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County Council

Posted on: February 8, 2023

Council Meeting Review: February 7, 2023

County Council News

This meeting included a SRKW proclamation, a lease for Coffelt Farm, and more.

This document is a review of the County Council meeting, Tuesday, February 7, 2023. Information related to agenda changes, Consent Agenda, and Public Comment are on the County website.

APPROVAL OF CONSENT AGENDA: Waive Sole Sources Waiver for Building Access Control System. Christine Coray, Project Engineer, Public Works and Colin Huntemer, Director of Public Works / County Engineer

RCW 39.04.280 (1) (a) provides that competitive bid requirements may be waived by the governing body of a municipality for purchases that are clearly and legitimately limited to a single source of supply.  San Juan County has an existing security network that is a proprietary system configured, sold and installed by Security Solutions Northwest, Inc. (SSNW) The County is nearing completion of the San Juan Island Operation Center and desires to install the SSNW proprietary access control system in the new building.

Approving the resolution would allow the County to waive the competitive bidding requirements and purchase the proprietary access control system for installation at the Operation Center.



Council discussed and approved a series of letters to be sent to the County’s representatives. 

  • A letter to Representative Rick Larsen, Representative Maria Cantwell, Senator Patty Murray, regarding Essential Postal Services for Shaw Island. The Councilmembers agreed to sign a letter requesting assistance in communicating to the United States Postal Service (USPS) that urgent action that is needed to restore essential, consistent, and reliable postal service to this remote and rural, ferry-served island in our County.   
  • A letter to Representative Gerry Pollett (Chair) and Representative Members of the House Appropriations Committee in support for the approval of HB 1436 Funding Special Education. The Council urges strong support in passing HB 1436. “It aligns our laws with our constitution. It keeps our schools from closing. It keeps our communities alive. It’s the right thing to do.”   
  • A letter to Senator Liz Lovelett, Rep. Debra Lekanoff, and Rep. Alex Ramel regarding the WA Dept. of Commerce Library Capital Improvement Program. The letter requests support of the San Juan Island Library District’s $2 million grant proposal to the Washington Department of Commerce Library Capital Improvement Program.

PROCLAMATION: Proclaiming the Southern Resident Killer Whales

The Southern Resident Killer Whales are culturally, spiritually, and economically important to the people of San Juan County, the Salish Sea, the State of Washington, and the world – and the survival of the Southern Resident Killer Whales is dependent on healthy and functioning ecosystems.

The proclamation urges State and Federal governments to deepen their commitment to restoring the bounty of the Salish Sea and gratefully supports actions taken by State, Federal and Tribal governments that secure and effectuate the rights of the Southern Resident Killer Whales and of the ecosystems upon which they depend.

DISCUSSION/ACTION: Approve a Resolution Authorizing a Multi-Year Lease of the Coffelt Farm Property on Orcas Island for Agricultural Purposes, Lincoln Bormann, Director of SJC Land Bank

The Land Bank Commission recommended that the County Council execute a long-term lease of Coffelt Farm to Lum Farm LLC. The Council spent time discussing approving the lease of approximately 150 acres of Coffelt Farm Preserve for agricultural uses as described in the Agricultural Lease. The County Council held a public hearing as required by SJCC 2.104.120(C) on February 7, 2023 where the public was encouraged to participate. 

The Council voted to approve a resolution authorizing a multi-Year Lease of the Coffelt Farm Property on Orcas Island for Agricultural Purposes.

DISCUSSION/ACTION: Approve a Resolution pertaining to the purchase of Property on Lopez for Public Works purposes, Colin Huntemer, Director of Public Works / County Engineer

In 2017 the Public Works Department completed a master plan which identified the need to relocate Public Works operations from the Fisherman Bay Road property.

Last September (2022) the County Council considered relocation options and accepted staff's recommendation to develop a plan to relocate to the MacKaye Harbor property.

In November the County was approached with an offer to purchase a land with a building adjacent to the MacKaye Harbor property.

In December the County entered into a Purchase and Sale Agreement (PSA) with the property owner. The property was subsequently inspected and appraised, and staff recommends that Council proceed with the purchase in accordance with the PSA.

Council voted to approve a resolution pertaining to the purchase of property on Lopez for Public Works purposes.

DISCUSSION/ACTION: Prosecuting Attorney Office staffing request Amy Vira, Prosecuting Attorney

The Prosecuting Attorney's Office is in need of staffing adjustments/additions in order to fully address the demands of a complex legal workload. The staffing changes include adding a new attorney position and changing the level of other positions. 

Council voted to approve the Prosecuting Attorney Office’s staffing requests. 

PRESENTATION: San Juan Conservation District update, Grant Carlton, Management Analyst

The State of Washington adopted RCW 36.70A.700 in July 2011, establishing the Voluntary Stewardship Program (VSP). The intent of the statute is to protect and enhance critical areas functions and values by applying voluntary, science-based Best Management Practices to agriculturally active lands, while maintaining and improving the long-term viability of agriculture. The WA State Conservation Commission is the state agency supervising statewide VSP implementation.

