GA Minutes July 2013

CRC GA MINUTES

7-13-13

First part of meeting was a speaker: Phil Johnson – County Commissioner. Second part of meeting a regular CRC GA meeting also covered in these minutes.

Fish Pens – read Whatcom County shoreline management plan was approved by Ecology and PT used their wording and it passed, but when Jefferson county used the same wording it did not pass. 2006 – The rules are to keep a particular list of pathogens from passing between different waterways. The list of pathogens they test for does not include …. Which is common and does not address contamination within a waterway. The final comment from ecology offers a little hope.

Government and industry want to put an industry in our shoreline that would degrade property values, degrade native species, add toxins like pesticides. And they are going to do this to make a profit on an inferior product to ship to foreign countries. We have an enormous amount of habitat that has been destroyed over the years. Some of this has been restored with a lot of federal money. Snow Creek is a success. (Phil drew map of area)

Fish leaving Frasier River, which has net pens, are contaminating places they go. People want to have our native runs of salmon.

Last year wrote a resolution to the Governor that would place a moratorium on fish pens till they figure out whether this will damage our native fish. The first groups he took it to passed it. Then took it to an organization that is made up of WA counties which is 2/3 conservatives, and it passed. But there is a state law that says you have to allow water dependent uses.

Met with Puget Sound Partnership. The Salish Sea is not talked about as a habitat. Asked the Partnership to take a stand one way or another. They have not.

What is motivating this is a 8.7 billion dollar trade deficit in seafood. We destroyed the habitat with Exon Valdez and a list of other events and places. We have Puget Sound left. We don’t want to destroy this last remaining habitat. Phil has meeting with Governor. John Fabian is invited.

When you have 100,000 fish in one location – it is attractive to sea lice – which attach to fry and go out into the environment and kill wild fry. There are also several viruses. They say that lice is not a problem because our salinity is low. That is because the water is being fed by rivers. Which is the problem. Manchester plant tour – no virus. 2 weeks later had to kill a million fish because of viruses.

Fisherman confirm that there are sea lice. Phil was reassured that the number of net pens in Canada is no bigger than the Vancouver BC Airport – which is huge! We are challenged by the shoreline management act to remove nutrients from the environment. Talked to the President of the US on this issue. It is his department – the Federal Dept. of Commerce that is creating this problem.

Questions:

Q Who is doing the tests on fish?

A They don’t test for Salmon Anemia but they say there is none. But no I don’t know where the tests are being done.

Q Whatcom, Island and San Juan counties?

A Whatcom has an approved prohibition. We are now faced with doing a conditional use permit. If we don’t succeed they can take our whole Shoreline Mgmt. and do what they want with it. Whidbey says no one wants net pens. They also have to do a conditional use permit – but they can’t conditional use it out of existence – Ecology won’t accept it. San Juan County is in a flux and they are confused as a county because they just became a Chartered County.

Q Can’t we join together?

A I am starting pulling counties together. I am inviting Helen Price Johnson from Island County to go to the governor. Having trouble getting support from the tribes – don’t know why. They are opposed to net pens – but there is no enthusiasm there. In Vancouver they went into the tribal areas and started the net pens there.

A Ecology says it made a mistake in approving Whatcom county’s prohibition.

Q Have you gotten support from Kilmer’s office?

A Not yet.

Q The paddle journey is coming here in a couple of weeks organized by Carla Main.

A I will call her.

Q The commerce clause seems like a big sticking point – is there a way around it?

A I don’t know how to get around it. That is a big catching point – they are concerned with an 8.7 million deficit. The goal would be to go through NOA first. They are coveting their jobs.

Q World wildlife?

A No should I contact them?

Q What is our next step?

A The shoreline mgmt. Will come before us 8-6 with the conditional use permit with 4 locations. One of ours is off Partridge Point on Whidbey Is. We have to pass the Shoreline Mgmt. Plan. It will pass. Phil will vote no.

Q Do you see a way this org. can help.

A Yes the petition asking for a moratorium. People should send one at a time in. (?)

Q Benton County – the commerce clause is used with GMO Canola. This coalition went through democracy school. What works is a community Bill of Rights. This issue is the same as the GMO issue. In Or. 100 people burned GMO Beet Crops. We need to create a community Bill of Rights that prohibits the destruction of nature.

