Last night, the Whatcom County Council held their first meeting. Right after new chair Kathy Kershner gaveled the meeting open, Sam Crawford made a brief presentation where he handed out awards of appreciation to Shirley Forslof (our retired County Auditor who served for the last 20-some years) and Pete Kremen for his 16 years of service as County Executive. Crawford said, “He left some big shoes to fill. He might be short of stature but he wears size fourteen’s”.
After that bit of joshing around, Kershner indicated that Knutzen would be her vice-chair and then passed the microphone over to Jack Louws who talked about his goals for the upcoming year. He mentioned his father, the first county executive of Whatcom and brought up many of the issues from the campaign trail. As he wrapped up, Pete Kremen offered that he is “glad that they selected (Jack Louws) to fill my SIZE EIGHT shoes.”
For the public comment period, the most compelling speech was right off the bat by Bob Burr. Burr decried his recent stay at the County Jail because “our answer to the question of whose railroad tracks was ‘our tracks’“. He said the county was ripe for a wrongful death lawsuit, as he describe the various difficulties there when he was denied being able to take his medication or have the proper equipment to keep his body functioning. He pleaded with the Council to repair the situation with the Jail as soon as possible.
There was a smattering of other public comments. Someone called out Kathy Kershner for insulting the Cascadia Weekly at the last meeting, someone urged our nation not to charge interest. Two people asked the County Council to appoint Shane Roth to the planning commission (spoilers: he didn’t get appointed). In short, it was the usual hum of a council meeting.
The members seemed to be getting along in fine spirits, but knowing the medley of personalities on that Diaz, I am curious how long that will last.