The appointed Skagit County Planning Commission (PC) wields considerable power in land use planning decisions that affect everyone in the county. Who are the Planning Commissioners? How are they appointed? Do they represent the people of Skagit?
This was our first documented experience of possible climate change impacts to our communities. Increased storm intensity, minor sea level rise in combination with a high tide created this unexpected event.
Affordable housing has become a core economic issue for communities throughout our country. For Washington State (and many other communities), it is not a singular issue and has many complex elements.
The Covid-19 pandemic is a global tragedy, from Skagit County to County Cork, from Kolkata to Kenya. In response, a multiplicity of strict national and regional rules have arisen all over the world. We have no choice. The alternative is sickness and death. Fortunately …
In 2019, Home Rule Skagit, a local organization working for transparency, accountability, and broader representation in Skagit County government made Public Records Requests to look at particular County records related to the campaign they had conducted in 2018. In response to their first request, the 732 documents received from Skagit County Public Information Officer Cori Russell were almost completely blacked out, sometimes including the dates. In response to a second request, 7.128 gigabytes of information were turned over having little to do with the materials requested. What is going on?
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.