS notices seem to be given out like Halloween candy in the County and City. One thing I noticed when reading the SEPA, was item #12: it stated that the sediment would be dredged and hauled off to an upland site so as not to enter State waters. There was no information as to where this “upland site” is located.

So being a "Nosy Nelly", I requested information from the Public Works Department, including questions about what sediment testing is done, as it was stated that this sediment should not enter State waters. Approximately 700 to 900 cubic yards of sediment were to be removed. One of the reasons I was concerned about the sediment was the fact that some of the water coming down to Shelton Creek is from Goose Lake, a very highly contaminated body of water. 


This was the response I received form Jerry Haut, Project Manager: 
“For this project it will be the contractor’s responsibility to properly dispose of any dredging materials. There are a number of local sites that have been permitted to accept contaminated materials and our contractor will be responsible to select who they want to team with for this project. There is no testing proposed if the material is contaminated and it is subsequently disposed of at an approved disposal site, we will ultimately have less contaminated material in the stream and bay.” 
This response completely baffled me. No information was given as to where these sites are located; contractors are responsible for picking the correct disposal sites; no testing is done; and if sediment is contaminated, it will be put in an "okay" place.

A meeting was set up with Steve Goins, Community and Economic Director for the the City of Shelton. Terri Thompson, Doug Sayan and I attended. We had no additional information after the meeting that we didn’t have before it. It was basically the same thing I was told before.

ROUND TWO:

Next, on July 26, 2012, I sent a
Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to Mason County Health Department requesting all information about hazardous and non-hazardous dumping sites, and whether any were located over critical areas such as wetland CARAs (Critical Aquifer Recharge Areas), or near bodies of water, etc.

On August 6, 2012, I received a letter, not signed, from Mason County Public Health telling me:

“Mason County does not currently have a landfill that disposes of hazardous or non hazardous material. There are several intermediate solid waste collection sites that collect solid waste for transfer to other locations for final disposal.” 
No information was given about where these “other sites are located”. Only two places were mentioned: Belfair Drop Box and Transfer Station. There are 14 recycling operations and 2 composting facilities. I received the permits for the solid wastes and compost sites, but only 2 recycling operations.The ones I received were either not completely filled out, or the information given seemed questionable. There was no information about critical areas. I wrote a letter on Aug. 14, 2012, again asking for that information. I also requested information about sites other than Webb Hill that accept sludge as a land application.

On August 14. 2012, I received a response, again not signed, stating:

“You requested information that is not maintained in this office. I will attempt to direct you to the best location to secure your requested information. The City of Shelton and the Mason County Planning Department both have rosters of Critical Aquifer Recharge Areas. These two rosters are different. You can determine the proximity of the business to the recharge areas in question using the address provided." 
I was also referred to Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Department of Ecology (DOE) about land application. So it was back to square one.

On August 17, 2012, I sent another letter: To Whom it may Concern at Mason County Health Department (MCHD).  I told them as I do not work for the County or the Health Department, there are no "rosters or lists" available. There are two maps, one the City’s and the other the County’s, but both have the same information source: Gordon Adams, who did the originals for free. It is not exactly clear about his qualifications. Anyhow, the maps are completely different. Where the City of Shelton shows a Class I area, the County shows Class II, and vice versa. There has never been a study done to correct the differences.

On August 30, 2012, my final correspondence from MCHD was signed by the Environmental Health Manager,
Debbie Riley. In her comment it states:
“The purpose of a records request is to make existing records available to the requestor, not to research or analyze data.  Your questions go far beyond providing existing records and I will address them to the best of my ability.”
Apparently, CARA is not an acronym the Mason County Public Health Department uses. I cannot tell where or if any of listed facilities listed are over or near critical areas. MCHD does not issue permits to exempt facilities. Note: The copies of many of the listed facilities have a heading  of “Mason County Public Health Permit”.

I stand corrected in thinking that Mason County Public Health would have public health related information. The only information I have heard given at the Board of County Commissioner Meetings was when Vicky Kirkpatrick, our Public Health Director, gave such earth shattering statements as: “Get a flu shot" and "Smoking, drinking alcohol, and not exercising are bad for your health", and a report by Johnson & Johnson saying the same things. 

Bye the bye, one of our illustrious commissioners received a nice campaign donation from the aforementioned company, and Kirkpatrick received a salary increase due to her good friend Ring Erickson. Well, there still was no information. So on to…

ROUND THREE:

On Sept 4, 2012, at the open comment period of the County Commissioners' Meeting, I tried to find out again for the umpteenth time where are the CARAs. I explained all the above, and then read the RCW used by the Growth Management Act requiring the County to keep accurate information regarding location of the CARAs. 

