When elected leaders choose to avoid transparency and deny citizen involvement, we need to ask why. An important recent example illustrates this too familiar pattern in Skagit County government. This year, the crucial job of County Administrator was filled without the opportunity for residents to hear from the candidates, learn about them, or share with our County Commissioners ideas about a position that affects us all. We’re once again left with the impression that the Commissioners prefer the people of Skagit County just quietly pay their county taxes and then show no interest in government. Why is the County Administrator position important to all Skagit residents? Read on.
Why, when residents had worked with County Planning Department staff at the direction of the Commissioners for three years, and after the Planning Department had repeatedly recommended that the Commissioners adopt the zoning changes, did the Commissioners fail to do so?
Many people who live in cities and towns are confused about whether county government matters to them. After all, city residents have their own city services. What does county government do for them?
Recently, the Avalon Golf Course owners under the name, Skagit Partners, LLC, withdrew their proposal for a 1,000-unit residential development adjacent to the golf course. This is the third year in row that they have tried to propose this project. It was turned down in the first two years.
In January 2018 Skagit County Commissioners signed an agreement with an outfit called Naphcare. Naphcare’s job, as laid out in a thirty-four page contract, is to provide comprehensive health care at the new jail. However, in a field known for bad actors – companies who provide for-profit medical care to correctional facilities – Naphcare stands out as one of the worst.
On May 30, 2019, for the first time in county history, a lobbyist contracted with Skagit County gave an on-camera report to the Board of Commissioners and members of the public about their lobbying efforts during the Washington State legislative session. How did this come about?