San Juan County opted into VSP on November 29, 2011, joining 26 other counties throughout Washington to become "VSP counties." SJC Council established the authority to convene the VSP Work Group, holding the first meeting January 27, 2016. The Work Group developed the SJC VSP Work Plan, which established an implementation framework for VSP. 

Work Group members are appointed by SJC Council. VSP is implemented by the Work Group and the contracted Technical Service Provider (SJICD).  


Council Update:

Christine Minney:

  • Attended the WSAC Board of Director meeting in Olympia, as well as a WSAC LSC legislative open house reception where she was able to have conversation with legislators, including Rep Alex Ramel. 
  • Attended a full LSC board meeting where the merits and drawbacks of several bills were discussed, related to three distinct topics which were: permitting reforms, accessory dwelling units and parking minimums. The latter doesn’t apply to San Juan County but is impactful for counties in Washington state.
  • Attended the Orcas Island Elected Officials Meet and Greet 
  • Participated in a meeting regarding the Argyle lots project as the RFQ’s submitted were evaluated.
  • The Chair of the LBC and myself had several interviews over 2 days for the currently vacant LBC positions and as seen below, 2 of 3 seats are on the appointment agenda.
  • Met with a handful of constituent meetings over the last two weeks, more than typical, navigating some current sensitive, San Juan Island specific issues with more to come this week.
  • Attended a leadership training put on by HR
  • Attended the Elected Officials Meet and Greet Event on Orcas

Jane Fuller:

  • Met with Mark Tompkins and Richard Uri regarding the Health Dept. Committee 
  • Plans to attend regional transportation meetings 
  • Met with and had correspondence with Shaw and Lopez Island constituents to discuss various matters of local concern
  • Attended the SJC Agriculture Listening Session on Lopez Island
  • Met with the three superintendents of the County’s largest school districts; met with an individual; and plan to meet with the Lopez Island School District Superintendent; attended the February Lopez School Board meeting.
  • Prepared to make testimony to the House Appropriations Committee in support of HB 1244 concerning a Levy Lid Lift for our school districts and HB 1436 on funding of special education in our county’s districts. Drafted correspondence for Council to sign regarding HB 1436.
  • Meeting with the Board of the Lopez Island Seniors Center
  • Orientation session with the Director of Health and Community Services regarding the council liaison role for related boards and committees.
  • Attended the San Juan and Orcas Islands Town Hall sessions of Newly Elected Officials.

Cindy Wolf:

  • Attended the Elected Officials Meet and Greet Event on Orcas
  • Participated in eel grass and kelp recovery plan kick off meeting 
  • Attended a Marine Resources Committee meeting 
  • Attended a listening session for the Ag. Resources Committee on Orcas Island 
  • Attended Department of Community Development meeting regarding the development of a tree ordinance 

Council discussed scheduling a special meeting on March 2, 2023 to hold an after-action session on the Aleutian Isle incident. 

Council also discussed other upcoming meeting opportunities: 

May 18: Ecosystems Coordinating Board meeting opportunity

June 21-22: Washington State Department of Transportation Advisory Board meeting opportunity 

June 23 – Northwest Straits Commission meeting opportunity

Legislative Update:

  • Councilmember Minney attended, while in Olympia, a LSC open house-style reception where she met with Washington State legislators
  • Councilmember Minney attended, while in Olympia, the LSC Legislative Steering Committee meeting where attendees discussed the merits of specific bills relating to three topics: permitting reform, dwelling units/ADUs and parking minimums. 

Manager Update: Mark Tompkins, HCS Director & Deputy County Manager, Health & Community Services

No significant updates were given. 

Council Clerk Update:  Sally Rogers, Clerk 

The Council voted to continue the public hearing for a conveyance of a conservation easement on the Lopez Hill property of the Land Bank to February 28, 2023. 

  1. Review Agendas & Council Calendar Items

  2. Advisory Committee Appointments/ Reappointments: 

  • Council voted to Appoint Steve Ulvi to the Housing Advisory Committee.
  • Council voted to Appoint Aaron Boyles and Craig Smith to the Marine Resources Committee.
  • Council voted to Appoint Tom McDonough to the Orcas Island Library Board
  • Council voted to Appoint the following members to the Voluntary Stewardship Program: Byron Rot, Dean Dougherty, Grant Carlton, Laura Pitts, Pauline Chiquet
  • Council voted to Appoint Dan Vekved to the Eastsound Review and Planning Committee
  • Council voted to Re-appoint Jennifer Swanson to the Ferry Advisory Committee
  • Council voted to Appoint Marilyn O’Connor to the Land Bank Conservation Commission, District 1/Position 1
  • Council voted to Appoint Amy Trainer to the Land Bank Conservation Commission, Position of At-Large 

EXECUTIVE SESSION: To discuss with legal counsel litigation or potential litigation pursuant to RCW 42.30.110(1)(i), Prosecuting Attorney, Amy Vira.

FIELD TRIP:  Parks Department proposal to created needed capacity for camping on San Juan Island.  Brandon Cadwell, Parks & Fair Director.02:00 PM ADJOURN


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