MINUTES
North Mason Community Voice
7/25/2011

Board: Linnie Griffin, Jack Kimball, Margie Benson, Kaye Massie, Ken VanBuskirk, Greg Waggett, Jim Clark, Valerie McLeod, Bonnie Pope

Directors not present: Lee Swoboda, Judy Scott

Audience: 50

The business meeting was called to order at 7 PM by Chair Linnie Griffin, with a quorum of the Board present.

The Pledge of Allegiance was said.

BUSINESS MEETING

Secretary's Report

• There were no additions or corrections to the June 27 minutes, which were distributed to the membership via email. A motion was made to approve the minutes as written. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.

Treasurer's Report - Jack Kimball

• All bills are paid and there is $1,829.23 in the bank account.

• Greg Waggett reported that the books had been audited and no errors were found. He will submit a written report for the record.

Public Information Officer (PIO) Report - Ken VanBuskirk

Several items of interest reported; the report will be distributed to the membership.

Business meeting adjourned.

INFORMATIONAL MEETING

Randy Neatherlin was given time to speak about the Belfair sewer project. Currently the cost of the sewer system for Belfair is close to $50 million with only a projected 250 customers. However, the manufactured home park is not required to hook up, reducing the customer base by 50. The cost to hook up will force some businesses to close. Since Belfair sewer payments go straight to the county, it seems the county should be willing to assume some responsibility for the debt.

Current rate projections are as high as $180 per month. If the debt can be reduced, payments could be less. One alternative would be to jump to Phase 3, which would bring businesses to the north end of Belfair on the hill instead of pursuing Phase 2, which would only add an additional 130 residential customers.

The current stated ERU rate is 135 gallons per day. That is not a competitive rate with other communities.

Randy asked the NMCV to join other community and business groups who are asking the county to consider alternatives to its current plan.

MOTION: Valerie moved to support a previously proposed letter regarding the Belfair wastewater and sewer project and, in addition, ask the county to assume $2 million of debt (preferably out of the '09 monies); change the ERU rate to a more competitive rate with surrounding communities (preferably 200 to 230 gallons per ERU); avoid assuming more debt by changing the priority from Phase 2 residential to Phase 3 commercial to provide the greatest opportunity to spread future costs among more potential users, and endeavor to find low interest loans for people who cannot afford hookup fees. The motion was passed by the Board with one opposing vote.

Dissenting comments attached as required by Section 7.11 of the NMCV Bylaws.

Guest Speaker

The guest speaker was Melody Peterson, Mason County Assessor (http://www.co.mason.wa.us/assessor/index.php). She, along with two of her staff, Appraiser Mary Newhall and Office Administrator Diana Burch, discussed the functions and responsibilities of the assessor’s office.
State law requires that real property be assessed at its actual value. Mason County currently uses a 4-year revaluation cycle; therefore appraisals done in 2010 for the 2011 tax year were looking at 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 when values were high. The state has approved the Assessor’s plan to implement yearly assessments beginning next year and showing up on tax statements in 2013.
There was discussion about how levy rates are determined. The county uses budget-based accounting, which means levy rates are determined based on the budgets turned in by the various districts within the county (such as fire districts, school districts, etc.)
A handout provided by the Assessor may also be viewed here: http://dor.wa.gov/docs/pubs/prop_tax/homeown.pdf.

CANDIDATES’ FORUM

The Chair, Linnie Griffin, asked everyone to introduce themselves. Afterwards, she handed the gavel over to Vice Chair Greg Waggett to preside over the candidates’ forum segment since she is also running for a public office.

The candidates introduced themselves and answered questions from the audience.

Mason County Hospital District 2

Tommy Thombs (running unopposed)

Port of Allyn Commissioner District #2 (6-year term):

Jean Farmer, incumbent

Barry Fischer

Danielle Skeeters-Lindsey

Belfair Water Commissioner Position #3 (6-year term):

Lynn Stevenson

Linnie Griffin

(John Phillips is not running an active campaign and did not attend)

Belfair Water Commissioner Position #2 (2-year unexpired term):

Jack Kimball

(The other candidate, Jill Satran-Loudin, did not attend)

After the forum, the gavel was returned to the Chair.

NEW BUSINESS/FOR THE GOOD OF THE ORDER

Reminder of barbeque and potluck next month, which will be on Monday, August 29 instead of the usual 4th Monday of the month. It starts at 5:30 PM and is open to the community. Meats and drinks will be provided. Bring a side dish or dessert and a lawn chair.

Meeting adjourned at 8:54 PM.

Submitted by Secretary Lee Swoboda. Approved by the NMCV Board 9/26/2011

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PIO report for July 25, 2011
Ken VanBuskirk, Public Information Officer, North Mason Community Voice

Follow-up on several meetings I've attended in the last month:

I would encourage all of you who have an interest in any matter whether it is the sewer or the Celtic Festival to drop our County Commissioners an email or pick up the phone and let them know what's on your mind.

