It was standing room only in the Grays Harbor County Commissioner’s Meeting Room for today’s swearing-in ceremonies in Montesano. Topping this afternoon’s afternoon agenda were swearing-ins for Commissioner Vickie Raines (District 3), newly elected Assessor Dan Lindgren and returning elected officials. The latter included Sheriff Rick Scott, County Prosecutor Katie Svoboda, County Auditor Vern Spatz, and County Clerk Cheryl Brown. (The punch and cookies afterwards were really, really good. You missed it if you weren’t able to make it.)
Ceremonies were originally scheduled for last Monday, January 5, but we had that Noah thing going on last week.
“In other news…”
In the morning meeting commissioners expressed appreciation for the outpouring of community support and volunteer involvement over the weekend related to local flood clean-up efforts.
Sheriff Rick Scott’s “budget neutral” request to promote two jail lieutenants was approved. Public Health and Social Services Director Joan Brewster briefed commissioners Wes Cormier, Frank Gordon and Vickie Raines on a plan to comply with a 2014 law passed by the state legislature related to the integration of mental health, chemical dependency, and primary health care.
Commissioner Raines said last week’s flooding resulted in a “tremendous amount of loss and damage” as well as a “tremendous amount of help and assistance.” She inquired about a county emergency response coordinator to help coordinate and manage outreach, volunteer and other efforts as well as perform damage estimates and handle logistics related to emergency situations. Commissioner Gordon commented about setting up a “phone tree” type of outreach and improving communications.
On the public services front, Gordon said that “lag times” in inspections have an adverse effect on building and jobs. He expressed concern that short staffing combined with the size of the county make it difficult for inspectors to get from one place to another quickly. Gordon made a motion to move a half-time planner to a full-time position for six months. The motion failed for lack of a second.
Commissioner Cormier asked how many inspections are actually done in a day. Public Services Director Kevin Varness said, “It depends on the locale” and distance. Commissioner Raines asked for an accounting of how many inspections were done in the last quarter of 2014. Expect further discussion.
There are no meetings next Monday due to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Just in case you were wondering.