Contract Dough, Condolences on Commission Plates

Recipe Kitchen Dough Italian Cook Flour

Contracts and how to fund them have been big on county commissioner plates lately. In the last couple weeks Grays Harbor County Commissioners have approved amendments/modifications related to medical/behavioral health contracts per the county jail. Amendments to a contract with Greater Grays Harbor Inc. are also on the menu.

At this afternoon’s regular business meeting, the commissioners approved an amended contract for County Jail Physician’s Services Behavioral Health. The amended contract includes an increase of nearly $54,000 through the end of the year.

The commissioners unanimously approved the increase for January 1, 2017 through December 31, 2017. The increase is from $170,916 to $224,910. That figure corrects a prior calculation that was incorrect.

Also approved this afternoon was a $30,955 tran$fer from public safety sales tax $ to pay expenses associated with the jail for security.

Commissioners Vickie Raines and Randy Ross approved modifications to a professional services contract for jail medical services last Monday. The modified contract with Dr. Yong Ki Shin was approved unanimously by Ross and Raines. Commissioner Wes Cormier was out of town on county business.

The mods to the professional services contract with Shin represent an additional $350K/year over what the county is now paying. The mods are required to meet updated state and federal standards for said jail medical services. That contract includes medical staffing for two-thirds of the day. For additional background, see: Updated Jail Medical Services Contract Pinches County Pockets.

Questions about funding for these increases – how and from where – remain. “We need to have a workshop on it so we can all get our heads around it,” observed Raines.

Commissioner Raines also said she’s received significant feedback from health professionals on the professional services contract going out to bid. Look for a revisit in the fall.

$peaking of dough, the commissioners decided to shift an agenda item to rescind an Economic Development Funding Agreement with Greater Grays Harbor and authorize a new contract to June 5. This will allow for review and input from the GGHI Chair. (County offices will be closed next Monday to observe Memorial Day.)

The original funding agreement was approved on April 3. It spilled over into an April 18 workshop and discussions with Aberdeen Mayor Erik Larson and GGHI CEO Dru Garson. 

At issue was Commissioner Wes Cormier’s proposal for specific performance benchmarks or ‘deliverables‘ GGHI is expected to meet in relation to receiving a record $88K in county support. Here are the “deliverables/reporting requirements” from a draft of the contract:

Cormier’s proposed addendum prompted Larson to pen a prickly letter to the editor in April calling the commissioner’s motives into question. 

For background, see: Commissioners Dig Into Deliverables, Ballot Boxes & Bucks. and  ‘Cold Calls’ a Sticking Point in County Agreement With GGHI.

One other thing. Commissioner Ross suggested inviting legislators from the 19th and 24th LDs for a workshop discussion on additional unfunded state mandates that may be coming down the puke. I mean… pike

Also, if you’re among the head-banging music at nose bleed volume contingent, an updated noise ordinance is also on the table. It will allow the sheriff’s office to issue citations for excessive noise in residential areas. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

During this afternoon’s public comment period, Commissioner Raines said Keith Olson passed away on May 18. Noting that Olson was a former rival for her commission seat, Raines said “We quickly became very good friends.” She said Olson “leaves quite a legacy of community service.” Also that Olson “fought for the little guy and stood up for property rights. I will miss him,” she said. The Board expressed its condolences to the Olson family.

One other, other thing. The courthouse flag is now “skimpishly” lit. And sunny, warm days like today have been as scarce as a slim sow around here lately. So I really, really hope you’re reading this pool side. Or in a chaise lounge somewhere in the Great Outdoors. In shorts. Maybe with an umbrella drink. And SPF 50. With a wide-brimmed hat. I am. 😉

10+ Things Donald Trump Can Do To Get Back on the Rails

It’s been a rough road for the Trump White House.  After an eight-year hiatus, Democrat Central – aka: the mainstream “media” – has awakened from its self-induced coma and re-discovered reportage. Or at least what passes for their blatantly biased version of same.

