A massive ferry fare increase threatens farming, working families on Guemes Island. Islanders are shocked that 100 years of ferry service, and decades of including the Island’s Ferry Committee in setting fare rates have suddenly changed. They worry that transportation costs they can afford are in jeopardy.
What is the Framework Agreement?
by Kirk Johnson The Framework Agreement was adopted in 2002 by Skagit County and the cities of Anacortes, Burlington, Mount Vernon, and Sedro-Woolley, and the…
Skagit Planning Commission: Do They Represent the People of Skagit?
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?
Recognizing Climate Change in Skagit County Now: Are We Ready? – Part I
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.
First Steps to Fix Skagit County’s Housing Crisis
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.
Global Crises in the Skagit
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 …
Public Records Requests to Skagit County yield blackout and then deluge of irrelevant data
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?
A Missed Opportunity
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.
Power and money trump residents’ efforts to protect South Fidalgo?
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?
Everyone in Skagit County pays for Skagit County Government
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?