A Ecology gave us a deadline to submit our update. If we don’t do it they can take our plan and rewrite it.

Q Vermont – has prohibited fracking – successfully. This complication that the Shoreline Mgmt. has to be dealt with

A I am chair of Coastal Caucus and can not get a lot of enthusiasm.

Q Fish Pen west of Port Angeles. What is the status?

A Do not know right now. The Canadian fish do not know where the border is. Clallam county is not fighting it  – only one commissioner really cares.

Q You commissioners have the right to put up a referendum on the Nov. Ballot and even though it would not change things it would inform people and create a block of opposition.

A I will look into it.

Q How big is what we are against.

A These are multinational org. that are huge.

A It is not Jefferson County per se – it is setting the precedent. Ecology will not set this precedent.

Tharinger wanted to say that we should be able to say no. They set up a workshop. Then after a half hour – they started calling people from the industry. It is primarily Norway who has polluted their own rivers, and Scotland.

Q Norway has a very open coastline where the water goes in and out and flushes out the system. We don’t flush well.

A We have that argument. Ecology won’t allow pens in Discovery Bay and Puget Sound, but it’s a narrow prohibition.

Q You are trying to put together a coalition of Puget Sound Counties. How can this org. support you in that effort.

A You all must know people in the counties surrounding us. Just start getting the word out. Send out the link to Salmon Confidential.

Q What is the timeline for things to get in effect.

A I think we are pretty good shape. There are not corporations rushing to put fish pens in because they know they have a fight on their hands. The time is now.

Q Now is the time to do a very strong Community Bill of Rights.

A Thank you Norm.

Q There must be people here who know people in Norway. Can people be woken up enough to say no more destruction to the environment.

A I was heartened by the fact that we filled the Rose Theater and turned away as many people as got in.

A We have the DVD we can do a small showing of it. salmonaresacred.org web site – news coming out of Norway. There was a fish labeling law that was passed in WA in May – passed unanimously – will require farm fish to be labeled. This passed in our state. Senate bill 5037 HR 10200  Puget Sound Anglers at their meeting this week. Clallam County asked for a moratorium in 2011 and our county asked for a moratorium this past week.

Q Having a community Bill of Rights and use this to fight fish pens. There is a concern about lawsuits. There is also a concern about the gravel pit doing a lawsuit. Can we safely go to a Bill of Rights?

A Will bring it up to the meeting this week.

Q What can the Governor do?

A The Governor has the right to do a moratorium.

Q Maybe an old fashioned sit in.

A Not yet. I want a chance to sit down with the Governor and talk about the last letter from ecology.

Q What could we have done 5 years ago.

A This has been going on a long, long time. We went through all the charettes. The Shoreline Master Plan was already done. It was after that that they came to us with the surprise of net pens.

Does the power of the government rest on the will of the people.

BREAK ——————————–

Beginning of regular meeting.  10:50   —————-Intro to Egalitarian Facilitation

Frank – facilitator, Kevin – Stack taker, Julia – notes, Sidney – time,

Sparkles and other hand signals.

AGENDA ITEMS
Mike CELDF and Treasurer

Ellen – Website update

Julia – approach by community members

Carol – Law Suits

Val – Charter petition – 1500 out of 2400 signatures gathered. Petition due by 8-6 – please get all petitions to Val ASAP. You can find signature gatherers at the coop most afternoons, or either farmers market.

The commissioners are warming to the idea that it’s going to be on the ballot. We are moving and we need your support.The charter and the Bill of Rights are holding hands. Without the charter the Bill of Rights has no teeth. At the next meeting on the 27th is the final time to bring in petitions.

Ellen – web site – Tabs – in the news – mostly from “READ THE DIRT” which is documenting community rights all around the country. The biggest community is Santa Monica CA. These communities are not getting sued. 180 communities on the East Coast – 2500 are in process. Would like to create a tab called Bill of Rights which would document all of the efforts for this.

Mike – Treasurer 0 O’Neal became a co-treasurer to help with Democracy School and now that is over and she would like to be removed from the bank account. proposal that O’Neill Louchard be taken off the signature card at 1st Federal and not be a co-treasurer. Passed by all present.

