Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Clallam County: Where the Money Flows LIke (Fluoridated) Water

The Board of Health held their last meeting on February 16th. That's when the now infamous not-on-the-agenda fluoride resolution was put forth, and a great new fountain of bullshit flowed forth.

That was the 16th. Today is the 24th. And there STILL hasn't been a word about this put out by the guardians of the dysfunctional status quo at the PDN. We're talking about it. The Port O Call is talking about it. KONP is talking about it. But the PDN...Nadda. Zip. Zilch. "We know nothing, nothing!"

Oh, and there is another source talking about it: County Commissioner Mark Ozias, who may be realizing that he has not just stepped in it - he jumped in with both feet. Below is the vague, non-committal, mealy-mouthed, does-it-feel-like-I-feel-your-pain response that Mark Ozias sent out...
 
As a “lay” member of the Board of Health I have worked hard to research this important issue.  To be very honest, it has been difficult for me (and perhaps this is simply inexperience talking; this was only my second meeting as a member of the BOH) to weigh the huge bulk of professional information coming from the medical community with the emerging science that’s raising questions and concerns and then know with certainty what to do as a responsible member of the BOH.
 
To the extent that the BOH continues to engage in this conversation (which may be not at all) I promise that I will work to ensure that we do not simply parrot the support of the medical community but find a positive way to publicly address your extremely valid concerns.  I agree that we have much more important public health issues to pursue, and that is exactly what I am working to do.
 
In the meantime, please know that each municipality who manages a public water supply will continue to grapple with this issue in their own way, and that the County controls no public drinking water supply and has no plan (or ability, or authority, or desire) to take any action.
 
Thank you for your engagement,
 
Mark O 
 
I think the lameness of this message speaks for itself. It's like a Greatest Hits email from Politics 101: "Find a positive way," "continue to grapple," "Thank you for your engagement," etc. But note that Ozias actually says essentially nothing - other than that he should be cut some slack because these are hard decisions to make and he's new on the job.


Meanwhile, the three County Commissioners have unanimously agreed to give the useless - and more! - EDC, well, more. As in more money. As in $150,000 worth of your money. I guess that's the only way they can continue to do the impressive non-results producing work they've been doing for years now. You've got to reward success, right?
 
So, in terms of the whole fluoride issue, it's clear that it doesn't matter what the citizens want. The Commissioners (who make up the bulk of the Board of Health) know best. As regards the EDC, the facts (as economic engines go it's a dead battery) don't matter. Again, the Commissioners know best. Sure, these issues involve your health, your money, and your right to be heard. But hey, give them a break, okay? After all, these are difficult decisions! And some of them are new on the job.
 
New, but learning the rotten ropes pretty fast...

41 comments:

  1. This message has all the sincerity of a recording saying, "Your call is important to us!"

    Very disappointing, to say the least.

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    Replies
    1. No kidding!

      Mark, when in doubt, when the item has been added at the last minute, when you haven't had time to "weight the bulk of information," and when it's something that is clearly controversial in the community, why not to the smart thing and ask that it be postponed or continued to the next meeting?

      Willingly or not, consciously or not, you fell into the trap. Now, sorry to say, you've given your own reputation a big black eye.

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    2. Bill Peach, from 11/15/2014 at Joshua's:
      On the marijuana issue, Peach said he was misquoted. He said if you want to grow marijuana do in an industrial site area and with neighbors’ approval. Wells and ponds are also in play, but “If the neighbors say no, the word is no,” announced Peach.

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  2. The PDN is actively trying to STOP the flow of information to members of the community. We need to boycott the paper, boycott their advertisers, and get them to STOP this destructive, unprofessional, unethical behavior. They are not the cause of the many problems bedeviling this place, but they offer aid and comfort to those who are causing them. And this needs to STOP.

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    1. What a silly load of CRAP.

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    2. Too silly of a comment to even begin commenting on.
      "The sky is falling!"

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    3. Thanks for commenting twice, troll.

