Commissioners Postpone I-1639 Reso

Today’s scheduled vote of the Grays Harbor County Commissioners on a resolution opposing the implementation of I-1639 has been postponed. The resolution is patterned after a similar measure passed by Cowlitz County last month.

Action on the resolution was originally set for February 5. The vote was pushed back to today to give Commissioner Wes Cormier a chance to weigh in. Cormier has been absent for several weeks due to illness.

An announcement at this afternoon’s meeting indicated that action on the resolution has been “postponed” to March.

GH Resolution Opposing I-1639

When asked about the reason for the postponement at the Media Q & A session following the 1:00 p.m. meeting, Commissioner Vickie Raines boiled it down to two:

  • Providing Commissioner Cormier with additional time to review the resolution and weigh in accordingly.
  • Additional conversations have taken place on the topic since February 5 per a similar resolution passed by Stevens County earlier this month.

Commissioner Randy Ross said that the commissioners are “concerned” about the initiative and want to make sure that the resolution “reflects what we all think.”

Look for a revisit on March 19 , “if not sooner.”

For additional background, click here and here.


Update on Resolution Opposing Implementation of I-1639

Miss your chance to chime in on the resolution opposing the implementation of I-1639 in Grays Harbor?

Not to fret. The resolution was tabled at this afternoon’s 1:00 p.m. meeting per Commissioner Cormier’s absence due to illness. So you can still weigh in at next Tuesday’s meeting.

Resolution Opposing I-1639

By the way: Washington Sheriffs Pledge Not to Enforce Gun Control Law:

Three more Eastern Washington sheriffs said Monday they will not enforce a state gun-control law that voters passed in November.

The sheriffs in Grant, Lincoln and Okanogan counties joined at least seven other county sheriffs who previously pledged to ignore Initiative 1639, which adds requirements on gun storage and background checks and raises the minimum age to purchase semi-automatic assault rifles.

The sheriffs said they’ll wait to see if the initiative survives legal challenges brought by the National Rifle Association and other groups.

The Cowlitz County Board of Commissioners has also resolved to oppose I-1639.

Only one person weighed in on the proposed resolution regarding this badly flawed initiative at today’s meeting. Speaking in support of the resolution, she was pretty good once she figured out the difference between “Public Hearing” and “Public Comment.” Chalk that up to brain freeze.

With temps skimming the upper thirties in Montesano, there’s still snow on the ground. I’m now nicely thawed, thank you very much.

What’s it like in your neck of the woods?

GH Commissioners to Take Up Resolution Opposing I-1639

I received an email from Commissioner Vickie Raines today regarding I-1639. Remember that one? The stupid on steroids initiative passed by the I-5/Seattle corridor and crammed down the rest of our throats? Commissioner Raines explained that she has asked that a resolution opposing the implementation of I-1639 be added to the Commission’s agenda for Tuesday, February 5, at 1:00 p.m.

Here’s the preamble:

Resolution opposing implementation of Washington State Initiative I-1639, or any trailer bill or any bill similar thereto which restricts the Individual rights of United States Citizens as protected by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution or Art. I, Section 24 of the Washington State Constitution.

Here’s the full text of the resolution:

WHEREAS, the Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms is guaranteed as an Individual Right under the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and under Article I, Section 24 of the Constitution of the State of Washington; and

WHEREAS, the Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms for defense of Life, Liberty, and Property is regarded as an Inalienable Right by the residents of Grays Harbor County, Washington, and:

WHEREAS, the residents of Grays Harbor County derive economic benefit from all safe forms of firearms recreation, hunting, and shooting conducted within the County using all types of firearms allowable under federal and state constitutions; and

WHEREAS, any provision or application of I-1639, and any trailer bill, or any bill similar thereto, which restricts the individual rights of United States Citizens as protected by the United States Constitution and the Washington State Constitution will create economic hardship on lawfully owned and operated, small business firearm dealerships; will create undue burdens and price increases on persons to lawfully purchase firearms; will have a direct negative impact on local economies through job loss and sales tax loss; will create a layer of burdensome, troublesome and unlawful governmental regulation; and

WHEREAS, Grays Harbor County Board of Commissioners, being elected to represent the residents of Grays Harbor County and being duly sworn by their Oath of Office to uphold the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Washington, including, but not limited to the protection of a lawful Right to Keep and Bear Arms, for defense of Life, Liberty and Property, and for safe forms of firearms recreation, hunting and shooting conducted within Grays Harbor County, Washington;

NOW, THEREFORE, IT BE AND IS HEREBY RESOLVED that the Grays Harbor County Board of Commissioners does hereby oppose the implementation of I-1639 or the enactment of any legislation that would infringe upon the lawful rights of its residents to Keep and Bear Arms, and would consider such laws to be unconstitutional and beyond lawful application of its legislative and governance authority or duties.

Done in open session, this ______ day of February, 2019


Randy Ross, Chairman

Wes Cormier, Commissioner
Vickie L. Raines, Commissioner
Jenna Amsbury, Clerk of the Board

Here’s the resolution’s full text in PDF: Resolution Opposing I-1639
Time to stand up to Seattle.
Time to stand up for our rights.
This resolution should pass, 3 to 0.

Oops! Local Media Errs in Some County Commission Meeting Reportage

I sometimes attend local events or meetings along with members of the local media. Most of these folks are pretty personable and likeable. Some are even fun. But after reading some local press accounts of a meeting or event I attended in person, I sometimes wonder if these peeps were in the same zip code as I was. Dan Hammock’s July 30 recap of Monday’s County Commission meeting is a case in point.

Here’s the link to Hammock’s story: Commissioners Again Shoot Down Attempt to Open Union Negotiations To The Public as it appeared in the electronic version of The Daily World.

