Sunday, May 18, 2014

Canning Peaches

"Building a Future by Exhuming the Past." That's what it says at the top of the page. With that in mind, and the interesting County Commissioner race now underway, I thought it might be a good time to reprint what Bill Peach had to say the last time he ran for Commissioner. The following questions and answers come verbatim from the 2010 primary election guide.

1) Why are you running for this position?

Peach: I am running for county commissioner because I can apply my business and leadership skills to address issues including property rights, business retention and fiscal responsibility.

2) What personal qualities do you possess that recommend you for this position?

Peach: My strengths include the ability to engage, focus and deliver results.

3) How would you balance the needs of West End residents with needs of the rest of Clallam County?

Peach: The fundamental difference between me and the incumbent is, he supports values from outside the county which result in direct loss of property rights and economic growth. I have the opposite view.

4) What would you do to foster economic growth in the West End?

Peach: I have 26 years of meaningful experience in private industry and have been president of the Clallam County Economic Development Council. I live in the West End and recognize our strengths, which include natural resources and the values of the people. I support job retention, reducing the cost of implementing regulations and protection of property rights. I see excellent potential for renewal energy and have experience in business development including construction of a greenfield plant.

5) Do you side with Clallam County Public Utility District on rejecting the draft watershed plan for West End Watershed Resource Inventory Area 19? Explain.

Peach: Yes. The plan ignores the authority of the intergovernmental agencies to manage the process, which includes the PUD. The Clallam County commissioners tasked the incumbent with responsibility for WRIA 19. His failure to provide leadership has resulted in use of $750,000 in taxpayer dollars to develop a plan that can not be adopted by the county commissioners because it does not comply with the law.

6) Where would you cut if you must cut the county budget?

Peach: The county has drawn on reserves for two years and must do so again this year. At the rate of drawing down the $11 million reserve at $2 million yearly, Clallam County will experience financial crisis after four years. I support job retention. The budget question is not what to cut, but what to grow. It is time to collect taxes that were not paid years ago that resulted in county timberland ownership.

7) How much emphasis should the county put into addressing climate change?

Peach: Bill Gates in his book, Business at the Speed of Thought, responded to the question about the future of the Internet with the statement that we will overestimate the short term and underestimate the long term. I drive a diesel car. It was a personal choice. I have no right, nor does the county, to impose values. The role of the county commissioner is to represent values.

8) Why should voters choose you over your opponent?

Peach: The choice is to vote for a county commissioner who will either support the values of people who live in Clallam County or support the values of the people of Clallam County. I support the values of Clallam County.

As I remember the 2010 primary, Peach was able to come across as the calmer, more mature of the two Republican candidates, simply because Robin Poole was so over the top angry every time he appeared in public. Peach will not have that favorable contrast going for him this time. (And remember: Poole came out ahead in the primary, so angry obviously plays well with local Republicans.)

Also, for context, in the 2010 primary guide, Peach's answers were generally much shorter than Doherty's, and even Poole's. Note the xenophobic, us-vs.-them thar outsiders tone he strikes repeatedly, and the (sometimes confusing) harping on "values" over actual, tangible details involved with being a County Commissioner. And note, of course, the regular invocations of "property rights," a standard far-right must-have item, which is really shorthand for getting rid of all rules and regulations that pertain to property, permits, etc.

And, given his squishy answers to the last two questions, I still would like Peach to explain the differences between "imposing values," "representing values" and "supporting values." Look for him to attack Sissi for being an "outsider," and for continued denials of climate change impacts. The debates should be very illuminating.


  1. Property rights means fewer rules and regulations. Fewer rules and regulations means a downward spiral, and a declining standard of living and declining property values. Applied "properly" by right-wing twits like Bill Peach and Sheila Miller, this approach to governing can lead to a landscape (physical, political and economic) that looks a lot like anarchy. Roads and buildings crumble, and so does the economy.

    If this is your vision for Clallam County, then Bill Peach is absolutely your candidate. These are his "values."

    1. This area had abysmal building codes (lack of enforcement) for many years. The result? Buildings that are probably sub-standard in every way, especially seismic. I find it funny that any of these morons want to have fewer rules and regulations, especially in light of the recent OSO slide.
      I have spent two decades trying to right what is wrong in my house, because a bunch of the "good ol'boys" of the golden age of ass*oles running this town (1970-1990's) catered to bribes, poor workmanship, cutting corners and intimidation of the building inspector. I suspect the left-overs and/or children of these same idiots are the main people seeking positions of leadership. After all...if it was good enough for's good enough for me. This is such a incestuous little area.