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    4. But, I am all for picketing, leafleting and writing to the boss of the new publisher.

      It seems pretty clear this has turned into a " I'll show you.. you can't tell me what to do" game with the very immature new publisher. Not impressed, at all.

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    5. Whatever happened to the idea that was floated a few weeks ago about picketing Country Aire's use of fluoridated water?

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    6. Nothing has changed, or gone away. All that, and more is being worked on.

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  3. I know the focus on the last paragraph was on the county commissioners, but I'm still thinking about the city council.

    How is it not unethical that both Collins and Kidd did not recuse themselves from the vote when they approved further funding for the EDC.

    Collins is sitting on the board of the EDC. A conflict of interest? No?

    Kidd appears to have used the EDC to help her set up the U-Haul business her and her husband run. Is this not also a conflict of interest?

    Would not a prudent person recuse themselves from a vote at the very hint of impropriety?

    Is this an ethics violation? I don't know how this stuff works. It just seem like common sense.

    Anyone?... Bueller?

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    1. Speaking of Port Angeles ethics...Bill Bloor has a nice, long reason to have a headache tonight. Stay tuned...

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    2. I think it is an ethics violation to not at the very least ASK the council members to decide if you have a conflict of interest.
      And, Bloor should actually be aware of this, and keep things honest.
      The ethics complaint about him is about time!!

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    3. I have posted a copy of the Bloor Ethics Complaint on my blog (so it's a bloorg?)
      maroleesmith.com
      Coincidentally, I was looking around at wages of various government attorneys.
      Don't you usually "get what you pay for"? So, if the WA State Attorney General's wage is $151,718 per year and Bloor is said to make $144k a year.
      I realize the argument around here is that we need to pay more to "attract the best and the brightest". Okay.
      So, what ARE we paying for?

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    4. Yes kids, that's right. Go over to Marolee's blog to check out the 75 page (including pages and pages of evidence) ethics complaint against City Attorney, Bill Bloor.

      And let's remember this when pondering Bill Bloor's huge salary: His two primary duties are advising the City Council on legal matters (how's that working for you?), and, of course, farming out the actual heavy legal lifting for the City to other actual lawyers, almost always from outside Clallam County. Both those duties do indeed cost you a LOT of money.

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    5. Can you file an ethics complaint against an individual who has no ethics?

      Bill Bloor has been a shame and an embarrassment from the very start. That he is so incredibly overpaid only adds insult to the many injuries he has helped inflict.

      I so look forward to seeing this play out. The Fluoride Four and Bloor. Who's next?

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    6. Let's remember, oh, about six years ago or so, when the idea of a code of ethics for the city was first floated. After some council discussion, only Max Mania was in favor of pursuing such a thing. Everyone else said no.

      Then, a year or so later, when Max had been making trouble by asking questions, all of a sudden Brooke Nelson and Jack Slowriver filed their bogus ethics complaints against him. It was an obvious political move to try and silence someone who was making the good ol' boys nervous. Cherie, as mayor, and Bill Bloor, hung him out to dry. (Remember that meeting when Cherie wouldn't even let Max ask any questions? Talk about an early indicator of tendencies to abuse power.)

      Of course, the fake complaints went nowhere, but the result was the council finally did adopt a code of ethics.

      And that's what is now being used to try to rein in Cherie and Bill Bloor, or to hand them their heads. I wonder if they see any ironies in all this.

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    7. For context, recall that the "charges" Brooke made against Max were for things like encouraging the public to come to public comment period, or to picket the council chambers if they felt they weren't being heard. Brooke's "charges" were a clear effort to shut off public input into council business. Just like Cherie's efforts have been. They keep making it clear they DON'T want to hear from the public. Then they get all mystified when the public reacts badly to this, even though it is very predictable.

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  4. My wife has taken to calling Mark Ozias "Ozark Mark" because he sure has started to act like the typical backwoods types we get around here. Lots of rednecks wear tie dye and have long hair, too.

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    1. Ya gets whats ya votes fer.