My new favorite commentator, Tucker Carlson, pointed this out on Friday night:

“About the only people who deny widespread media bias these days are the people who are directly benefiting from it. And that would include progressive activists posing as reporters, and the Democratic politicians whose water they carry.”

Tucker noted a recent Harvard University study that found that 80 percent of the media’s coverage of President Trump’s first 100 days was negative.

Duh.

Newsflash to Donald and the Trump administration: The mainstream media and its willing Leftista lackeys in Hollywood, academia, and the DNC will never be your friends. So stop trying. So press forward, doing what you were elected to do. Here are ten suggestions toward that end:

1) Go Reagan. Beating up on The Ronaldus was the lamestream media’s favorite indoor sport. President Reagan largely ignored their petty and puerile attacks, frequently deploying humor to blunt the almost daily media hostility to his agenda. It was brilliant. It was effective. It drove the media nuts. What’s more fun than that?

2) Appoint an irreproachable FBI director. And for heaven’s sake, don’t flub the roll-out!

3) Re-build America’s relationship with Israel. After eight disastrous years of gross ineptitude disguised as “strategic patience” (whatever the h-e-double hockey sticks that means) in the Middle East, it’s time to rebuild America’s relationship with our best friend and only democratic country in the region: Israel. It may also be a good idea to start acting like a friend and ally instead of a waffling, narcissistic idiot.

4) If your name is Melania or Ivanka or you’re any other female associated with the Trump administration, refuse to wear a head scarf when visiting the Middle East. There’s no need to be rude. But there’s no need to act or look like an acquiescent toady, either. You’re an American. You bow to no one.

5) No more Apology Tours. See #3 and #4, above.

6) Stick to your guns. Voters didn’t send you to the Oval Office to go chameleon and become part of the D.C. Cartel. They expect you to deliver on campaign promises such as repealing Obamacare, rebuilding our military after eight years of cannibalizing same to support endless social spending, securing our southern border, and defeating ISIS, appointing originalists to federal benches, and restoring religious freedom and First Amendment protections ripped away by the Obama regime.

7) Engage gray matter before you tweet. You’re not a candidate or a private citizen anymore. Kudos to using Twitter to directly engage the American people and leave the lamestream media eating your dust. But attempting to announce public policy in 140 characters probably isn’t a stroke of genius.

8) Act presidential. Stay above petty partisan bickering whenever possible. Directly responding to the latest drivel or toxic waste spewed from Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, or Elizabeth Fauxahontas Warren only emboldens them and beefs up their street cred. So why go there? Let your communications team skewer them instead.

9) Appoint Rep. Maxine The Mouth Waters to a post where she’ll fit right in. Like Special Envoy to Havana. Or La La Land.

10) Don’t go spineless like the Washington State Republican Party’s Executive Board. On Friday night the political cowards on that body rejected a resolution to support I-1552. While WSRP is a mess in many respects, that mess has devolved into Laughable Looneyville under Susan Hutchison. Lines of distinction between WSRP-style “Republicans” and DemoLibs have become so blurred so often on Hutchison’s watch as to become 50 Shades of Purple. The WSRP E-Board’s refusal to support protection/privacy rights for women and girls in this state is the latest case in point. Disgraceful. (Update – 4:24 p.m.: It appears that the State Committee has passed an amended resolution. Duh.)

In short, Mr. President: If you want to get back on the rails, take a page out of the Reagan playbook. Don’t let up on Democrat Central. But don’t let them sidetrack you, either. As National Review’s Tim Graham noted in 2004 on the occasion of Ronald Reagan’s passing, “Reagan won over many adversaries by his magnanimity under rhetorical assault.”

Newt Gingrich takes this a step further in his incisive May 18 essay, Surrender or Fight – Our Country is at Stake. Recalling Trump’s prior characterizations of the media, Gingrich concludes:

When your opponents are “among the most dishonest human beings on earth,” “do a tremendous disservice service to the country,” and are “part of the problem,” then you need a strategy and system that is built around that analysis.

The next few months will see one of the greatest decisions in American history. Do we fight to make America great again, or do we surrender to those who claim the elitist power to dictate to the rest of us?

