Wally Wonders Why No editor, no publisher, you get what you get

June 13, 2011

2011 Election Season

Update: Instead of continuing to update this post, I’ve added a page for the 2011 Elections and will update that as my positions evolve.

As of Friday the candidate filings are closed, so they’re off and running.  The Herald has covered the filings both in the news and in their politics blog.   In turn, the Whatcom Democrats have also  covered the Herald politics blog with a layer of partisan comments from some of their officers.  On Saturday the Whatcom GOP had their first endorsement of the season, with their  endorsement of Sen. Doug Erickson’s for County Executive.

It may seem contrary to the somewhat political nature of this blog, but I really don’t find it much fun to speculate about who will file and why.  I don’t find fantasy football of any interest either.  But now that the dust has settled for the moment, I did go through a quick assessment of where I stand at this moment on some of the more important races.

UPDATE: I’ll just keep updating this post as things move along and I learn more about each candidate.

Whatcom County Executive

  • Jack Louws  – I’ve heard good things, but right now its difficult to think of a better candidate than Sen. Ericksen
  • Smile Doug Ericksen – Doug has represented us well for years in Olympia and I’m all for him now working at home to make this a better area to live.
  • Tom Anderson – Don’t know anything at this point.
  • Sad smile David Stalheim – So in the last 4-5 years he left a community development job for the city of Wenatchee, for a community development job for the city of Ashland, which he left for a job as Whatcom County Planning Director, which he left for a job with the City of Bellingham as Planning & Community Development director and shortly thereafter sues his former employer Whatcom County for problems with their planning.  Now he want’s to quit with Bellingham to become the executive of the county he is sued?  ROFLMAO, oh and no.

Whatcom County Council District 1, Position B

  1. Smile Tony Larson – I find Tony to be an independent, level headed guy who has given a lot to this community.  I see him asking all the right questions rather than just rubber stamping status quo.    I supported him before and especially after seeing him in action, I’ll do it again.
  2. Pete Kremen  – I’m not really sure why he’s running yet ????

Whatcom County Council District 2, Position B

  • Smile Sam Crawford – I like what I see of his values and he has thus far shown he is more than up to the challenges of the position he has had for more than a few years.  He’s a keeper.
  • Sad smile Christina Maginnis – Our county already throws way too much of our money towards stormwater issues and Lake Whatcom without much in the way of results.    Having a DOE water quality expert on the council seems a bit like voting to have someone beat your head against a wall.

Whatcom County Council District 3, Position B

  • Barbara Brenner – I like watching her on the council because like Tony Larson, she is always asking good questions.  I don’t get the impression from her that she has already made up her mind on things, like I do from a couple of the other council members
  • Alan Black – don’t know much yet.

Whatcom County Treasurer

  • Smile Brian Smith –  So I had a chance to meet Brian today and I can report that the good things I had heard were all true.   His qualifications to handle county finances were definitely there and he struck me as someone who would take his duty as a servant to the people of Whatcom County very seriously.
  • Sad smile Steven Oliver – Well, I haven’t met our current treasurer either, but I’ve suspected in the past, that he was playing politics while at work and I just can’t vote for someone to watch the bank accounts that I have a shady/slippery feeling about.

Whatcom County Auditor

  • J. Lynne Walker  – don’t know much about her yet.
  • Debbie Adelstein – don’t know much about her yet either

Whatcom County Sheriff

  • Steve Harris – perhaps someday he’ll have half the experience of Sherriff Elfo.
  • Bob Taylor – perhaps someday he’ll half the experience also.
  • Smile Bill Elfo – What can I say, we live in a county that borders another nation and there is a lot of potential for crimes due to our location.   He’s been the tough but fair Sheriff that we need.

Bellingham Mayor – I don’t live in Bellingham, but Bellingham is such a large part of Whatcom County that what happens there has significant effects on all of us.  If they raise taxes we pay when we shop.  The more unfriendly they make it for people to live and work in the city, the more sprawl is encouraged.