    2. Perhaps the incestuous nature of Clallam County represents the "values" Bill Peach purports to want to protect?

    3. one look at the craigslist personals makes one wonder what values are around this place.

    4. I understand Andrew May and Terry Neske keep the Craigslist personals section hopping - from the comfort of their own closets, of course.

  2. It's all about the primary. Only two of the three will make it through. Of the three, I'd say Peach is the only one guaranteed to make it through, due to his being the only Republican.

    Between Sissi and Bryon, it seems logical to give Bryon an edge because the primary is just in that district, and he has a higher profile, and more face time with people, in that district. I think Sissi might do better in the general election than Bryon, but again, she'd have to make it through the primary.

    With all that in mind, I'd be interested to know if the Democrats recruited or encouraged Sissi to run, or if she just happened to them. If it's the latter, I wouldn't look for a lot of enthusiasm for her campaign to be coming out of Democratic headquarters.

    1. You're right that it's all about making it through the primary. And frankly, I don't know if Sissi can. I think she's at an inherent disadvantage in that district, and, after everything that the Democrats did to their own candidate last time out I have to wonder if there will be more dirty tricks like that this time. This place is so twisted up I have to wonder if Bryon Monohon, independent, is actually the chosen Democratic candidate. There will be plenty of us keeping a watch out for what comes out of the Democratic party headquarters during the primary.

    2. Sissi has not impressed me, in the least. And, why would we want her in a new position, when she has really done nothing for the city council except nod her head?

    3. Sissi is the spoiler being used by the Tharinger/Randazzo crowd to keep Bryon out of the general election. Another set up by the same sleazy people.

    4. Anonymous 6:14 PM - I posted your comment, but I have to say that what you're saying makes no sense to me. Do tell us why Bryon is now in their sights. He doesn't strike me as much of a threat to anyone.

    5. At this point we all know the local Democratic party is essentially a front, a shell, to cover up and collude with the good ol' boys who run this county. Their lack of support of their own candidates for county commissioner have made it clear: Party matters a whole lot less than being an anointed fellow good ol' boy. Someone who will go along to get along, and not call anyone out on their sticky fingers, is who will get the support, or at least a lack of opposition.

      And so we have certified good ol' boy Mike Chapman re-elected, and almost certainly will have Bill Peach elected this time. Sissi is too smart, and too honest. The fact that she's gullible and naïve are not enough to protect her. They will have to undermine and eliminate her.

      Then, after what will doubtless be all sorts of nasty behind the scenes bloodshed, everyone will be able to say, "The people have spoken! They must really want to have three conservative commissioners! It's the will of the people!"

      Never mind that it's a highly processed product and a lie. It will maintain the illusion, and illusion maintenance is very, very important in Clallam County.

    6. In a sense, it's irrelevant as to whether Sissi or Bryon is the "spoiler" or not. The fact is, once again, people who want to vote for someone who isn't a right wing nut will have their votes split. If the people and politicians who want to move this county forward, and nudge it left, were serious, they'd coordinate better.

      But no. So now we have Sissi and Bryon both running, and Bill Peach undoubtedly smiling. Is it likely that either Bryon or Sissi are being played by the good ol' boys via the Democrats? Probably. But if so, they're letting themselves be played.

      The fact remains that both Bryon and Sissi knew all about the internal backstabbing in the Democratic party the last few elections, and neither of them spoke up or did anything about it that I know of. Like everyone else here who has positions of authority, they just closed their eyes and pretended all was well. Now that they're both running for higher office, I guess they'll just cross their fingers and hope for the best?

      That's wrong thinking. One of you is likely the target, and one of you is probably intended as the bullet. Good luck working out which is which.

  3. I always laugh when these far right nutjobs start talking so glowingly about "property rights", and " the government shouldn't tell people what they can, or cannot do with their land".

    My response, after listening patiently, is to ask them how they would feel if a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant was proposed to be built right next to their residence. A sewage treatment plant? A brothel? Low income/subsidized housing apartments?

    You can easily imagine the sputtering and back peddling that occurs.

    Yeah, who needs community planning?

    Try it, next time one of these idiots tells you they're all about "property rights".

    1. Yes, they're always so quick to talk about property rights, but never seem to acknowledge there could be property wrongs. The examples you provide are but a few of dozens of possible undesirable outcomes that, gee, might need to be regulated.