There is no middle ground.

Donald and WSRP: are you listening?

Updated Jail Medical Services Contract Pinches County Pockets

Grays Harbor County Commissioners Vickie Raines and Randy Ross approved modifications to a professional services contract for jail medical services today. Discussed last week, the modified contract with Dr. Yong Ki Shin was approved unanimously by Ross and Raines at today’s regular afternoon business meeting. The mods represent an additional $350K/year over what the county is now paying.

Commissioner Wes Cormier was out of town on county business.

Effective May 1 through December 31, 2017, the contract approved today changes the scope of work to include the ability to schedule nurses 16 hours a day, seven days a week. The monthly payment amount is $44,900. The contract will be reviewed on an annual basis. 

Before you have a heart attack, realize that the mods are required to meet updated state and federal standards for said services. Commissioner Raines observed that the county “has no choice” but to meet the updated state and federal standards. Funding options are being pursued.

Connect those dots. (That’s okay. I’ll  wait.) While  I’m  waiting, you may also want to con$ider three word$ and the impact they have on rural countie$ like Grays Harbor: “Unfunded $tate mandates.”

Commissioner Ross suggested revisiting/updating county job descriptions vis-a-vis union negotiations during conversations with Public Services department heads this morning. The goal is saving money. “We need to keep doing it (updating job descriptions)” said Ross. “We need to keep getting a little leaner.”

This and That

  • Local opioid use/base is being looked at. Ditto union negotiations a la Grays Harbor Transit.
  • 19th and 24th LD legislators have been made aware of issues related to the Mill Creek dam project in Cosmopolis, as has Rep. Derek Kilmer office.

Tip: The Red Velvet Bakery catered last week’s Habitat for Humanity Tea in Seabrook. I hear their sandwiches with roasted red pepper sauce and gouda cheese are to-die-for. Also, “Alice in Wonderland” is a scene stealer. 🙂

Aloha.

Louie

Imagine you’re a little kid. You have to testify in court.

 Are you scared spitless? Anxiety level skimming triple digits? Are you stomach churning, palms sweating, ready-to-hurl stressed out?

Now imagine you’ve got a friend. A friend who wrote the book on loyalty and love. Unconditional support. Companionship. 

A friend with warm amber eyes. Floppy ears. A fur coat the color of toasted marshmallows.

That friend would be Louie. A specially trained two year old yellow Lab, Louie is a newly arrived “comfort dog” working with the Children’s Advocacy Center of Grays Harbor. 

Louie and the Center’s Executive Director Sue Bucy were making the rounds at county today, where he was introduced to judges and county commissioners.  (I’m not going to say Louie was the highlight of the afternoon. Oh, bother. OF COURSE he was!)

Isn’t he a beauty?

Louie’s job is to provide “comfort and support” to children with the Center. That includes working with abused children, accompanying  kids to court, and sitting in on their forensic appointments.

Louie was trained at Canine Companions in Santa Rosa, California, said Bucy. He also went to Chicago for additional training. He then returned to Santa Rosa for six months of “in-depth training.” 

Louie knows about 40 commands. He’s valued at about $50K according to Bucy. He comes at no cost to the county explained County Prosecutor Katie Svoboda. Local vets are also donating veterinary care.

Louie meets County Commissioners.

Louie’s a dead ringer for ‘my best girl,’ Eve. She passed away in 2013.

Is this place great, or what?

Cartwheels at County

Unless you’re dying to hear about a proposed update/modification on the jail medical contract and whether or not the current service is adequate per state/fed standards, or negotiation$ related to the Union Gospel Mission, there wasn’t a whole lot to turn cartwheels over at today’s morning meeting of the Board of County Commissioners.

Okay. Since you asked, an updated contract with local physician Dr. Yong Ki Shin to provide medical services for the jail was under discussion this morning. Sheriff Rick Scott, Police Chief Davis and Dr. Shin fielded questions. 

Main concerns voiced by both the commissioners and law enforcement focused on risk pool, liability, and indemnification. Deputy Prosecutor Norma Tillotson provided input on the above. A major component of the contract modification is a proposed increase in medical malpractice from $1M to $3M.