  • Sad smile Kelli Linville – She lost her 42nd district State Rep gig to Vince Buys primarily due to her over spending issues.  I haven’t heard that she has mended her ways, so I don’t see supporting her doing the same in Bellingham.  If Bellingham over spends like our state has for the last few decades, the money will be coming out or your pocket whether you live in Bellingham or not.
  • Sad smile Dan Pike – Too bad I couldn’t bold the frowny.   As I’ve brought up numerous times here in this blog, Dan Pike has such a gift for taking money away from others that he really had only two career paths, criminal or liberal leaning politician.  I’ve never heard of him passing on a chance to take from taxpayers, so there is no way in Hellingbam that I’d give him an ounce of support.
  • Clayton Petree – Ok, he rides a bike, but so does the current mayor, so no decision yet.  Much more to learn here.
  • Steve Moore – don’t know much yet.

I’ll add more when I have had more time to think on the mayor races and a couple of other positions.  I’ll also be  adding or adjusting the smileys and frownies as I learn more about the candidates.

January 24, 2010

So far, so good

Filed under: Local Issue — Tags: , , , , — wally @ 8:44 am

Even though it’s been only a few weeks with the new mix on the Whatcom County Council, I’m already feeling a bit of lightening in the burden of big government that we all carry.  Not that any major taxes or rules have been repealed as of yet, but at least now I feel it is a real possibility and that is good enough to put a little giddy up in my step.  And that’s enough of a giddy up to get a chuckle out of the Laurel and Hardy partisan attacks coming from the Whatcom Democrats.

First there is the idiotic, and probably still ongoing, attempt to force County Executive Kremen to appoint someone who is not Ward Nelson to fill a recently vacated seat.

“consider how polarizing it would be if in the aftermath of a controversial vote by the County Council, someone challenged the validity of that vote.  This would strike at the very core of the Council’s legitimacy to govern.”

letter from Herald Politics Blog

For all practicality, that statement by the Whatcom Democrats could stand as a definition of a thinly veiled threat.  You know, if you don’t do what I want then “someone” might get hurt.  Why not just go real mafia on Pete Kremen and send a couple of guys in suits to visit his kids on the playground?

Second idiotic came last week when Sam Crawford had the unmitigated gall to suggest cutting property taxes by roughly $9 per year for the average home.  You might want to reread that sentence.  That was cutting, not adding to our tax burden.   His suggestion was outlined in a Herald article Crawford: Repeal property tax increase for water project funding.  In a nut shell,

280 water-related projects estimated to cost between $150 million and $200 million

Not all of those projects will get done, and county staff told the council they’d like them to work to cull perhaps the bottom third of the hundreds of projects…because they’re too specific to one piece of private property or they’re not affordable.

if the council repealed the tax increase, which generated about $940,000 for the flood fund to pay for water-related projects, the county still has a “tremendous amount of money.”

So what I’m reading is that the Council will be looking dropping a recently approved tax increase of <$1 million that was to help fund up to $200 million in projects, of which 1/3 of them won’t be done.   If the council doesn’t repeal this, it would be like the cable company raising your rates because they say they will add channels, but then dropping 1/3 of the channels instead, and still leaving you to pay the higher rates.   That all may make sense to many of us, but to many others ‘round these parts cuttin’ taxes…why them is fightin’ words.  And so the recently revitalized Whatcom Democrat attack machine has been called into action.  Here’s their view.

Sam Crawford’s proposal to eliminate funding for over 280 water related projects.

Crawford is reckless and shortsighted

Crawford feels a need to gamble with our safety

gutting of essential efforts to protect our natural resources, people and property from disasters.

Anyone who knows Sam Crawford has got to find humor in those comments, but hold your laughter until the end because here’s more of their view/attack that carries over into the Herald Blog with a comment by their Communications Committee Chair who,

… strongly urge[s] everyone to contact Sam Crawford and let him know what you think of him putting our county in danger.

And besides the hyperbolic humor in those outlandish claims, they offer a little Ronco slice and dice humor in their claims of what $9 will buy

… protect clean drinking water

…protect school kids

but wait there’s more.  Your $9 a year will

…prevent natural disasters.

Wow for only $9 I can protect school kids and prevent natural disasters?  If only I could pay that in two easy payments :)   If nothing else, the new talent at the Whatcom Democrats is funny.   Feel free to laugh now, I am.

In closing, I’ll just I say so far, so good with our new mix on the Whatcom County Council.

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