      Whenever I hear these rightwingers talking about property rights, my mind always instantly translates it to mean, "Screw your neighbor, before they screw you." It's not a healthy view of society these people have.

    2. The county can't do anything about my idiot neighbor (who has diverted all the downspouts and drainage) to MY property. I get shrugs and, "yeah, not right, oh well, what can you do?" There is a shocking lack of enforcement, except in rare (for some agenda) examples.
      Meanwhile, what about the nonsense that happened with the Transit center? From what I've read there were some amazing property wrongs, and a few people were compensated, while others were told to "pound sand".

    3. What about the horrid cheap homes (I think they were LBR?) that were built all over, and the planning commission (of the era) actually told neighbors "you can't fight this".
      Seems to me the words "property rights" are hollow.

    4. I always laugh when I hear these planning nutjobs start talking so threateningly about how, without someone wiser planning every inch of ground and every board you install, there would be nuclear fuel reprocessing plants, sewage treatment plants, brothels, and low income/subsidized housing apartments built next door.
      Why do people so much enjoy making things unreasonably bad one way or unreasonably bad the other way. Doesn't anyone love compromise and moderation anymore?
      We do not need laws dictating that you cannot build on 3400 square feet of your 7000 square foot lot to keep nuclear fuel reprocessing plants and sewage plants away from residential areas. Brothels, like drug houses, are a legal issue and not a land use planning issue. Also, cities have no legal basis for preventing the construction of low income housing in residential areas simply because it will be low income housing.
      It is stupid to keep dragging out the same old bogeymen instead of taking a positive approach to maintaining separation of objectionable industry and residential land uses. It is also stupid not to take a positive approach to ensuring the basic quality of new housing without permitting companies who want to mandate the use of their products in every building everywhere to pay those who write the codes to help them mandate it.
      There is a vast expanse of middle ground for planning and land use issues and that middle ground seems to be the place where nobody wants to stand.

  4. "I support the values of Clallam County."

    What does that even mean, Mr. Peach? I was unaware that the ENTIRE COUNTY shared just one set of values. Perhaps I have been misinformed? Or perhaps you are?

    Given they sorry state of Clallam County (high unemployment, high rates of drug abuse, an aging population paired with run down infrastructure, sorry schools, etc.) I would hope your "values vision" would allow you to see that we desperately need to change how we do things here. I certainly hope you're willing to actually acknowledge our problems, and their real roots, and not just look for scapegoats. In other words, Mr. Peach, I certainly hope you're willing to listen and learn, and aren't just stuck in full-on denial mode with a side of pandering.

  5. I trust that a similar discussion will take on Unearthed regarding the upcoming Sheila Miller and newly announced candidate Mary Ellen Winborn contest. That should be interesting.

    1. All things in their time. That race is very interesting as well. Once again, kudos to Mary Ellen Winborn for speaking out clearly about some of the problems she sees under Sheila's reign (of terror).

  6. From the PDN:

    When reached by cellphone from Eugene, Ore., on Friday, Doherty said he decided not to run because he had become frustrated with a growing “dysfunction” on the board in recent years.

    He cited the board’s lack of response to the recently released investigative report on employee complaints against Community Development Director Sheila Roark Miller and its unwillingness to schedule a community meeting on the impacts of climate change as outlined in a Jamestown S’Klallam tribe report, among other factors.

    “Generally, some of the values I represent have not been shared by colleagues — things like more open government, transparency, accountability,” Doherty said.

    If you really listen to what Mike is saying, the future is looking pretty grim. Remember: He's the senior Commissioner; he's the Commissioner with the most experience and knowledge, both locally and statewide; and he's the most active Commissioner, both in the community and at the capitol. And he's saying our local political system is broken. So broken that he's walking away from it - after all those years put in, and despite the fact that he's not a quitter.

    Does anyone really think that either of these non-Republicans could change that dynamic if they got elected? (And that's a big if right now...) Monohon probably wouldn't want to rock any boats and would go along to get along. Bruch would probably try to engage the other two Commissioners, get shut down, and then stay shut out for the rest of her term. Neither Chapman or McEntire care about being professional or open-minded or collegial. Nor do they care about getting anything done. And they most certainly don't want to do ANYTHING that smacks of being progressive or green even a little bit.

    All they care about is keeping their jobs, and to do that they have to keep their base happy. That's it. So again, does anyone think that either Bruch or Monohon would be a change agent at the county? Because I just don't see that happening.

