For Skagit citizens who watched the Planning Commission’s (PC) controversies in 2021 unfold, it seemed it was bound to happen. The new rewrite of PC bylaws enshrines the PC’s power to censure their members. That power was not included in their bylaws when they actually did severely reprimand one of their members through censure in 2021 before they gave themselves the authority to do so.
Native Americans from the Skagit Valley and surrounding areas have relied on the native elk population for food and cultural sustenance for thousands of years. When European settlers arrived here, they marveled at the abundant wildlife, including elk, that inhabited the landscape.
A series of puzzling, and at times controversial, decisions and actions by the Skagit County Planning Commission led to a push for more transparency from County Commissioners regarding the process of Planning Commissioner appointments. A group of Skagit citizens from Home Rule Skagit, as well as local Good Government advocates, are behind that push. There have been small successes in this process, but more needs to be done. At a time when issues of growth are so crucial, the Planning Commission often seems to be in the driver’s seat of the county’s future.
Skagit County, Swinomish, and La Conner began to address the impacts of climate change in the mid-2000s. Each took a different approach. What became of those efforts?
The Planning Commission plays a fundamental role in land use planning in Skagit County. But many county residents are unfamiliar with that role and with the series of misguided recommendations the Planning Commission has made – and the Board of County Commissioners has summarily accepted – over the past decade.
In 2020, Secretary of the Interior, energy industry lobbyist David Bernhardt, reversed his predecssor Zinke and ended a years long process to restore grizzly bears to the North Cascades. The Skagit County Commissioners once again joined commissioners in several other counties to oppose implementing the Endangered Species Act. For now, planning to restore the grizzly bear to the North Cascade Ecosystem has been halted.
As we open our ballots and ponder who should get our valuable vote we should spend a bit of time exploring a free resource at our fingertips, the Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) website https://www.pdc.wa.gov/. The PDC is a state agency that houses the information candidates and political committees are required to report about donations to their campaigns and how they have spent the funds.
The brutal beating of a Skagit youth in Sedro Woolley on March 21, 2020 was reported by the Skagit Valley Herald and Skagit Breaking. What follows below are three perspectives of Skagit residents regarding Skagit County Prosecutor Rich Weyrich’s failure to charge the beating as a hate crime.