This was totally ignored except the part about the dredging. Commissioner Shelton did not like the word “dredging” and thought “excavating” was a better word. Commissioner Ring Erickson did not have a clue as to what I was saying, and Commissioner Bloomfield started yelling at me that I was trying to shut down the project and would be responsible for the flooding of the residential areas.  When I tried to explain my question, Ring Erickson started gaveling and telling me I was out of order and to sit down, while Bloomfield continued shouting. Ring Erickson almost broke the gavel.

So ended my adventure with the City of Shelton, Mason County Health Department and the Mason County Commissioners. I never found out any of the information I requested, and was knocked out in all three rounds.
 

And that is how things are done in Mason County...

Monday, October 29, 2012

HYPOCRISY AS A WAY OF POLITICAL LIFE


UNLESS WE VOTE FOR CHANGE, 
IT WON'T GET ANY BETTER

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Doug Sayan   Mason County Progressive

In a recent candidate forum, Tim Sheldon, candidate for county commissioner, described himself as a "kind of Jack Kennedy, Harry Truman Democrat". This was by far his most disingenuous statement about his sordid political career.

In your wildest dream, can you imagine Jack Kennedy or Harry Truman on a street corner openly campaigning for Dino Rossi or George Bush like Tim did in past elections?

Sorry Tim, but neither Jack Kennedy nor Harry Truman would condone such a blasphemous characterization of their political careers.  Not even in his most irreverent moment would Harry Truman justify reducing publc safety officers by offering to welcome miscreants to Mason County with a public promise of a "hot lead enema".

When hypocrisy has become a way of political life for a candidate, you can expect to encounter most anything except integrity. 

Stay tuned.  Unless we vote for change, it won't get any better.


Graphic: shutterstock.com

Sunday, October 28, 2012

OUR MIDDLE CLASS IS DISAPPEARING

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Jake Rufer     Mason County Progressive


  HENRY FORD'S FORGOTTEN LESSON
By Paul McCaw

On January 5, 1914, Henry Ford distributed ten million dollars of company profits to his workers. Then he doubled the minimum wage.

The nation was shocked; Ford was not known for his compassion. He was an entrepreneur known for his inventiveness and the ability to spot business trends. He created the assembly line and made his fortune with two simple rules: "The work must come to the worker, and it must come waist high."

So why would the world's consummate capitalist pay $5.00 a day to employees who were doing well with $2.32?

For one thing, he hoped this would cut down on employee turnover. Secondly, having no love for unions, he wanted to prevent their getting a foothold in his factories,

Most importantly, he recognized that his workers, with their incomes so dramatically increased, would now be able to afford a Ford.  And sure enough, before long, most were driving their own Tin Lizzy.

Today, his definition of capitalism seems strange. "There is one rule for the industrialist," he said, "and that is: make the best quality of goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible."

With this, he disagreed with economists before him, who believed with David Ricardo (1820) that: "There is no way of keeping profits up but by keeping wages down."

Of course, Ford's unprecedented action forced other industrialists to raise wages. He doubled his profits in a year and effectively transformed the country from recession into a booming economy. This created, particularly after WWII, such a prosperous and productive middle class that, for more than a half century, American capitalism was the envy of the world.

The operating principle held that business and labor both fared best when workers were paid enough to afford the products America manufactured. The symbiotic relationship began to erode in the 1980s with the advent of trickle-down economics, which turned the mind of business toward making themselves super-rich rather than  preserving a system that worked for everyone.

The birth of multi-national corporations completed the erosion.  We  didn't need a prosperous working class any more; the whole world was now the market.

Today, our middle class is disappearing, and we seem unable to do much about it. And when it's gone, what malignant thing will be waiting in the wings ready to feast on the spoils of the American dream?


Posthumously submitted for Paul McCaw of Prescott, WA who died at the age of 78 on April 6th, 2012.

Graphic: 123rf.com

Thursday, October 25, 2012

WEEK OF 10/22/12 MEETINGS IN REVIEW


TOM'S TALES FOR THE WEEK

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Tom Davis    Mason County Progressive

Monday, October 22, 2012   

1:30 PM: Board of County Commissioners 2013 Budget Workshop     

The District Court needs a new computer program, estimated at $30-$50K. The alternative is to subscribe to a web based system at $40 per month per user, of which there are 13. Commissioners gave a tentative nod to the web based option.

Public Works also needs a computer program upgrade, estimated at $21,000. Dave Loser, ER&R Manager, says the County should hire an I.T. guru if it wants to keep their relic of a system chugging along. Estimated cost for the I.T. guy is $100,000 per year. This one also got the thumbs up.


And now a little tale from the big dogs at Mason County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO):


It seems no one at the Sheriff’s Office can mount a standalone argument, which explains why it took four of their top dogs (and one low ranking kitten) to present their budget requests. Here’s what the dogs of domestic war are asking be added to their bare bones budget.