Planning Advisory Commission heard the matter of the rezone of Christopherson property by Westbay Auto and the Post office from residential to mixed use. Rezone was approved with strong recommendations that the County considers ongoing issues with traffic and storm water. I would encourage all of you who have an interest to drop our County Commissioners an email before they hear the matter.

Transportation Advisory Commission, several residents attended and commented on issues. Two letters regarding Elfendahl Pass Road repair were distributed to committee. I'd like to say that you do make a difference!

July 27: Upcoming forum 7 PM Wednesday, July 27th at the Theler Community Center. Focus will be the races for Belfair Water District Commissioner and the Port of Allyn Commission. I see several of those candidates here this evening.

August 2: Board of County Commissioners will be holding another public meeting on August 2nd regarding sewer rates.

August 23: Board of County Commissioners will be holding another public meeting regarding the Riverhill/Bluestar annexation on August 23rd.

Several years ago, Randy Neatherlin, Bob Harris and I went before the Mason County Commissioners and asked if they would consider meeting in North Mason. I feel the fifth Tuesday meeting was and continues to be successful. This VOICE group is dedicated to education and voter awareness. I am concerned with the disrespectful tone of several commenters at the last special meeting held in Belfair and again at the Commissioner meeting last Tuesday in Shelton.

We have invited some special guests this evening because you asked. I know that Assessor Melody Peterson is a VOICE member. I hope you join me in welcoming her and her staff to our meeting and treat them with the same respect that you would all of our members and other elected officials.

ADDENDUM TO PIO REPORT

Belfair SR-3 widening project update

July 2011

The project will extend the center turn lane and provide paved shoulders and sidewalks on both sides of SR 3. Based on funding availability and estimated costs, the improvements are intended to be conducted in two stages.

Stage 1 of the project will include from milepost 25.36 (just south of Belfair Elementary School and Theler Center) to milepost 27.08 (Ridge Point Blvd.) Current project funding is adequate to complete this stage based on current estimates.

Stage 2 of the project will include from milepost 24.91 (intersection with SR 106) to milepost 25.36 (just south of Belfair Elementary and Theler Center.) Additional funding will be needed to conduct this stage.

This staging of the project improvements must be approved by the Legislature in 2012. In addition effective August 1, the new WSDOT Project Engineer will be Steve Fuchs. His contact information is as follows - phone - 360-570-6664, and e-mail - fuchsS@wsdot.wa.gov

Ken VanBuskirk

PIO NM Community Voice

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Question to WSDOT Project Engineer Steve Fuchs: Do you mean Stage 2 of the project improvements must be approved by the Legislature in 2012 before it can proceed?

From Steve Fuchs, Project Manager: The funding that is approved for this project was previously approved by the Legislature with a defined scope to widen SR 3 from SR 106 to NE Belfair St. to include the two-way left turn lane and sidewalks as Stage 1. As we have progressed through our preliminary design, we have better information that has led us to propose a different staging than what is currently approved. Of course we have good justification for why we are proposing a different staging and this information will be provided to the Legislature. We are fairly confident that this revision to the staging will be approved, but we cannot be 100% confident until the session is over and a new transportation budget is approved. Hope this helps.

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Subject: Attachment to the July 25, 2011 meeting minutes
From: Lee Swoboda

The following comments refer to the motion passed at the July 25, 2011 meeting by the Board to send a communication to the County Commissioners regarding the implementation of the Belfair sewer project.
NMCV
Bylaws Section 7.8 requires that "[a]ll news releases, informational advertising and other information released to the media must be approved prior to public dissemination; approval may be by a vote of the majority of members at a regular business meeting or by concurrence through membership-wide e-mail. [Emphasis added] The motion was passed by the Board rather than the members present at the meeting.
More importantly, the motion violates the spirit of NMCV. Unlike other similar organizations NMCV was designed to be "bottom up," allowing the members to control the direction of the organization rather than the Board. This is why the Bylaws in Section 7.6 require that "[e]xcept for actions exclusively reserved for Board purview by law or these Bylaws, the quorum of members shall be allowed to participate with the Board in the motion and voting process." This provision is intended to give NMCV members a maximum "voice" in the direction of the organization. The motion was passed with no indication of member discussion.
Section 7.10 requires that "[a]dvocacy of a particular position or viewpoint by NMCV on any issue must provide a sufficiently full and fair exposition of pertinent facts to permit an individual or the public to form an independent opinion or conclusion." The motion was passed without a thorough examination the pertinent facts that would have resulted from a discussion of the motion by members.
Consequently, the motion to send a communication to the County Commissioners regarding the Belfair sewer ordinance violates NMCV
Bylaws Sections 7.6, 7.8 and 7.10 and was an improperly executed motion.
Please include this statement with the approved minutes for the July 25, 2011, meeting as a dissenting view as required by Section 7.11 of the
Bylaws.
Lee Swoboda