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  5. So long as Tharinger and Van De Wedge are holding office, I'm never voting for another local Democrat again. Those two are poison. If it takes voting Republican, and enduring that for an election cycle to break the fever, so be it. But no more Democrats for me here until they clean house but good.

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  6. Do remember that the Port Angeles City Council wants you and your unpleasant disagreements about what they are doing, to go away.

    The publisher of the PDN doesn't believe most people in the area care about any of this. He believes it is just a small group of wackos. Therefore, he is doing what he can to quiet down the community by doing what the City Council couldn't. Silence the people. Silence public awareness about the BoH county wide mandate of fluoridation, knowing the public outrage that will surely result if the public hears about what is going on.

    Along those lines, it is disappointing that Mark Ozias can't do what Mike Chapman did: make every effort to be sure his constituents understand clearly his views on something every politically aware person in Clallam county knows is of great interest.

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  7. Speaking of the EDC for a moment. I heard former commissioner McEntire say at an EDC meeting when Greenwood suggested recruiting companies to relocate here. McEntire said, "you gotta be careful what companies you bring, if they pay more than the local companies then they will come after your employees." Meaning, let's only go after minimum wage jobs so we don't upset the current employers who are paying slave wages and getting by with it. Also, at another EDC meeting, former Port Commissioner John Calhoun said when the discussion of jobs came up he said, Well, I'm not so sure jobs are our concern, we represent a lot of rich people and retired people, they don't need jobs and we represent them too." This is the thinking that permeates the EDC. Right now they are top heavy with timber interests and that is all they are interested in promoting--timber barons. Having said that, now hear this, at an EDC meeting the following stats were quoted in a report. Timber exports are up 300% while timber related jobs are down 75%. This means Grant Munro, the Hermann Brothers and a few other timber related honchos are making gobs of money off the backs of the few labor jobs they can still pay slave wages because there will never be competition for these jobs because the EDC will work hard to keep wages low low low. This is what your county commission just endorsed with another $150,000 of your tax money. Never mind there was no "report card" from the EDC showing how they spent the last umpteen hundred thousands of taxpayer money.

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    1. Please see my previous comments on FEAR. This is very much part of that. Keep wages low, keep people financially stressed and afraid, and they will be so much easier to manipulate, so much more likely to fall for pie in the sky lies.

      Like, say, the kind the EDC likes to trot out every so often, to show they're, you know, doing stuff.

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  8. The 3 County Commissioners actually make up a minority of the 7 member Board of Health. The majority includes the Mayor Of Forks Bryon Monohon, representing the 3 Cities. Don Lawley, Forks Hospital Commissioner, representing the Hospital Districts, and 2 members of the public at large.

    Regarding the funding for the EDC, due to the hard work of Commissioner Ozias a new more stringent set of deliverables are now a part of the one year contract. I am confident that the EDC will work hard to meet the deliverables and if they fall short then future funding may not be awarded.
    Finally the funds used for the EDC are funds returned to the County from the State which have to be used for economic development. The State law allows this money to be used to fund local EDC's. This contract and the deliverables should continue to be watched and monitored by the public to ensure the community receives value for their tax dollars.
    Commissioner Mike Chapmam

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    1. Oh, please.

      "...and if they fall short then future funding MAY not be awarded."

      There's the wiggle room, built right in.

      "Heck of a job, Greenwoodie."

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    2. Economic Development is so loosely defined it could mean taking that $150,000 given to the EDC and passing it around to the panhandlers downtown. Employ someone to drive around with wads of fivers and hand them to everyone flying a sign. They would go spend it locally as they have no vehicle. The merchants would turn it over a few times and everybody is in on the stimulus.

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    3. "This contract and the deliverables should continue to be watched and monitored by THE PUBLIC to ensure the community receives value for their tax dollars." Really? Then what's your job? Do tell.

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    4. I like - and support - Anonymous 7:23 PM's idea. It at least would give you some direct cause and effect. "Hey, now I have five bucks! Hey, now I can go get a burrito!"