  1. 80K for Dogs (told you); Narc. Investigation; Search & Rescue; Honor Guard
  2. 94K to hire a Records Clerk and an Evidence Custodian
  3. 60K to fund the Reserve Academy
  4. 90K for salary raises for the Sheriff, Undersheriff; Chief Civil Deputy; Chief Criminal Deputy; Chief Inspector Deputy; Jail Superintendent
  5. 458K to hire four new Deputies (includes  $66K for 1 year/3 payments for new vehicles)
  6. 13K to bump two Sergeants up to Lieutenants (maybe even three )
  7. 250K to build an offsite Evidence Facility
TOTAL: $1,045,000. Factor in budgeted expenditures for Sheriff’s Office, Courthouse Security and Traffic Police and the GRAND TOTAL comes to $11,576,000. Of course there’s always more money to be squeezed from the public through “private contracts", but you won’t find those numbers here because homey don’t like extortion under any conditions, no matter how well-intentioned the objective or under what authority it takes place.            

Tuesday, October 23, 2012 

6:00 PM: Regular session of Board of County Commissioners


There were two red hot items on the agenda and neither turned out well.

Item 8.9 Approval to withdraw from the Interlocal Cooperation Agreement with the Hood Canal Coordinating Council (HCCC) pursuant to General Provisions 5.1 of said agreement. Written notice will be sent to the HCCC giving a three month notice of the intent to withdraw.


Simply put, HCCC is dedicated to protecting the environment in and around Hood Canal. Board members include representatives from the three canal adjacent counties, Jefferson, Kitsap and Mason, and two Tribal Nations, Skokomish and S’Klallama. Let it be known that Bloomfield and Sheldon made no secret of their dissatisfaction with HCCC’s “Fee in Lieu of Mediation” program, but that is not the focus of my concern; it is the manner in which commissioners chose to withdraw from the agreement that continues to cast Mason County in so poor a light.   


Here’s what happened:  


At the Oct.15th budget workshop meeting, Sheldon suggested the County walk away from HCCC because their dues were too high ($2,500/yr.). Everyone knew that was not the reason, but, with Sheldon, the stated reason given for an action is seldom the real one. I left thinking that no decision had been made, but that same day all three commissioners signed off on a budget adjustment to remove the expenditure of HCCC dues.  How that budgeting decision was reached before the issue was even placed on the agenda for a vote speaks volumes about how Mason County is governed.    


I contacted HCCC and let them know they were about to go under the bus and should consider attending the meeting on Oct. 23rd. As a result, Scott Brewer, Executive Director of HCCC, and Dave Herrea representing the Skokomish Tribe gave testimony aimed at delaying the decision till all parties had a chance to work things out.   


This is probably a good time to tell you that Sheldon, Ring-Erickson and Bloomfield are all listed on the HCCC website as board members, and Sheldon and Ring-Erickson have both served that council in chair capacity. And yet, not one Mason County Commissioner bothered to inform HCCC of their intention to withdraw from the agreement.    


At the meeting, the curtain came up on three sour-faced commissioners now forced to assuage, massage and mangle the truth to make it look as if they had not already decided to walk away from the agreement. And if there were any lingering doubts, they vanished with the unanimous decision to start the clock ticking on the withdrawal process.


Item 8.13 Tabled from October 16th. Approval of the resolution establishing the salaries of the
Commissioners and the Assessor, Auditor, Clerk, Coroner, Treasurer and Sheriff. This resolution would attach these salaries to the Superior Court Judge's salary that is set by Washington Citizens' Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials. The resolution also includes a 3% cap and reduces the salaries of Commissioner Districts No. 1 and 2 to the 2008 level. Commissioner District 3 salary cannot be amended until the new term begins, January 1, 2015.

Sounds pretty clear, right? Well, the above might have been on the agenda, but the resolution the commissioners passed looked nothing like it, and they didn’t even bother to roll out the smoke and mirrors. This new mechanism allows the commissioners to keep their exorbitant salaries at the 2012 level of $78,367 ($96,650, if you count personal benefits), and give them an automatic 1% pay increase that starts in 2014 and ends when hell freezes over. This time, however, they took the other elected officials along for the ride, but that still leaves 70-80 non-represented County employees standing on the shore as their bosses sail off into pay increases with no sunset clause.


Of course, we all knew it would happen; certainly I did when Bloomfield told me to “Be patient.”  That’s always the death knell. Worse, it’s not like he didn’t know he was going to present this miserable piece of legislation; it was purposely left off the agenda. 


The vote went down 2 to 1, with Ring-Erickson being the sole “nay” vote. And even though I have a high tolerance for political bull-shit, I had to leave the chambers for some cool night air and a long hot shower.

Later…

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

SIGN WAVING RALLY OCTOBER 26 AT 5:00 PM


 LET'S LINE THE STREET WITH OUR SUPPORT!

