Posted by: sweeneyblog | January 11, 2012

First County Council Meeting

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.



  1. Thanks for doing some coverage of the Whatcom Co. Council. Only comment I have is “too bad we couldn’t unseat Sam Crawford!” The latest information about Whatcom Co. compliance with the state growth management gives the same conclusions – out of compliance with rural area requirements. This really says it all as to what the council should be paying attention to, in my opinion. I don’t know what it is but there are fines for being out of compliance. This definitely needs a top priority placement.

  2. Of course, Riley neglected to mention the most important vote of the evening, about whether to opt in to the Voluntary Stewardship Program, a transparently intrusive state program that purported to save local farmers from themselves and from attack by almost anyone on the face of the earth.

    The council wisely voted it down. Carl Weimer supported his vote with a very nice statement that I paraphrase: “An issue that brings together environmentalists, the tribe, and property rights people in opposition deserves a no vote, so I’m voting no.”

    The measure failed 2-5.

    • I had to go before that vote happened, and didn’t want to write about what I wasn’t there to see. But thanks for the update!

  3. Being denied necessary medicine/treatment in the jail is a problem with those that run the jail and will continue whether their is a new facility or not..Unfortunately, Mr Burr’s complaints are nothing new.

    • The website you linked to caused me to spit out my coffee laughing. You wise-ass.

      But back to the comment, I hope when the jail situation is fixed, they will look at ways they can better reduce dangers like this as well.

  4. No excuse for Bob not getting his meds.
    Scary, that.

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