Veterans & Tiggers & There’s at County Commission

First things first. In response to all those sweet “cards and letters” I’m getting about what “TTFN” means*, here’s the deal: Anyone who’s even vaguely familiar with A.A. Milne, Christopher Robin, and that lovable “bear of very little brain” should know this. I mean, c’mon. “TTFN” is a classic Tigger-ism. (That’s not a typo. We read some pretty highbrow stuff around here.)

Now that we’ve got that straightened out….  to pick up from where we left off on Monday regarding matters county commish-ish:

There were some mighty interesting exchanges between Commissioners Vickie Raines and Wes Cormier and some folks from the Veteran’s Advisory Board this morning. (I forget where Commissioner Frank Gordon was. I think he stepped out for a few on that Dial-a-Threat thing.)

Mike Harris, Veterans Advisory Board Chair, and Odis (note a typo) Warren of the Washington State Veterans Legislative Coalition were on hand at 10:00 a.m. to present a “Veterans Relief Fund” presentation that wasn’t  a presentation. The Board exists to “address the needs of indigent vets and their families” according to Harris.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before.

 The Veterans Relief Fund is levy-funded. The non-presentation presentation related to levy rates and frequency of levies. Harris said he wasn’t representing the Board or appearing in any Board capacity, but as a private individual. (Hence that non-presentation presentation thing.) Harris said the Board is concerned about the county continuing to levy on an annual basis.

Let me know when you figure that one out.

Commissioner Cormier responded that that needs to be addressed by the Advisory Board. Cormier serves on the Board but is not a voting member.  Harris said the commishes haven’t been levying annually and need to start.

Cormier said that according to the Department of Revenue, the county can levy, but it’s not a “must” levy annually thing. Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Norma Tillotson chimed in that after looking at the statute, a levy for the fund “has to be at least looked at each year” to determine levy amount.

Commissioner Raines asked when was the last time the levy was levied? Harris responded, “2015.”

Cormier commented, “We believe strongly in the Advisory Committee (Board) and recommend that the matter be brought to the committee as a whole.” Raines agreed, saying the request needs to come from the Advisory Board. She wanted to know what the needs are, how they can be addressed, and what the Advisory Board’s recommendations are as to how it wants the commishes to proceed.

Harris said, “That’s not a problem.” He added, “The main purpose of coming here today was to bring this to ya’lls attention.” He said he’d put the matter on his Board’s March agenda. There was also some discussion about expanding the Veterans Advisory Board membership from 5 to 7. (That’s a heads up, in case you’re wondering.)

Veterans Relief Fund

Btw, “ya’ll” is singular. As any self-respecting Texan can tell you, “all ya’ll” is plural. Don’t ask how I know that.

Three hire requests were also on the agenda for this morning’s meeting. They included a three-quarter time Payroll Clerk in Management Services ($3,358/mo); a courthouse security deputy for the Sheriff’s Department ($2,706/mo); and a “Utility  1” position in the Roads Department ($3,319/mo).

All hire requests save one were approved unanimously by Commissioners Vickie Raines, Frank Gordon and Wes Cormier. Cormier voted Yes on the security deputy and Utility positions. Citing the need to promote cross-training within Management Services, Cormier voted No on the Payroll Clerk. (I don’t know why a security deputy is being paid less than a payroll clerk. If you do, holler.)

There’s also that Monitoring and Enforcing Accrued Leave Liability Limits Letter (try saying that 10x fast). Basically, it means that county employees can’t ask the commishes to roll over their accrued leave into the next calendar year. Upon this morning’s approval of the letter by the commishes, accrued leave is now a “use it or lose it” deal.

There’s also that presentation by Cheryl Heywood, Timberland Regional Library Director, and Bill Wilson, Facilities Manager for same. (Isn’t this fun?) It had to do with an ADA improvement project for the Amanda Park Timberland Library. I have a copy. All 13 pages. Holler if you want that puppy.

Ta-Ta For Now.


*See A Little Off-the-Grid Weirdness at County Commission