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Peggy Zorn   Mason County Progressive

Four years ago, we sent word out to Shelton Democrats and liberals to meet in front of Kneeland Park for a rally for Obama.  We had 90 people there.  It was such a strong, happy group of people, including kids.  We even made the paper!  It was so amazing to be there and supporting our candidates. I want us to reach 100 this time! 

What a message to the people of Shelton to see a happy, informed group of people holding signs and sharing smiles. This event should include children and teens as well as all our wonderful adults.  Let's line the street and show our candidates our support and strength.  We believe!

SIGN WAVING RALLY
on
Friday, October 26th
at
Kneeland Park
100 Turner Avenue
Shelton
at
5:00 PM
(some folks are coming earlier) 
SEE YOU THERE!

Graphic: duettographics.com

Monday, October 22, 2012

DOUBLE DIPPING IN MASON COUNTY


IT CAN'T BE BOTH, CAN IT?

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Katherine Price    Mason County Progressive

The art of double-dipping is alive and well in Mason County.  The example is set at the top, and friends of the example-setter copy his style.

Tim Sheldon has perfected the art of double-dipping to such an extent that the voters of Mason County keep electing him to his two "public employee" jobs, no matter how poorly he does them, no matter how anti-citizen's interest he becomes.  Apparently in Mason County name-familiarity is what it takes to get elected and re-elected, and job performance is not considered when marking ones ballot because frankly, some of our citizens are less informed than others.
 
To the jobs Tim holds:  In one job, he occasionally attends meetings as a Commissioner on the Mason County Board of County Commissioners.  See prior post on this blog by Tom Davis for the number of meetings he has missed (September 20, 2012, "Tom's Tales for the Week").

In another job, Tim Sheldon is a State Senator, ostensibly representing the citizens of more than Mason County, but always representing the interests of those BUSINESSES who donate $800 to his senatorial campaign. See the link to the Public Disclosure Reports; it is eye opening how many out-of-state corporations donate $800 to his campaign.  (Posted on this blog by John Cox on October 18, 2012, "The Tim Sheldon Fan Club").

While Tim is busy representing industry, rather than the citizens who pay his salaries and benefits, one of Mason County's land owners has taken the double-dipping to heart.  In prior posts on this blog you have read about the Hunter Farms' "fishing camp", and how poorly the management of such camp has been, seen the overflowing honey pots and the overflowing dumpsters, but how many citizens know about the double-dipping going on at the camp?

Well fellow travelers, that access that Hunter charges a fee to you for, that access has already been paid for by John and Jane Doe Citizen.

In response to a public disclosure request to the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife (WDFW), I received a partial response to my request (more to come at the end of this month) that included some interesting emails in connection with the topic of the landowner charging a fee above the $3,000 fee taxpayers already give him. 

In an email from Mark Quinn of the WDFW, dated October 17, 2001 Re: Skokomish -- Hunter Farms, it reads: 

"I don't think we want to get into a situation where the landowner is charging a parking fee and performing general accounting the results of which would be used to pay or not pay for perceived public services depending on the revenue." 
"Perceived public services", the access paid for by the public already?  Indeed we might perceive, having paid for it once, that we are entitled to perceive it as a public service. 
 
Elyse Kane (WDFW) said on October 17, 2001: 

"As I understand it, the landowners wants to charge a fee.  This would mean he and WDFW would have no liability protection under the recreational immunity statutes.  I don't know if we can do that."
In the WDFW "Proposed New Land Use" document, at Limitations it says:
"Limitations are:  No fee site (to maintain immunity from injury and damage suits brought by the public)."
The copy of the Agreement for the Use of Land, Public Recreational Fishing, which copy was provided me by WDFW, and which is a marked up copy, perhaps not the final, paragraph 6 addresses Liability (which, of course, if it falls on the state is liability of John and Jane Doe Citizen), the agreement reads:
6. Liability:  Landowner and WDFW agree to assist each other in preserving and presenting a defense of limited liability under RCW 4.24.210 by allowing the public to use the premises for outdoor recreation without fee."
What is important about this is that immunity for liability is obtained by providing public access "without fee." 

Fast forward to 2012 and the article on this blog by Bill Allen (September 10, 2012, "Protectionism in Mason County").  The landowner is charging a fee to sport fishermen to park on the public access Jane and John Doe Citizen already paid for. The charging of such fee making both the WDFW and landowner no longer immune from liability. 

I don't much care if the family Hunter want to put themselves and their significant resources at risk, but I do care when the WDFW puts the state's limited resources at risk. Maybe the WDFW does not know the landowner is charging a fee?  Doubtful. 

So what do we, citizens of Mason County and the State of Washington, think about this local double-dipping?  Either it is a public access which we, the taxpayers have paid for, or it is a private hunting camp which operates each year without permits, environmental impact statements, or oversight by the Mason County Department of Health.