      There you have it: Economic stimulus.

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  9. The 3 County Commissioners actually make up a minority of the 7 member Board of Health. The majority includes the Mayor Of Forks Bryon Monohon, representing the 3 Cities. Don Lawley, Forks Hospital Commissioner, representing the Hospital Districts, and 2 members of the public at large.

    Regarding the funding for the EDC, due to the hard work of Commissioner Ozias a new more stringent set of deliverables are now a part of the one year contract. I am confident that the EDC will work hard to meet the deliverables and if they fall short then future funding may not be awarded.
    Finally the funds used for the EDC are funds returned to the County from the State which have to be used for economic development. The State law allows this money to be used to fund local EDC's. This contract and the deliverables should continue to be watched and monitored by the public to ensure the community receives value for their tax dollars.
    Commissioner Mike Chapmam

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    1. Good night Mike and thanks for not running again!

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  10. Agree or disagree with the EDC track record but performance measures are now built into the contract. Should have happened years ago and it was an oversight that I take reposonsibilty for...better we add them now than never at all.

    In all fairness I underestimated the degree of frustration that had built up in the community regarding the EDC over the last decade. That frustration became very clear during last year's budget hearings regarding EDC funding. Could be funding the EDC will be a campaign issue this fall for the open District 2 commissioner seat. I think we all look forward to hearing the ideas regarding economic development new candidates will have!
    Mike Chapman

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    1. OK, for "development" there's already the PABA, the various Chambers of Commerce, the Downtown Associations, Clallam Business Incubator, etc.

      Why exactly do we need the EDC? You suggest above, that the state has some money to toss around to private companies, so long as it's funneled through the cities & counties to pretend it's a public function?

      My apologies for being a naive citizen, so please educate us on the community value of EDC, other than some vague reference to "deliverables" (a term that's a whole nother issue).

      Oh, and FWIW, thanks for at least talking on here.

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    2. "Deliverables" simply means delivering the funds to a friend, relative or crony, to do with what they please.

      Hopefully that clears that up for you.

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    3. Where to start... The Clallam Business Incubator went bankrupt 4 years ago, the Chambers of Commerce advertise for tourism and promote local events, the PABA meets for breakfast and talks about political issues, and the Downtown Association does everything it can to stop competitive businesses to move in and prosper. At least the EDC is actively trying to recruit new companies to move into the area and provides direct support to existing businesses who are looking to stay and expand.

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    4. Well, things are looking up. After 35 years of wasted time, energy, and tax money we now have "deliverables" I feel much better now.

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  11. STILL nothing about the county-wide fluoridation of the water in the PDN. And there's nothing about the ethics complaint filed against City Attorney, Bill Bloor.

    But if you need to know about the 14 year old in Sappho who was injured in a motorcycle accident, the PDN is your go-to news source.

    They report (or not); we deride.

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    1. Yes, and by now, the pattern is getting more clear, for those in doubt.

      The Peninsula Daily News is a mouth piece for the powers that be.

      Publishing stories about the problems created by our elected representatives makes the town look bad, and we can't do that.

      Publishing stories about citizens taking actions in frustration over what their elected representatives are doing makes the town look bad, and we can't do that.

      Publishinmg articles about people wanting change might encourage other frustrated people to look for, join with and take actions against the powers-that-be, and we can't allow that.

      So, don't expect anything from Terry Ward and the Peninsula Daily News.

      In fact, if these tactics bother you, make an effort, and tell the various advertisers in the paper you specifically are now going to shop elsewhere. Tell them you can't support a business that is so dedicated to undermining our community. Sorry, but my children's future is more important.

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    2. How much does the PDN think they can cover up or gloss over, really? With all the other sources of information now (not the least of which are those awesome youtube videos of the council meetings), do they really think they can spin things their way? It's really sad, and totally unsustainable. They'll end up doing to their own newspaper what their newspaper has helped do to this town: Destroy it.

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  12. Check out the March issue of Port O Call...

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