Regarding the contract mods, Commissioner Randy Ross said the commission is “not in any hurry. Let’s do it right.”

Commissioner Wes Cormier indicated he may abstain from any vote on the mods because Dr. Shin’s wife is his doctor.

Commissioner Vickie Raines expressed concern that the mods haven’t yet been reviewed by the Health and Human Services Advisory Board. She asked Scott how he’s budgeting for the mods. Scott responded that it’s “up to the Board as to which budget stream they want to tap into” to cover the proposed increase in liability/malpractice coverage. The cost is expected to be nominal. 

Regarding the modified contract, Scott said, “I’m good with it if Dr. Shin is.”

Dr. Shin chimed in with a couple cost savings options. Like “telemedicine” from midnight to 0800 instead of having a nurse physically on site during those hours. Also tapping into local nursing staff to be on call instead of an outside-the-county entity.

Look for Board action on the matter next Monday.

Spring in Monte!

Karolyn Holden, Director of Public Health, was on hand to request Board approval to negotiate “up to $250K” to enhance renovation and reconstruction at the Union Gospel Mission in Aberdeen. She noted that this work has been “ongoing” since 2013. Grants are paying for a “significant portion” of the renovation costs. But plumbing, foundation and structural issues came to light in February 2017 such that the county has been approached for help. 

Such help would be strictly limited to renovations/upgrades related to “non-proselytizing” portions of the facility. This includes upgrades to the male shelter and for shower and laundry facilities where “proselytizing” does not occur. In case you were wondering.

With that ironed out, the commishes approved Holden’s request to negotiate for the needed funds.(I’m not exactly sure what that means. If you figure it out, holler.)

Commissioner Randy Ross observed that this endeavor may preclude Aberdeen Mayor Erik Larson’s pursuit of an “urban rest stop” comfort station-type facility in the area.


Tip
(no extra charge): If Commissioner Raines ever suggests visiting the Corn Dog Castle at Disneyland, do it.

Other tip: Chief Davis’s weekend golf game was officially “terrible.”

Other, other tip: Legoland has “amazing” buffets. ☺ 

I am now going outside to work on my cartwheels. See ya!

‘Let This Be The Hour…’

U.C. Crybully was the site of yet another Leftista meltdown this week over a possible April 27 appearance by Ann Coulter. University brave hearts cancelled her appearance last week, citing “security threats.

Coulter said she was coming anyway. But on Wednesday, Coulter said she was forced to cancel her Thursday speaking event amid concerns of violence. Basically, it went like this: Trump critics calling themselves “anti-fascists” deployed fascist tactics reminiscent of Kristallnacht to protest “fascism.”

Let me know when you figure that out.

Meanwhile, back at Beserkeley (still not a typo), lawless, cowardly thugs were essentially rewarded for being lawless, cowardly thugs. They got their way. Now all Antifa and its mommy basement dwellers need to do to stop the next conservative speaker who dares to challenge their safe spaces and coloring books is dress up like Snape look-alikes, make lots of noise, and act scary. Or stupid.

And university administrations all across the fruited plain will roll over and play dead.

Nice.

Continue reading “‘Let This Be The Hour…’”

County Rescinds Gateway Center Advisory Vote, Backs Away From Center Ownership

A public advisory vote on the proposed Gateway Center in Aberdeen is off the table, as is potential county ownership of the building.

Proposed by Commissioner Wes Cormier, the advisory  vote was approved by the commissioners last month. It was headed to the August ballot. The commissioners voted to rescind the measure at this afternoon’s meeting on a 2 to 1 vote. Commissioners Vickie Raines and Randy Ross voted Aye to rescind. Commissioner Cormier voted Nay. (More on that in a minute. Don’t go away.)

Commissioner Vickie Raines initiated this morning’s discussion on the resolution to rescind. Explaining that timing was an issue, Raines noted that she wanted to address the topic today rather than next week when Commissioner Cormier will be unavailable. 