Tim Sheldon has set the standard for getting the most out of Mason County, and the Hunter family has simply followed his lead.  What would  happen if some Washington State taxpayers decided to push back hard on this with...I don't know...say a class-action lawsuit?

Every recreational fisher who has paid a fee to Hunter to park and fish on land that he or she has already leased via the WDFW, from the date of the first Agreement for Land Use through this season's fishing...what would that amount to?   A chunk of change to be sure! 


And who would the defendants be? 
  • Hunter Farms for sure, for charging a fee to access land that has already been paid for by the taxpayer. 
  • The State for knowingly allowing it happen?
  • The County for failing to require event permits.
  • Our County Health Department for ignoring the alarmed calls of citizens like Allen and Grout.
  • All of the above.
There is enough blame to go around, but before people start accessing the public site for recreational fishing again, we need to know whether this is a private enterprise -- which would be subject to permitting and health department oversight, or public access -- where no fee is charged and all parties are immune from liability under RCW 4.24.210. 

I hope that Mr. Allen and Mr. Grout will continue to pursue this matter until we learn what the operation at Hunter Farms really is.  

I think it would be good to know if it is an "event", where the landowner charges a fee after obtaining an event permit, subject to Health Department oversight; or if it is public access paid for by taxpayers without any fee.

Normally I would say that it cannot be both, but then again...this is Mason County.

Links to previous posts mentioned in this article: 

http://masoncountyprogressive.blogspot.com/2012/09/week-of-91712-meetings-in-review.html 

http://masoncountyprogressive.blogspot.com/2012/10/the-tim-sheldon-fan-club.html 

http://masoncountyprogressive.blogspot.com/2012/09/protectionism-in-mason-county.html 

Graphic: istockphoto.com 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

PROGRESSIVE VOTERS GUIDE 2012



 RETURN BALLOTS BY NOVEMBER 6th

SCREENING OF NEW GMO DOCUMENTARY

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Bob Bottman    Mason County Progressive


FINAL FRIDAY MOVIE SERIES

GENETIC ROULETTE
 
Friday, October 26th
at
Mason County Senior Activities Center
826 W. Railroad Ave., Shelton

at 
7:00 PM 
  
Donations are welcome with proceeds going to SOCK 
(Save Our County’s Kids) youth programs

Friday, October 19, 2012

WEEK OF 10/15/12 MEETINGS IN REVIEW


TOM'S TALES FOR THE WEEK

Submitted to Shelton Blog by Tom Davis    Mason County Progressive

Monday, October 15, 2012  

9:00 AM: Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) Briefing    

A new applicant stepped up for membership to the Belfair Citizens Advisory Committee -- retired Lt. Commander and ROTC instructor at Shelton High School, Ed Kruk. At first blush, Mr. Kruk seems level-headed and pragmatic, making him an ideal candidate. Commissioners took well to Mr. Kruk’s impressive background, and his military humor (“…that’s been going on since Moby Dick was six inches long”).

Next up was the pot issue, or more precisely, renewing the moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries -- the current moratorium expires next month. This particular can has been kicked down the road so many times it’s become a piece of sociopolitical trash hanging round the Board’s neck. The moratorium will be extended, of course, and the time and energy spent pretending to explore a more enduring solution will be put on the shelf for the next crop of commissioners. 

Here’s a bit of fun news: 


Soon to be retired County Clerk, Pat Swartos, dropped by with a list of 655 cases in which some $4M in uncollected fines and court awarded restitution is owed, some going back as far as the late 1980’s. The collections contract was awarded to Dynamic Collectors Inc., out of Chehalis. So I guess it’s time to let the dogs out, and unemployment, incarceration or even death is no excuse not to render unto Caesar.
 

Enter the Chamber of Commerce:

Heidi McCutcheon, Executive Director, Shelton Mason County Chamber of Commerce, played three 30 second infomercials for commissioners aimed at promoting tourism in Mason County. The first piece showed the usual crop of miscreants flying through forest trails on dirt bikes or around the racetrack in expensive noise polluters. The second spoke to all the fine dining opportunities in Shelton, like “The Strip” steakhouse and the… and the… oh, I don’t know, burritos dished out of the side of a converted trailer? The third spot, my favorite, had to do with families just being together and enjoying the natural beauty of our County. It featured no shooting, no polluting and nobody tearing up the local flora and fauna. How dull is that?  
 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 

9:00 AM: Regular session of Board of County Commissioners
 
Item 8.3: Approval of the resolution establishing the salaries of the Commissioners and Assessor, Auditor, Clerk, Coroner, Treasurer and Sheriff. This resolution would attach these salaries to the Superior Court Judge's salary that is set by Washington Citizens' Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials. The resolution also includes a 3% cap and reduces the salaries of Commissioner Districts No.1 and 2 to the 2008 level. The Commissioner District 3 salary cannot be amended until the new term begins, January 1, 2015.

