Posted by: sweeneyblog | January 28, 2015

BREAKING: Sam Crawford to Resign from County Council on March 1st

Long-time conservative county councilman Sam Crawford submitted a letter of resignation last night saying that he will resign March 1st. In the letter, he explains, “due to an unanticipated retirement of a co-worker at my workplace (Westside Building Supply in Lynden), my plans have been altered significantly by the opportunities and needs of the business that exist at this time.”

Sam Crawford

Sam Crawford

Crawford has been chased by ethical complaints for several years now, much of it stemming from his work with developers creating a conflict of interest as a councilman. He has tried to explain away the issues (see here and here) but his last election was a nailbiter, with Christina Maginnis almost unseating the long-time incumbent.

This year, it was rumored that local businessman and former candidate Satpal Sidhu was considering a run for the seat. Crawford, having just watched another popular Democratic businessman steamroll his seatmate (Rud Browne versus Bill Knutzen), Crawford may have just decided to take the path of least resistance.

The vacancy will be filled by the County Council, unless they are deadlocked (3-3) and in that case it falls to the County Executive to decide. Last time this happened, it set off a huge ethical complaint when outgoing council member Ward Nelson stonewalled all the potential nominees for the vacancy created by Bob Kelly’s resignation.

Crawford's sparked some controversy

Crawford’s sparked some controversy

He then persuaded then county executive Pete Kremen to appoint Ward Nelson to fill out the remainder of the term. Unethical? Sure looked that way but the Whatcom Ethics Commission took a look at it and decided to clear Ward Nelson of any wrongdoing.

Who was sitting on the Ethics commission at that time? Future councilmember Rud Browne. Sam Crawford then tried to cover the council’s tracks by pushing for an ordinance that would legitimize Nelson’s stonewalling after the fact. Now, Kremen, Crawford and Browne are all on the council having to decide what to do about Crawford’s replacement. We call this situation . . . living in a small town.

Crawford also generated some friction among his own tribe when he was a vocal supporter of the Lake Whatcom Reconveyance. Many speculated that this was part of the Kremen/Nelson deal, that Crawford’s support for this was key but Crawford insisted that the reconveyance was simply, “a good deal”. It passed 5-2. The other conservative that supported the reconveyance, Kathy Kershner, had difficulty fundraising from her usual supporters in 2013 right after that vote.

UPDATE: Ironically enough, Kathy Kershner is considering running for the seat. She recently relocated to Lynden (the 2nd district) and told Council Chair Carl Weimer that she is interested in applying/running.

Back to the story at hand, most likely councilmembers will ask for a placeholder. Which means we have yet another series of applicants.



  1. There you go Riley, “Riley for County Council”

  2. Conspiracy Theorist Riley?

  3. I saw on Facebook this morning that Kathy Kershner had expressed interest to Carl Weimer in applying for Crawford’s vacated council position–bad news seems to often follow good news. I hope there are others in that district who will apply so we are not stuck again with Kathy Kershner on our council.

    • Just updated the article to include this.

    • Back at you!

      • Sandy Robson, are you in the second district?

    • Ok, I’ll throw my hat in the ring.

  4. I liked having him up there. He added some dimension, a little unpredictability to whatever it was they were discussing and whatever worldview was in majority.

    • AGREED, now we are probably going to have a Progressive Utopia [sarc]. 😦

      • Don’t you mean a faux progressive utopia? A fo-pro-to? Or even a fo-po-to if you cannot roll your r’s.

    • Tim – Barbara Brenner has always been enough unpredictability for me!

  5. Far-out! Just a few days ago, Sam Crawford and I had a back-and-forth in the Herald comments section. He supports excluding 28,000 anti-coal port comments because they did not come a “form” that is acceptable to him. It does not matter that 28,000 people are concerned enough to express their opinion. It is all about “form” and not “substance.” We will be better off without him.

    That said, I hope the so-called “progressive” majority on the Council have enough sense to at least pick a “liberal” instead of another right wing conservative like Kathy Kershner.

    • Walter, do you know what a SPAM filter is?

      Do you know what “denial of service means”?

      Those “28,000 anti-coal comments were boiler-plate letters sent by low information lemmings who are unable to conjure up one thought on their own.

      Maybe you need your cabbage and come out of your anarchist utopia into the “real world” occasionally?

      As to your final paragraph-I thought the “progressives” were always promoting diversity. This sounds like tyranny to me.

      • Wayne, Wow, do you really know all 28,000 of those who commented? How did you evaluate their intellectual abilities?

      • More nonsense. It was a policy decision to exclude.

      • Where is your citation WaWa?

      • Uh, Wayne, you do know that office and systems administrators make the decisions on what is “approved” and what is “junk” and what is “spam” and what is . . . . – you get my drift. I know “policy” is a big word but it really is simple to understand. Perhaps you could take off your tinfoil hat for a moment and google it.

        I thought you used to be a cubicle jockey? And by the way, someone took my tinfoil hat off my motorcycle when it was parked outside Haggens yesterday. Was it you? I need it back as I am trying real hard to make sense of what the rightwing whackos are on about all the time.

      • Sometimes the so-called systems administrators get lazy and just let the spam filter catch most everything new rather than putting it on a “white list” or “black list”.

        “policy” is a big word but it really is simple to understand-I will forward that to the president since he has none.

        Your “tinfoil hat” is at the dry cleaners, i will send you the claim stub.

        Actually my “private” office in Palm Beach had a view of the ocean.

  6. I liked that Councilor Crawford supported the Lake Whatcom Reconveyance against the demands of his base who probably hadn’t done the math
    on meeting DOE requirements for reduced phosphorus loading.
    I wish I could remember other times when I agreed with him but I can’t
    and I’m really happy he won’t be facing a coal dump decision vote.
    I wish him Luck running Westside
    which is remains of the best yards in the county for service, selection and high quality.

  7. No wonder Sam Crawford has acted somewhat annoyed and mad for the last few meetings. For example, he wrongly accused Wendy Harris of “hissing” at Greg Brown. There was no hissing. I was there. Sam Crawford just supported the comments of Greg Brown, because they were those of a typical far-right winger.

    • I had the feeling Sam Crawford had grown tired ( or bored ) with the Council’s business and did not intend to run again. It did come as a surprise to me that he did not serve out his term but I very much understand that life is not fun when there is too much to do.

  8. Wendy is known for her hissy fits.

    • I find Wendy to be a remarkable individual. I am glad she is willing to “speak truth to power.”

  9. bob1935

    So are saying that they all independent thinkers sending in the exact same comment? Time to buy a Powerball ticket as the odds have shifted to my favor.

  10. […] fellow legislative candidate, Satpal Sidhu was appointed to the County Council to fill out the remainder of Sam Crawford’s term. This appointment is historic as Sidhu will be the first Sikh member of the County Council, where a […]

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