CELDF – contact

Proposal: The Community Rights Coalition of Jefferson County WA engage with CELDF and ask them to assist us with a Bill of Rights. PASSED

Is the proposal clear? Does this mean we cannot ask CELDF about Home Rule? No. You can call and ask questions but not ask them for action on behalf of CRC. The Bill of Rights will be fine tuned before it is commingled with the Charter. CELDF would be asked for their legal advice as well as assisting us with the drafting it. CELDF has partnered with the City of Spokane to work on their B of R separately from their charter. The B of R needs to be drafted separate from Home Rule. The Chartering may take a long time and it may not succeed and we need a B of R sooner. The B of R needs to be independent. So can a B of R be passed without a charter. Yes the County Commissioners can bring it into existence. But it is not as strong as when it gets passed by initiative, but it can be overturned with a 2 week notice.

Spokane has been working on theirs for several years – but every year it gets closer and it is an educational process. The B of R is a very useful item in terms of recruiting. Its immediate use is educational whether it is useful legally. We need to start taking this out to the farmers and the broader county.

Report to GA from the study group – by Julia: When we are approached by people with specific issues our response is based on good governance and process. Was the process open, transparent and participatory democracy? Some question and discussion took place.

Bill of Rights Study Group Thursday 5:30 453 Bryan St – Kevin’s House.

We want to begin discussions on the East side of Jefferson County about the Bill of Rights and what people want on it. There will be people who disagree and frightened by it. We are trying to find a voice of the people. Appreciate Commissioner Phil Johnson’s willingness to engage in conversation with us. The Home Rule Charter Task Force have been speaking at the County Commissioner meetings – Philip Morley, County Administrator – approached the group to say he would be meeting with us to talk about the Bill of Rights effort.

Val and Frank put together an email to Philip Morley that there were going to be a series of meetings around the county and we aren’t ready to meet with the County Administrator yet. We are asking him to set a time for a meeting in the future. The ball is in his court.

Forging ahead – there is some question about whether Mr. Morley is an attempt by the county to stop the home rule effort. What we are suggesting is that we go ahead with both efforts simultaneously.

There is some feeling that we should as a group decide when to meet with officials.

We feel that if Philip Morley wants to meet us we will invite him to the next General Assembly.

There is fundamentally a conflict of jurisdiction brewing with the Bill of Rights. It is too early to negotiate this away. Philip Morley must be reacting to the 1500 signatures that are coming from the people.

The GA, not the Study Group is the group that officials should be dealing with.

When Phil Johnson was leaving he said he wanted to study the B of R and he felt pressured. I think he got confused about the B of R and the Home Rule Charter. Frank assured him that we were not pressuring him.

Carol – the threat of law suite. Concerned because what we have is the possibility of local action. Local lawyers doing pro bono work. Against the library because it would take money from the community to fight such lawsuits in order to protect the environment.

Response: We have been going to the Monday Morning Commissioner meetings and give the commissioners a lot of information.

We have supportive and open commissioners. Proposal about this will come from Rick next meeting.

Pam – There needs to be some clear and simple verbiage about the Charter and the B of R. How they support each other and how they differ.

Reports:

Sidney – Kitsap County about flame retardants on children’s clothes. They lost with the DOE.

Gretchen – PTAW is reinvigorating. Open meeting this Tuesday, 6 to 8 PM @ the Community Center, Who we are, where things are, reforming action committees, doing a mind map of what we want.

Water Meters – after the City Council Meeting – talk that the meter would do a reading 4 times a day – they sit out near the road – and operate on a small 20 year battery. This may still be too much monitoring. Will get info on specific model. The electric meters are smart meters which are on our houses. We may want to address this. Response – supposedly the mandate came from the Climate Action Committee – but they have only one sentence in their whole minutes referring to the meter as an e-meter. They had no idea what they are looking at. This was done without public imput, we don’t need it, it is too expensive and puts a Fortune 500 Company in our lives for .. years.

Julia Cochrane

PO Box 1654, Port Townsend, WA 98368

willowtree@olypen.com

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MINUTES FOR GENERAL ASSEMBLY-JULY 27, 2013  

 

Meeting commenced at 9:38AM

Present: Doug M-Facilitator, Niles P-Stack, O’Neill-Notes, Norm N-time-keeper, Virginia W. , Val P. ,  Steve E., David G., Rick D (and grandson Sam), Frank H., Ellen O’., Sidney C., Kevin C., Carol G., Mike R.