Proposed commissioner salary for 2013 is $72,184. If no change is made, salaries will be $80,718.
 
And now for the show:

Commissioner Bloomfield gets credit for putting this piece of raw meat on the table, and it makes sense: Current commissioner salaries are unwarrantably high, and the mechanism by which they got there is out of whack with current conditions. 


Commissioner Sheldon, however, turned up his nose at the proposal and managed to put the vote off till next week, but that might not be a bad thing. The resolution needs to be broken down into two parts: one that adjusts commissioner salaries and one to put reasonable controls on future increases.

Of course, there’s no getting around the fact that this effort to bring some sanity to commissioner salaries should have happened years ago, and the deed is still far from done. As it now stands, Mr. Sheldon is all up in the “We have to see how much commissioners in comparable counties are making; reducing salaries isn’t fair to the new commissioners; we handle a $67M budget so we deserve more money; we can’t reduce salaries when it’s raining” (okay, I made that last part up).

Still, it’s hard to grab a moving snake by the tail.

11:00 AM: Joint Meeting with Port of Shelton Commission


County and Port Commissioners met to pow-wow about the future of the fairgrounds. Before I rip into the guts of this issue, a tip of the hat goes to Commissioner Bloomfield for arranging the sit-down.

Here’s what happened:

Bloomfield opened the door for keeping the fairgrounds on Port Property, but the Port says it’s not their decision; the FAA wants it gone. But when Sheldon pitched the possibility of the FAA backing off their position, the ball brushed right past the Port, because they have no intention of hosting the fairgrounds, FAA or no FAA. So the talk turned to building a new facility on 40 acres of County owned land adjacent to the Public Works compound at State Highways 101 and 102. I’d comment on that idea, but I’m not a big believer in life after death. 

Lots of other stuff happened this week: 


The Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) approved rezoning 248 acres of Green Diamond land on the north shore of Lake Nahwatzel from Long Term Commercial Forest usage to residential (RR-5), completely ignoring environmental and social impacts to the lake and surrounding community. The final decision now rests with commissioners. 

The first of two County budget workshops took place (more on that next week). 

The candidate forums (can’t go there, wouldn’t be prudent). 

And the Port held its regular meeting, which should have been a sleeper, but wasn’t: Responding to concerns about excessive noise from military night operations over and around Sanderson Field, Commissioner Wallitner said “There’s absolutely nothing the Port can do about it,” then added, “Those guys in the helicopters are really tough.” 

Well, Commissioner, until you come up against a pregnant woman with two toddlers and a bad night’s sleep you ain’t seen “tough".

Later…      
 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

THE TIM SHELDON FAN CLUB


WELCOME TO THE NEW WORLD ORDER

Submitted to Shelton Blog by John Cox    Mason County Progressive  

Here is a list of companies, corporations, lobbyists, and  individuals that seek to influence public policy, usually to their advantage, by contributing money to Tim Sheldon's various campaigns. It is only a partial listing. (The link to the entire Public Disclosure Commission [PDC] lists of declared contributors and amounts donated can be found at the bottom of this post.)

It must be said that Tim Sheldon is just one of the many politicians willing to sell themselves.  Although all of this is "legal", it is nevertheless legalized bribery and a corruption of ethics. It is the beginning of the end of the empire.

We no longer have government by and for the people; it is now government as a tool for enhancing the bottom line of corporations. It is clear from this list that local government is no longer exempt from direct manipulations by international corporations or their surrogates. Welcome to the new world order. 

The list is alphabetical. You would have to ask Tim about the relative degree of influence each donor has on him, but don't expect an honest answer.