Stressing her personal support for the Center, Raines said she applauds efforts by the City of Aberdeen and Mayor Larson to revive the project “following an extremely difficult and lengthy recession.” Her remarks were made via a written statement Raines read and provided this morning. She read the statement at the afternoon meeting, adding  “including potential ownership and operation” to the final paragraph. See below for the full text.

Raines outlined her reasons for moving to “rescind the Advisory Ballot regarding the Count’s (sic) direct involvement with the (Gateway Center) facility.” She backed away from county ownership or operation of the facility, saying in part:

“At this juncture, I believe  it is up to Enterprise Center supporters, including myself, to champion this project and see it cross the finish line. ..

I am not of the belief that the Grays Harbor County Government needs to intercept the forward momentum, but rather team up and individually support the Grays Harbor Enterprise Center…, if we choose.”

Cormier said the reason he brought forward the advisory vote was because he doesn’t want the county “to own or operate the Center.”

Raines replied that commissioners are elected to do a job that sometimes includes making hard decisions “This is one of those decisions” she said, adding that the county already has responsibility for other facilities. She reiterated that there  are “too many unanswered concerns and questions” surrounding the Center. “I think we need to look in our own backyard and take care of what we have” she said.

Raines also commented that previous commissions took the route of “no maintenance” on county facilities. “We need to step up and address that” she observed. She emphasized that while she still supports the project, she’d rather step away and let the City of Aberdeen move forward with it instead of  the county.

Commissioner Randy Ross likewise voiced his personal support for the project, but “has some concerns” similar to those expressed by Raines. He said the county lacks the funds to repair its current facilities, citing the fairgrounds as an example. Regarding the advisory vote, Ross said county government is a representative form of government, not a populist one.

Cormier responded that the commissioners had to vote to approve a loan to address fairground repair costs. He disagreed with Ross’s fairground comparison, saying the fairgrounds are a county concern but the Gateway Center has never been a county project. “We didn’t start the (Gateway) project and we didn’t weigh in until it came to us” he said.

“There’s no reason why we can’t go out to an advisory vote” Cormier reiterated. “If the City of Aberdeen is selling this as a countywide project, we should seriously consider letting this go to the people” as an advisory vote.

Raines asked Cormier why an advisory vote is still needed if “I just agreed with you” that the county shouldn’t own or operate the facility? 

Cormier replied that different involvements with many different municipalities and stakeholders necessitates broader feedback. “When you have multiple jurisdictions involved, why not get a vote of the peopke?” he asked.

All commissioners agreed that the county shouldn’t own or operate another facility until a capital facilities plan is in place.

Approved by the commissioners on March 27, here’s how the original resolution authorizing  the county auditor to place an advisory vote on the Center on the August ballot reads:

Here’s today’s resolution rescinding the above and directing the county auditor to remove the measure from the August ballot:

Some confusion/a misunderstanding regarding the resolution was cleared up during the afternoon media Q and A session. 

At that session, Raines said she didn’t think an advisory vote was needed because “I’ve agreed with Commissioner Cormier that the county shouldn’t own or operate the facility.” She said the city should pursue the project on its own, “Let the city do what they want to do.” She agreed with Cormier that the county shouldn’t be “in the landlord business” related to the Gateway Center. “I strongly  support the project” Raines clarified, but said she doesn’t see how the county can assume ownership of another building when other county-owned buildings need attention and funds. 

Harkening back to last summer’s county buy of the  Byles building, which Cormier opposed, Raines said she now agrees with Cormier opposition to that purchase. The purchase appeared to be a good deal at the time in light of requirements for a third courthouse, she said. But she now agrees with Cormier per fiscal concerns.

Cormier later said he would’ve joined fellow commissioners regarding the resolution to rescind the advisory vote, but he misunderstood the morning discussion. He apologized for any confusion.”I don’t get involved in city business” said Cormier. “I don’t want to step on their toes. I only commented on the Gateway Center when it came to our door.” 

Ross likewise said he’s not a strong supporter of county ownership of the building, but would support some county involvement if the county uses the facility.