Port attempts to kill initiative for two new seatsPermalink +
Tue, Jan 31, 2012, 9:36 am // Paul deArmond
The Port’s attempts at sabotaging the expansion to five commissioners began the moment initiative backers asked the port to adopt their petition. Commissioner Scott Walker and port attorney Frank Chmelik immediately began trying to kill the initiative.
There is no legal basis for changing the wording of the initiative submitted by the petitioners. The guiding case law is a Washington Supreme Court ruling on a 2000 initiative: Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587 v. State. The State Supreme Court reaffirmed their broad interpretation of the “single subject rule” on May 31, 2012 when they struck down a challenge to the recent liquor initiative: Wash. Ass'n for Substance Abuse & Violence Prevention v. State. Both of these rulings clarified the “single subject rule” that Walker and Chmelik are abusing, ignoring and twisting the “single subject rule.”
The “single subject rule” says that an initiative may accomplish two things if they are reasonably related. Port commissioners and Port districts are reasonably related. The single question on the initiative petition was: shall we increase the number of Port commissioners from three to five and make the new commissioners at-large? This would enable the entire county to nominate port candidates for the new positions. It was simple, direct and economical. The scallywags, controlling Whatcom County’s least transparent taxing authority, wants to make it complicated, convoluted and expensive.
The initiative language submitted by the Whatcom County citizens was approved by the county auditor’s office and reviewed by the prosecuting attorney’s office. It is a single ballot item and is fully in compliance with the law. So splitting the propositions into two ballot items is a shyster’s trick that flies in the face of up-to-date case law. Last Thursday, the port published the agenda for their next meeting. The port now has two agenda items for two separate ballot propositions. At the last meeting, they had language for one ballot proposition. Two ballot propositions are a clumsy attempt to kill the initiative. The last time this shabby trick was used in Everett, a first term commissioner got booted out of office once his constituents got a taste of his two-face mendacity. Two linked initiatives usually will fail because both have to pass at the same election to succeed. A single initiative is hard to pass, two together are virtually impossible.
Port Resolution 1310 is what the initiative petitioners asked the port to do: increase the number of commissioners to five. The port adopted the initiative and immediately Commissioner Scott Walker and port attorney Frank Chmelik began blowing smoke and trying to complicate the initiative.
Chmelik has pretended to read aloud from the Revised Code of Washington while lying about what was printed on the page in the law book. You can listen to the port’s recording and hear it yourself. Reading aloud is usually learned in grade school.
Walker and Chmelik undoubtedly will make up more lies and attempt to twist the meaning of the recent Supreme Court ruling. They have until the next meeting to come up with some justification for turning a single initiative question into two separate ballot issues.
The second Port Resolution should die at the upcoming port meeting. Walker will move the resolution be adopted. Both Jim Jorgensen and Mike McAuley have said they prefer redistricting into five new port districts. Redistricting is expensive and time-consuming but it can be done before candidates file for the 2013 primary. The port’s first proposition:
<blockquote>PROPOSITION NO. 1 PORT OF BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON NUMBER OF PORT COMMISSIONERS The Commissioners of the Port of Bellingham adopted Resolution No. 1310, concerning a proposition to increase the number of Port Commissioners. This proposition would increase the number of Commissioners of the Port District from three (3) Commissioners to five (5) Commissioners. Should this proposition be approved? Yes............................. [ ] No……………………… [ ]</blockquote>
There will be more smoke and mirrors until the August 7, 2012 cutoff date arrives. Walker and Chmelik will undoubted keep squirming and twisting until time runs out. There are clear deadlines this year and next; they are carved in stone.
Redistricting for five new districts or making the new commissioners at large comes down to interpreting a single sub-article of the Washington Revised Code: Chapter 53.12.010(2). There appears to be no case law to guide port redistricting versus at-large, nor does the RCW clear up the murky language. However, the law is quite clear that stalling will not delay things any longer than a year. If the voters approve increasing the size of the commission this November, there shall be new port commissioners on the 2013 November ballot.