  • 7-ELEVEN INC 
  • A T & T
  • AMBUR RICHARD
  • AMERISOURCE BERGEN SERVICES CORP
  • AMGEN INC
  • ARCHITECTS PAC
  • ARNOLD TIM & REBECCA
  • ART ANDERSON ASSOCIATES
  • ASSOC BUILDERS & CONTRACTORS PAC
  • ASTRAZENECA
  • AVISTA CORP
  • BAILY DAVID
  • BANK OF AMERICA PAC
  • BASSFORD DAVID
  • BASSFORD DENNIS
  • BASSFORD SARA
  • BAYLEY DAVE
  • BAYLEY NANCY
  • BJERKE MICHAEL
  • BOEING
  • BOEING EMPLOYEES CREDIT UNION
  • BOMA PAC OF WA ST
  • BP AMERICA EMPLOYEE PAC
  • BRIDGES SONNY
  • BUILD EAST
  • BUILDERS UNITED IN LEGISLATIVE DEVELOP
  • BURLINGTON NORTHERN SANTA FE RAILWAY
  • CAMPAIGN FOR TRIBAL SELF RELIANCE BY WA INDIAN GAMING ASSN
  • CENTURYTEL INC.
  • COMCAST
  • COMMUNITY BANKERS OF WASHINGTON  PAC
  • COMMUNITY COLLEGE PAC
  • CONOCO PHILLIPS
  • COOK BRIAN
  • COYNE DANNY
  • COYNE DARCI
  • CREDIT UNION LEGISLATICE ACTION FUND
  • CROCKETT RON
  • CROWN CORK AND SEAL CO
  • DEWEY BILL
  • DURKAN JR MARTIN J
  • ELI LILLY CO.
  • ENERGY NW SENIOR MANAGEMNET PAC
  • EVERGREEN MOBILE ESTATES
  • FARMERS EMPLOYEES AND AGENTS PAC
  • FISH  PAC
  • GLACIER NORTHWEST
  • GUN OWNERS ACTION LEAGUE OF WA
  • HALL EQUITIES GROUP
  • HAMPTON LUMBER SALES CO
  • HEALTH INSURANCE AGENTS PAC
  • HEALY TOM & KATIA
  • HOFERT FAMILY TRUST
  • HOLLAND AMERICA LINE
  • HOOD CANAL COMMUNICATIONS
  • HUNTERS HERITAGE COUNCIL PAC
  • INSURANCE & FINANCIAL ADVISORS PAC
  • INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF SHOPPING CENTERS PAC WA
  • JESERNIG CATHY
  • JESERNIG JIM
  • JOHNSON & JOHNSON SERVICES INC.
  • KORNMESSER OPTOMETRY CLINIC INC
  • KROGER
  • LENTZ JOHN
  • LENTZ LINDA
  • LIBERTY MUTUAL GROUP INC
  • MACPAC
  • MANKE CHUCK
  • MANKE JUDY
  • MANUFACTORED HOUSING COMMUNITIES OF WA
  • MCDONALD COVE OYSTER CO.
  • MICROSOFT PAC
  • MONSANTO COMPANY
  • MONTANA REACH INC
  • MORRIS JIM & CHERYL
  • MORRISSETTE & ASSOC. INC. JEROME
  • MOSELEY COLIN
  • MUCKLESHOOT INDIAN TRIBE
  • N.W. MARINE TRADE ASSOC. PAC
  • N.W. MOTORCYCLE ASSOC.
  • NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHAIN DRUG STORES
  • NISQUALLY INDIAN TRIBE
  • NORDSTROM JOHN
  • NORTH MASON FIBER CO
  • NOVARTIS
  • NOVARTIS PHARMACEUTICALS CORP
  • NRA - POLITICAL VICTORY FUND
  • NW DAIRYMEN'S PAC
  • NW ENERGY SYSTEMS COMPANY
  • NW GROCERY ASSOCIATION WASHINGTON PAC
  • OLYMPIC RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
  • PACIFIC MERCHANT SHIPPING ASSOC
  • PEMCO INSURANCE
  • PFIZER INC.
  • PHILLIP MORRIS USA INC.
  • PHYSICIANS EYEPAC
  • PHYSICIANS INSURANCE
  • PORT BLAKELY TREE FARM
  • PORT GAMBLE S'KLALLAM TRIBE
  • PREMERA BLUE CROSS
  • PROGRESSIVE
  • PROPERTY CASUALTY INSURERS OF AMERCIA
  • PUBLIC SCHOOL EMPLOYEES OF WA
  • PUGET SOUND ENERGY
  • PUGET SOUND PILOTS
  • PUYALLUP TRIBE OF INDIANS
  • QUIGG JOHN
  • QWEST WA PAC
  • RAIKES JEFF
  • RAIKES PATRICIA
  • RAYONIER FOREST RESOURCES L.P.
  • REED WILLIAN G  JR
  • REGENCE BLUESHIELD (THE REGENCE GROUP)
  • RENTAL HOUSING ASSOCIATION
  • REYNOLDS AMERICAN
  • RUSSEL INVESTMENT GROUP
  • SABEY CORPORATION
  • SAGERSON RON
  • SCHMIDT MAX
  • SEA FRESH FARMS INC
  • SEATTLE SHELLFISH LLC
  • SIMPSON
  • SMAC  PAC
  • SQUAXIN ISLAND TRIBE
  • STACK ROBERT
  • T MOBILE USA
  • TAYLOR BETSY
  • TAYLOR BILL
  • TAYLOR SHELLFISH FARMS
  • TECK AMERICAN INC.
  • TESORO COMPANIES INC
  • THE ROWLAND CO.
  • TODD PACIFIC SHIPYARDS CORP
  • TRUCKING ACTION COMM
  • UNIFIED GROCERS
  • UNIFIED GROCERS
  • UNITED SUBCONTRACTORS ASSOC. PAC
  • VERIZON WIRELESS
  • VERMILLION JERRY & DONNA
  • VULCAN INC
  • WA AFFORDABLE HOUSING COUNCIL
  • WA APARTMENT ASSN PAC
  • WA ASSN OF REALTORS
  • WA ASSOC. OF VEHICLE SUB AGENTS
  • WA ASSOCIATION OF MORTGAGE BROKERS
  • WA BEVERAGE ASSN
  • WA BIOTECHNOLOGY & BIOMEDICAL ASSN PAC
  • WA COLLECTORS ASSOCIATION
  • WA DAIRY PAC
  • WA DEFENSE TRIAL LAWYERS
  • WA DENTAL SERVICE
  • WA FOOD INDUSTRY PAC
  • WA FOREST PROTECTION ASSN
  • WA HOSPITAL PAC
  • WA LODGING ASSOCIATION  PAC
  • WA MEDICAL PAC
  • WA MULTI-FAMILY HOUSING ASSN
  • WA OPTOMETRIC PAC
  • WA OSTEOPATHIC PHYSICIANS & SURGEONS
  • WA PROPANE
  • WA REFUSE & RECYCLING ASSN
  • WA RESTAURANT ASSN PAC
  • WA ST AUTO DEALERS PAC
  • WA ST DENTAL PAC
  • WA ST HOTEL & LODGING ASSN PAC
  • WA STATE COUNCIL OF FIREFIGHTERS
  • WA STATE TROOPERS
  • WA STATE VETERINARY MEDICAL ASSOC.
  • WALGREENS
  • WALMART
  • WASHBANK PAC
  • WASHINGTON ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE  PAC
  • WASHINGTON ENGINEERS  PAC
  • WASHINGTON FOODPAC
  • WASHINGTON HEALTH CARE ASSOCIATION
  • WASHINGTON OIL MARKETERS ASSOCIATION
  • WASHINGTON PILOTS ASSOCIATION
  • WASHINGTON SOCIETY OF CPA'S  PAC
  • WASHINGTON STATE COUNCIL OF POLICE
  • WASTE CONNECTIONS INC
  • WEYERHAEUSER
  • YAKIMA VALLEY GROWERS-SHIPPERS ASSOC.

