MINUTES

NORTH MASON COMMUNITY VOICE

AUGUST 17, 2009

Meeting called to order at 7:09 PM by Chair Lee Swoboda in the parking lot at the Belfair Masonic Lodge.

Board of Directors present: Lee Swoboda, Ralph Lartz, Jack Kimball, Linnie Griffin, Ken VanBuskirk, Margie Benson, Jacquelyn Mastel, Kaye Massie, Judy Scott, Randy Neatherlin, Jim Clark

Attendees: 50

The Pledge of Allegiance was said and all attendees introduced themselves.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS ACTIONS

The minutes of the July 20 meeting were read and a motion was made by Randy to accept the minutes as read. The Motion was seconded and passed unanimously by voice vote.

Treasurer's Report:

Jim Clark reported there is $993.33 in the checking account and all bills have been paid.

PIO Report by Ken VanBuskirk:

Two long-time Belfair residents passed away recently: Flossie Cady and Garlan Crosswhite.

Over 70 contractors are considering the sewer project in Belfair.

2,100 acres owned by Pope Resources are now permanently protected by the Cascade Land Conservancy. The owner can still log the property.

Hood Canal dissolved oxygen program. There is disagreement among scientists as to what's causing the problem.

Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group is seeking a grant to breach and flood 40 acres of the property known as the Johnson Farm.

Pacific Northwest Salmon Center had a special use permit hearing last week. They now have a sustainable farm plan.

Mason County Weed Board is looking for volunteers to help with knotweed control

Lee thanked Ralph for running the meeting last month.

Linnie was thanked for organizing this month's BBQ, which had lots of delicious food and great community fellowship.

Lee reported that NMCV needs to renew its standing with the Secretary of State ($10 fee). He will fill out the paperwork and return it. He also said post office box dues are due ($56 annual fee).

Randy moved to authorize payment of these bills and permit the Chair to complete and submit paperwork to the Secretary of State. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously by voice vote.

The business meeting was adjourned at 7:18 PM.

GUEST SPEAKER

Tim Sheldon, County Commissioner and State Senator, gave an update:

There are money problems in county government. Sales tax will probably be down 15-20% this year. Timber tax is down. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) timber sales are very low. Investment income is way down.

There probably won't be a quick recovery to this recession. If people don't see log trucks on Mason County highways, the county isn't making money.

There is a good chance an alternative energy company will be making its home in Mason County. It could make a $250 million investment and bring 450 jobs.

The Belfair sewer project has $31 million in grant money. There has been a lot of interest by contractors in this bid. Once the Belfair Urban Growth Area (UGA) is sewered, businesses will start taking an interest in being here.

The county is spending too much money. Next year's budget will be at $25 million. State law says counties cannot spend more than they make.

Commissioner Lynda Ring Erickson has been absent without leave. Per RCW 36.16.125 the other two commissioners could have her removed after 30 consecutive days of absence.

With only two commissioners, there are tie votes on some motions. RCW 36.32.130 says the vote must be postponed until the next commission meeting.

Mason County is a highly unionized county, with 12 unions to deal with.

In Commissioner Sheldon's opinion, Initiative 1033 will put Mason County in permanent recession if it is approved in November by "freezing" the current economic condition.

POLITICAL CANDIDATES

Although Greg Waggett was ruled ineligible to run for Belfair Water District commissioner because the Romance Hill Road area was never annexed to the water district, he was allowed a few minutes to offer his perspective.

Tommy Thombs, incumbent commissioner for Fire District 8 in Tahuya who is up for re-election, introduced himself.

John Pate is running against Thombs for Fire District 8 commissioner. He introduced himself and said, "It's the people's fire district and they should have a say."

Danielle Skeeters, running for North Mason school board, District 5, introduced herself.

Judy Scott, incumbent commissioner for the Port of Allyn who is up for re-election, introduced herself.

Ken VanBuskirk spoke for Peggy VanBuskirk who is running for re-election to the Hospital District 2 commission.

NEW BUSINESS

Discussion about having a candidates' forum at the October meeting. Mary Swoboda, Ken VanBuskirk and Randy Neatherlin volunteered to be on a committee.

UPCOMING MEETINGS

None reported.

MEETING REPORTS

Judy Scott reported that the tribes' "Canoe Journey 2009" made a stop at the Allyn Waterfront Park.

Valerie McLeod reported that 5,500 women ran a triathlon in the Danskin Run in Seattle.

Frank Kenny (North Mason Chamber) reported that grants from various funding sources are helping create an Olympic Peninsula Culinary Loop and will promote good restaurants and wineries along the way.

Margie Benson reported that the Mason County Sheriff's office is still looking for donations for a tracking dog.

Margie also said Fire District 8 in Tahuya will have a levy on the ballot in November.

Linnie Griffin reported there will be a "Go To Jail" fundraiser for the North Mason Cancer Crusaders on September 18. The money will go to Fred Hutchinson cancer research.

A Motion to adjourn was made by Randy Neatherlin. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously by voice vote.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:18 P.M.

Submitted by Linnie Griffin, Secretary. Approved by NMCV Board 9/21/2009.