Tue, Jan 31, 2012, 9:36 am // Paul deArmondPort Commissioner Scott Walker and attorney Frank Chmelik get caught ballot-rigging again
Tue, Jan 31, 2012, 12:58 am // Riley SweeneyRiley updates us on the latest facts coming to light about City of Bellingham employee moonlighting
2 comments; last on Feb 01, 2012
Mon, Jan 30, 2012, 12:16 am // Wendy HarrisThe County's rural planning actions have not just failed to comply with the GMA...they have contradicted the goals of the GMA.
3 comments; last on Feb 05, 2012
Wed, Jan 25, 2012, 11:42 am // Riley SweeneyRiley visits the local WorkSource center and interviews the regional director
Thu, Jan 19, 2012, 11:03 pm // Paul deArmondStormwater surge may back up sewers
5 comments; last on Jan 21, 2012
Thu, Jan 19, 2012, 6:29 pm // Riley SweeneyRiley discusses the Jail, Jack Louws, and an impartial council with our new Council Chair
1 comments; last on Jan 20, 2012
Thu, Jan 19, 2012, 2:17 am // John ServaisNWCitizen.com went black for Wednesday, Jan 18, 2012, as a protest against proposed legislation, SOPA and PIPA. Here is what was posted.
1 comments; last on Jan 19, 2012
Tue, Jan 17, 2012, 8:28 pm // John ServaisOn Wednesday, thousands of websites will go dark to show opposition to SOPA. I will be posting a single article explaining who SOPA is so bad.
Sun, Jan 15, 2012, 1:06 am // Wendy HarrisPlanning Commissioner Onkels should recuse himself from review of environmental impacts at GPT.
3 comments; last on Feb 08, 2012
Wed, Jan 11, 2012, 10:04 am // Riley SweeneyLatest from the Political Junkie on a variety of subjects
7 comments; last on Jan 16, 2012
Mon, Jan 09, 2012, 10:27 pm // Tip JohnsonWe have a new mayor!
4 comments; last on Jan 10, 2012
Mon, Jan 09, 2012, 1:02 am // Wendy HarrisThe County's proposed stormwater regulations for Lake Whatcom will increase development without improving water quality
2 comments; last on Jan 20, 2012
Sun, Jan 08, 2012, 3:21 am // John ServaisIssue is County Council member Kathy Kershner and how our social service programs are funded.
3 comments; last on Jan 08, 2012
Sun, Jan 01, 2012, 2:05 am // John ServaisA third note on Jan 1 about the Herald photos with links. And previous thoughts on the trivia around the militarized evictions.
9 comments; last on Jan 10, 2012
Election InfoCandidate Filings
Primary election results
Coal, Oil & TrainsCommunity Wise Bellingham
Powder River Basin R. C.
Local Blogs & NewsBellingham Herald
Bham Herald Politics Blog
Bham Politics & Economics
Friends of Whatcom
Get Whatcom Planning
League of Women Voters
Western Front - WWU
Local CausesChuckanut Community Forest
City Club of Bellingham
Futurewise - Whatcom
Lummi Island Quarry
N. Cascades Audubon
NW Holocaust Center
Reduce Jet Noise
Salish Sea Org.
Save the Granary Building
WA Conservation Voters
Port of Bellingham
US - The White House
WA State Access
WA State Elections
WA State Legislature
Weather & ClimateCliff Mass Weather Blog
Nat Hurricane Center
Two day forecast
Watts Up With That? - climate
Edge of Sports
Famous Internet Skiers
Good Web SitesAl-Jazeera online
Foreign Policy in Focus
Innocence Project, The
Intrnational Herald Tribune
Julia Ioffe/New Republic
Middle East Times
New American Century
Paul Krugman - economics
Personal bio info
Portland Indy Media
Project Vote Smart
Stand for the Troops
Talking Points Memo
The Crisis Papers
War and Piece
NwCitizen 1995 - 2007Early Northwest Citizen
Quiet, Offline or DeadBellingham Police Activity
Citizens of Bellingham
Cordata & Meridian
Facebook Port Reform
N. Sound Conservancy
No Leaky Buckets
Protect Bellingham Parks
The American Telegraph