Link to PDC database for complete list of contributors:
http://www.pdc.wa.gov/MvcQuerySystem/Candidate/sw_candidates

Graphic by John Cox

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

ECONOMIC HITMEN

 Animation of an interview with John Perkins, author of 
"HoodWinked" and "Confessions Of An Economic Hitman".

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

IT'S TIME TO WAVE SIGNS!

 BALLOTS DROP ON FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19th
Submitted to Shelton Blog by Sheri Staley  Mason County Progressive

Okay folks, ballots drop on Friday, Oct.19th.  It's time to start waving signs!  Everyone is invited!!!

The plan is to be out every day starting this week from 7:00 to 8:00 AM, and then from 5:00 to 6:00 PM. The more of us who can join in, the more visible we will be! 
 Here is a partial list of locations that get a lot of traffic: 
  • Hwy 3 and Arcadia Road by the Log Cabin
  • Hwy 101 overpass at Cloquallum Road
  • 7th and Alder
  • 1st and Railroad
  • Hwy 3 and Front Street behind Pro Build
  • Bayshore Golf across from Bayshore Store
  • Walmart intersection
Everyone is invited to a SIgn Waving Rally at Kneeland Park, on October 26th, at 5:00 PM.

For more information on participating in these events: Contact the office of the Mason County Democrats at 427-2731 (located at 7th & Franklin).

Let's make these sign wavings highly visible events by coming out in numbers!

Bring signs if you have them!  (There will also be some signs provided.)
SEE YOU THERE!
Photo: www.istockphoto.com 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

DUMP CITIZENS UNITED!


On Saturday (10/13/12) over 1000 Americans laid their bodies down on a San Francisco beach to spell out “DUMP CITIZENS UNITED!” With election day looming, this protest was just the latest, and possibly most spectacular yet, in a wave of popular anger at the 2010 Supreme Court ruling that opened the floodgates to secretive and unlimited corporate political contributions.

 Photo by John Montgomery

“The 2010 Supreme Court ruling on Citizens United trampled on America’s founding principles, swamped our democracy in corporate cash and needs to be overturned,” said Brad Newsham, the San Francisco cab-driver who organized today’s event. “Some truths are so self-evident that the Founders felt no need to mention them. Truths like, ‘Corporations are NOT People'. ‘Money is NOT Speech'. ‘Elections are NOT Auctions'.” continued Newsham. “But in the shadow of Citizens United, we all have to step up and protect America’s sacred principles. That’s why over a thousand of us came out today to make this beautiful, people-powered statement: ‘DUMP CITIZENS UNITED!’”

Link to complete article:
http://other98.com/over-1000-people-spell-out-dump-citizens-united/