Agenda set: Fr-Bof R report

V & N-Next Steps/ Home Rule Chartering

O’-Inter-action with other groups and use of list serve

E-Website update

Steve Evans at meeting from KPTZ and received permission to record the meeting for KPTZ

Fr- Bill of Rights report. How will we coordinate BofR and Home Rule? Group looked at the early draft Niles sent out, spoke to the Envision Spokane lawsuit-3rd try to get a Bof R passed (basically the lawsuit is to try to keep it off the ballot)-it is on “Read the Dirt” for all to read. 1st Amendment Rights, Citizens United-

BofR Task Force meets on Thursdays 5:30PM-7PM at the PT Community Center Board Room.

R-Announcement: Will be getting some free tickets tot he “Justice Begins with Seeds” event with Vedanta Shiva, GMO awareness series August 2nd and 3rd.-Doug, O’Neill, Steve E. and (Michelle told O’ she wants to attend and carpool) want tickets.

V-Next Steps-So far have 2300 signatures and will continue to get more to submit to Donna Eldridge for validation on Tuesday July 30th at 9AM.

AN HISTORIC EVENT. Press will be there. FIRST TIME THAT THE CITIZENS OF JEFFERSON COUNTY WILL HAVE PUT SOMETHING ON THE

BALLOT.

Working with CELDF (Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund) to put the “campaign” forward- a hopeful “yes” on the ballot + Freeholders. Conference call with Thomas Linzey and Kai of CELDF on Wednesday.  What happens next will cost some money. Plan- word with media, leaflets,door hangers, signs, bumper stickers, car stickers, Op Eds, articles, Letters to the Editor, etc. NEED FOLKS WILLING TO TAKE ON THESE JOBS.  Will be holding informational meetings to help other groups understand the process, Web events. Thomas Linzey-on youtube with Home Rule Charter presentation. N-Maybe have a music event? Booth at the Fair?-He has the makings. Warning-Tacoma just sold their water to a bottler!!! The Freeholders will be on the same ballot as Home Rule Charter. A public “call for Freeholders” will be made by the BOCC in the newspaper.

Freeholders work for “free” to draft a new charter if the chartering gets a “yes” vote. FH need to register before the election. Form of apportionment of votes not yet clear.

V-History of Home Rule Chartering in WA state: there are 6 counties and 10 cities, the petition to charter is the only thing that citizens voices are allowed to put on the ballot and there must be a charter  to allow citizens to put any other sort of initiative or referendum on the ballot, it is about a 2-year process, Freeholders draw up the Charter (like a constitution for the county and it is mandated to be revisited every so many years (not set at this time.)

A CHARTER EXPANDS THE CITIZEN’S VOICES AND ALLOWS CITIZENS TO BE TRULY INVOLVED.

SHIFT TO GENERAL DISCUSSION ABOUT THE REPORT.

Fr-Concerns about the fact that we might be opening a process that disrupts “politics” in a way we may not anticipate-advocates” a step back” to think about what we are doing. Concerned about any “half-heartedness” on the part of CRC members that might be unfair to those who have given so much to get to this juncture-deep breath to become clear why we are committing ourselves to the chartering process. “Freedom” requires “responsibility” and we know that the Democrats are going to oppose this and the Republicans are going to “jump on it.”

N-It is feasible that the Freeholders could “pull it down” by not putting the right to initiative by citizens into the Charter.

S-Yes. It IS a disruption. There are folks who feel disenfranchised. Worth the expense. jurisdictional conflict. Messy-and, let’s do it.

K-It IS a disruption. Fear is that it might unleash what we don’t understand. Should have more understanding before it is on the ballot and it may be too late to step back. Hope that there is no sabotage and that everyone may be represented.

R-There are other major issues, i.e. i-522, BofR, etc and how to do all is problematic.

D-No automatic inclusions. Has group consulted attorneys? (“yes” was the answer)

N-GA unanimously gave the go ahead to do a Charter Task Force; there is limited representation in the county-to 3 minutes on Monday mornings, to which there is no required response. Many Dems ARE backing-as many have signed the petition. Need to stir the pot and make more things happen. Don’t be satisfied with calm.