I was especially interested in this paragraph:

“The Freedom Foundation, a non-profit “think tank” that supports transparency in union/government negotiations, supported Cormier’s resolution and argued against the notion that opening union negotiations to the public would not stand up to legal challenges and to those who called the resolution a union-busting tool. He said his organization performed a statewide poll and said the results were overwhelmingly in favor of the resolution, to the tune of 90 percent.”

There are at least three errors or distortions in this one paragraph:

First, saying “his organization” performed a statewide poll is misleading. It’s also inaccurate. In truth, the Freedom Foundation commissioned a non-partisan, “independent public opinion poll in October 2017” on the topic. Also, how come Hammock didn’t identify the speaker as Mr. Matt Hayward, Outreach Director for the Freedom Foundation?

It took me about three mouse clicks to find this info. I’m pretty sure your average middle schooler could do likewise.

Additionally, I spent about three minutes reaching out to Mr. Hayward post-meeting. He kindly supplied additional info. on the poll via email later. He even forwarded a copy of the actual Elway Poll. All I had to do was ask. Hello?

Second, Hayward didn’t say poll results were “overwhelmingly in favor of the resolution,” but in favor of increased transparency per negotiations between government agencies and labor unions. See the diff? For more, see: Washingtonians Overwhelmingly Want Transparency.

Third, Hayward didn’t say poll results were “90 percent” in favor of increased transparency, as erroneously reported by Hammock. The figure Hayward actually cited was about “70 percent.” This was obvious to anyone in the meeting who was paying attention.

Here’s a link to the video: July 30 Commissioner’s Meeting. Mr. Hayward’s comments start at about 20:10 and go to about 22:40.

What’re the odds of a retraction/correction? Yeah. That’s what I think, too.

P.S.: This just in from the Grays Harbor Democrats:

Speaking of the county commissioners, you probably heard that a Republican commissioner placed a motion forward to negotiate publicly with county employees. This was his third attempt. With a room packed with labor, it died a third time for lack of a second. Labor was heard!

Too bad your average taxpayer and non-unionistas weren’t. But they were probably at work.


Photo credit

Transparency in Collective Bargaining Reso Dies


A transparency in collective bargaining resolution bit the dust at today’s afternoon meeting of the Grays Harbor County Commissioners. Brought forward by Commissioner Wes Cormier, the resolution failed for lack of a second at today’s afternoon meeting.

Today’s reso echoed two prior resolutions to conduct “all collective bargaining contract negotiations in a manner that is open to the public” and “provide public notice of all collective bargaining negotiations in accordance with the Open Public Meetings Act.”

Commissioner Wes Cormier brought forward similar resolutions in April 2015 and January 2017. Both were shot down when fellow commishes didn’t sign on to the proposals. Here’s some back story:

From April 2015: Collective Bargaining, Warts on a Toad, & Secret Agent Decoder Rings.

From January 2017Running for the Tall Grass on Collective Bargaining.

In a July 28 Facebook post on the topic, Commissioner Raines writes, “I want to be very clear — my position on this topic has NOT changed, I continue to support CLOSED union negotiations.” Here’s the screenshot:

During today’s morning meeting, Commissioner Raines expressed surprise and frustration about the resolution being placed on today’s agenda “with no warning or conversation about it within the last year.”

Continue reading “Transparency in Collective Bargaining Reso Dies”

Commissioner Vickie Raines Announces Re-Election Bid

Grays Harbor County Commissioner Vickie Raines will be running for re-election. The press release formally announcing Raines’ plans to run for re-election was received earlier today.

Featuring the words Solving Problems – Managing Limited Resources – Developing Partnerships for our Future, the March 13 announcement says Raines is very proud of “some specific projects and collaborative achievements we have experienced in the last three years.” Achievements cited include:

  • A more balanced budget
  • Felony drug court
  • Dedicated funding for criminal justice
  • North Beach sewage treatment improvements
  • Ongoing flood and mitigation and reduction projects “that significantly affect not only Grays Harbor, but the entire Chehalis River Basin.”

Raines notes that while she’s “proud of our accomplishments so far, there is still much work to be done.” That includes industrial development, new infrastructure and employment opportunities. “I continue to be an active part of these collaborative efforts to strengthen our communities,” she adds, concluding with:

Thank you for allowing me to serve as your representative on important issues that impact our future. It has been an honor and a privilege. With your continued support, I formally announce my intent to run for re-election as your District 3 Commissioner. I will keep working hard, for you and with you. I will continue to be your voice, as we work together to strengthen our County, our communities and our citizens.

Raines bested three opponents, all men, in a hotly contested 2014 race. She was sworn in to her four-year term in January 2015.


For additional info., see: Vickie Raines Grays Harbor County Commissioner, District 3.

State Legislator$ Talk $, ‘Vexacious’ at County 

Money, money, money, money was a recurring theme at this afternoon’s Legislative Summit in Montesano. The 90-minute discussion touched on a wide range of local issues from capital budget requests (hi, third courtroom project) to “vexacious” public record requestors to unfunded mandates coming down from the state and smacking the stuffing out of small rural counties like Grays Harbor.

The meeting, which was cordial, included state legislators from the 19th and 24th legislative districts and Grays Harbor County Commissioners Wes Cormier, Vickie Raines, and Randy Ross.  Legislators in attendance were Sen. Kevin Van de Wege(D-19), Reps. Brian Blake (D-19), Mike Chapman (D-24), and Jim Walsh (R-19). Sen. Dean Takko and Rep. Steve Tharinger were not present.

Commissioner Cormier opened the discussion with introductions. He asked each legislator to give a quick one to two minute round up of their expectations for the next legislative session which begins in January.

Continue reading “State Legislator$ Talk $, ‘Vexacious’ at County “