    1. What is it going to take for you and others to understand it is not about these various candidates, but the community that is allowing all of this to happen? How many election cycles are do folks have to go through, before they see that what they are doing, repeatedly, year after year, is not working?

      Remember that definition of "crazy"? Doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results?

      Really? Do we really need to keep doing this? Thinking the Dems, or Repubs, or Sissi or ??? are going to FINALLY solve all our problems??

      Can we see, and learn?

    2. I think it's safe to say that most of us view the election of good people to public office as PART of the solution, not THE solution. Your point about personal responsibility is well taken, but...Elections matter, too.

    3. In our system, of course elections matter. But when we see that the system has become ALL ABOUT the election, ALL ABOUT the candidate, ALL ABOUT the political party, with little real discussion about the things that actually impact the local residents, year after year, cycle after cycle, I think we should get a clue.

      Where is the discussion about the things that WE care about, that WE find important in our lives? And, I'm not just talking about the candidates.

      Easy enough for us collectively to evade that conversation by focusing on the political parties and their candidates. THEY are happy to throw divisive rhetoric at us, and con-vince us the boogie man is under our beds, but precious little is ever said about the details that impact us on a daily basis. A great example is Peaches' response, above. His repeated use of the talking points about "values" and "property rights" somebody told him to use.

      But, other than vague references to what he hopes will appeal to his constituency, nothing specific is said. No candidates want to commit to specifics, for fear of alienating a potential voter. It is ALL ABOUT getting elected, not actually doing anything for the community.

      Staff does that!

      But, we're happy not to discuss the specifics, either. Precious little conversation among us, here, about what should be done to make the community work. Is chanting "jobs, jobs, jobs" good enough?

      If WE don't state what we want, how are any "good candidates" supposed to effectively represent us? By mental telepathy?

    4. I look at it this way: Yes, the system is dysfunctional. Yes, I too hate how it operates most of the time.

      But, through taxes, I pay for this system. So, the best I can, I'm going to participate and try to wring some value out of it. As most of you would agree, I think, this is almost always difficult, and not always possible. But I vote, I write, I try.

  7. If someone was hanging on to a copy of an old election guide, I'm not surprised it was you. Thanks for sharing, CK. Being that this is round two for Peach, this is a blast from the past AND a glimpse in to what he wants our future to be.

    That future is not pretty.

  8. Mr. Peach: If the county has no right to "impose values," then how come the county gets to (over)value my home in terms of taxable value, and then extract those tax dollars from me? Are you proposing a system in which such things (taxing properties) would go away?

  9. CryptKeeper, I could not find a way to send you a private message. I wanted you and your readers to know that local attorney and well qualified candidate is running against Rick Porter for District Court 1. You can find her at

    1. Anyone would be better than Rick Porter. He's a fascist.

  10. Indeed...the property values are so over-inflated it's shocking. Total fantasy world the county assessors are living in.

    1. Lets talk about property values and property taxes. Many folks don't understand how they work. Taxes start with government agencies and tax districts and school systems and everybody else who has their finger in the tax pie submitting annual budgets. Upon approval from appropriate authority (like the city council or the school board, or the Port Commissioners) These numbers are totaled up and passed to the County taxing authorities. The County maintains a number that represents the total assessed value for all property in each taxing district. They divide the total assessment by the budget requests and arrive at a "mill rate", or the amount per thousand of assessment that you will pay.
      The assessment distribution provides a means of balancing what one parcel will pay relative to other parcels. It only approximates the actual market value. If they did away with $$$ assessments entirely and substituted point values for such things as kitchen quality, number of bedrooms, etc. it would make no difference (and be a lot simpler). The tax rate (point rate instead of mill rate) you pay would still be the total of the budgets for all the tax dippers who share the tax districts that your home is located within, divided by the total points for the district.
      In other words, tax assessments are a zero-sum quantity. Whatever way the assessments are calculated, the total taxes paid will still be the amount requested by the various taxing authorities. Only the mill rate changes.
      Think about that the next time you vote for a bond issue or a swimming pool tax. You might still want the issue to pass, but you have to know that it is you who will be paying for it.

    2. Yes, Len. But I think the comment was more about how the value assessments of properties in the area is grossly over valued, given market conditions.

      Now, it is clear from what you describe, that the local governing bodies such as the City, the School Board and the Port have a very real financial incentive to fudge the numbers, and make the property assessments as high as they can get away with. The higher the property valuations, the more tax money they get.