E-Chaos IS here (someone, I didn’t record, used the word chaos) and why we are doing what we are doing-Fish pens, spraying, biomass, Smart Meters, etc. We need direct democracy, Freeholders educate the voters.

N-No vote by the people without Home Rule-all is advisory and non-binding at this time, it is the only way for binding law that goes beyond the present BOCC.

R-County Departments may put something on the ballot as relates to their department.

MR-Input to get our rights as citizens-a local constitution created to guarantee certain rights to citizens at the county level. Now we are not allowed to be participatory, chance to enact a Charter with a Bill of Rights as a basis for being a democratic county. We need to work to get Freeholders with the interests of the people at heart. Next phase: focus of good people as Freeholders; meet to outline main points that we would like Freeholders to support; i.e. Bill of Rights, simple transition, minimum number of changes (maintain the present structure while inserting our rights as citizens.)

V-Need for dispelling myths; much research has been done, have sought legal advise-Thomas Linzey CELDF-Wed. Conference call, go through the steps, do public education, don’t do the work prematurely, we are the first county to get citizen signatures as others the Commissioners put on the ballot,no flexibility in the county government without Home Rule, cannot shirk because it is difficult or messy.

S-There is no “safe time” and we must take risks.

C-Anyone in West County? Our last stand for freedom, i.e. surveillance-“not much hope at the Federal level”; cherish this country, Sacred honor of our environment.

R-CRC open to the community.

Fr-Glad that we are talking as was his suggestions. 2 concerns; 1) We are better off with the 3 present more progressive Commissioners as contrasted to the former and 2) We need ALL OF US TO BE INVOLVED in a strategic plan-vote, agree, talk, support.

N-Thinks it unlikely that “rogues” could sabotage the whole group. Necessity of informing the public.

DM-“Bold Adventure”- potential for positive change exist that we are all hungering for. A strategic plan, once we know it will be on the ballot, needs to include those who intend to be supportive of our major goals.

*******************************

O’-Next agenda item; groups who have approached us, i.e.-Whidbey group concerned about planes and Smart Meters. Referred to study group for discussion to bring back to the next meeting.

***********************************

E-Web report.  About 2,500 hits per week to the website, many out of county such as Spokane and Benton County, as they have an interest in what we are doing.

El is writing an article for “Read the Dirt” Need to maintain a balance on the website between meeting notices and issues of our groups NEEDS A GOOD ARTICLE ON THE BILL OF RIGHTS-one for page + on tab as a place-holder. ALSO MORE ABOUT I-522 and Farm policy (which Rick is to be doing) Would like feedback; C-area for FAQ?

MR-“yes” to a well-written article on BofR

V-FAQ for other issues; would be good to have on the website, maybe as a side-bar “FAQ”

S-A place for those issues where we don’t take a position, but recognize as issues

Steve (KPTZ)-May be interested in hosting a debate, KPTZ Calendar, Comments, PSA’S to website to see

Fr-Bring concerns here to GA-BE OPEN WITH DISAGREEMENTS, WORK TOWARD CONSENSUS ON ISSUES, LEAVE OUR EGOS AND PERSONALITIES BEHIND.

It was suggested that given the amount of what will be going on that maybe we need to have GA weekly. O’Neill will inquire as to the availability of QUUF.

FOLKS WHO WANT TO HELP, PLEASE, STEP FORWARD

PLEA FROM O’NEILL-PLEASE, BE CLEAR WHAT YOU WANT DONE WITH WHAT YOU SEND. SOMETIMES WHAT IS SENT TO

LIST SERVE ADMINISTRATOR (O’Neill) IS MORE APPROPRIATE FOR THE WEBSITE (issue oriented) OF FACEBOOK (interactive) Please, identify in the subject line clearly, what it is that is being sent. Easier to keep track of.

PLEASE, READ THE LIST SERVE ANNOUNCEMENTS AND MINUTES BEFORE CALLING TO ASK WHAT IS IN THEM. TOO MANY CALLS TAKE TIME AWAY FROM THE WORK TO BE DONE.

All,

The website for the Jefferson County Community Rights Coalition is up and running.  We also have a facebook group that you can join and share your ideas about this important national movement.

Here is the link to the Website:  http://communityrightsjeffersoncountywa.org/

And here is a link to the Facebook group –  https://www.facebook.com/groups/Jeffersoncountycommunityrightscoalition/

 

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