Commissioners’ Conduct Called Into Question

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The perceived conduct of some of the county commissioners was in the spotlight at today’s commission festivities.

Former county commission candidate Al Smith noted a “breakdown in team spirit” among some of the commissioners at today’s regular Board of Commissioners business meeting. Smith cited recent  “malicious remarks” on Facebook and “derogatory comments” made on the radio last week by one commissioner. He stopped short of naming names.

Smith alleged that the commissioners are acting like “teenagers.” He said, “I’m here to ask that this activity … stop.” Citing the county’s fiscal woes and budget concerns, Smith added, “We need to get this (interpersonal conflicts) resolved and get on with the county’s business.”

BOC Chair Commissioner Wes Cormier was excused due to illness. Commissioner Raines served as BOC Chair for the morning and afternoon meetings.

Smith’s comments came during the second public comment portion of Monday’s regular BOC afternoon meeting. Raines thanked Smith for his comments.

Earlier in the day, Smith urged Raines to not let any grass grow under her feet as it relates to a proposed ATV ordinance and the imminent arrival of hunting season. Raines said she’s not a hunter. Smith said other people are. Raines responded that she’s been working on the proposed ordinance for five months, indicating progress.

Smith also expressed dissatisfaction with the Wishkah Road project. The project relates to flood control. Funding has been an issue. (Read more about that puppy here.) He suggested that an upcoming October meeting with state reps related to the project include all commishes and be opened to the public.

A Democrat, Smith joined Republican Keith Olson and Raines (NP) as candidates for the county commission seat in 2014 when then-incumbent Herb Welch (R) chose not to run for re-election. Olson scored a narrow win over Smith in the August 2014 primary. Olson and Raines advanced to the November general election, which Raines won.

In the afternoon media Q and A session, KBKW’s Doug McDowell asked Commissioners Gordon and Raines how they felt about Smith’s comments (Smith did not attend the media session). Gordon said he felt the situation had gotten “out of hand,” but that he thought the commissioners “worked well as a team” overall, with the exceptions of the Wishkah Road and Mill Creek Dam projects. Raines did not respond.

And hey! If you’ve ever had trouble snagging a bus pass, the Timberland Regional Library system has just made it a lot easier. You can purchase a bus pass at any of the eight TRL libraries within Grays Harbor starting November 1.

Director Cheryl Heywood of the Timberland Regional Library system Cheryl Heywood noted that the “pilot program” for the endeavor will have its “soft opening” on November 1. The “hard opening” is set for January 1, 2016. TRL operates 27 libraries within five counties.

Bon voyage!