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County Council

Posted on: May 22, 2023

Council Meeting Review: May 22, 2023

This meeting included a discussion on the Law and Justice Committee, information about County boards and commissions, LTAC Award reviews, terminating the County's State of Emergency, and more.

This document is a review of the County Council meeting, Monday, May 22, 2023. Information related to agenda changes, Consent Agenda, and Public Comment are on the County website. For additional information about what was discussed, please refer to the recording.  







1.Discussion/Action: COVID vaccine requirement, Mark Tompkins –Director of Health & Community Services and Interim County Manger, Angie Baird –Director of Human Resources and Risk Management. To propose the approval of a Resolution Terminating the State of Emergency and Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccination for San Juan County, Washington Employees and Volunteers.

On March 13, 2020, the County Council issued Resolution 08-2020, proclaiming a State of Emergency for San Juan County as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. On August 24, 2021 County Council issued Resolution 23-2021 adopted establishing Mandatory COVID-19 Vaccinations for employees and volunteers engaging in work for San Juan County. 

The World Health Organization announced an end to the global health emergency for COVID-19 on May 5, 2023, and the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency declaration ended on May 11, 2023. Then the Biden-Harris Administration lifted the COVID-19 vaccine requirements for Federal employees, Federal contractors and international air travelers on May 11, 2023. Governor Jay Inslee rescinded the COVID-19 vaccine requirements for State employees in Directive 22-13.1, effective May 11, 2023.  

Mark Tompkins and Angie Baird presented that the use of emergency powers are no longer needed to manage the risks of COVID-19.

Council voted to adopt the resolution terminating the state of emergency in San Juan County Washington and terminating mandatory COVID-19 vaccination for San Juan County Washington employees and volunteers. 

2.Discussion: Douglas/ Bailer Road Improvements Update, Colin Huntemer –Public Works Director and Jacob Heinen – Public Works Project Manager.

CRP 011303 Douglas Rd/Bailer Hill Road Improvements is a part of the Six-Year Transportation Improvement Program (2023-2028) adopted by Resolution 29-2022.  The project provides for the improvement of 1.30 miles beginning at Douglas Road MP 3.15 to Bailer Hill Road MP 4.45.    

These roads provide the primary access for motorists and bicyclists between Friday Harbor and the West side of San Juan Island.  The route is narrow, has some vertical and horizontal sight distance issues and little to no road shoulder.  

The proposed improvements include shoulder widening, horizontal and vertical sight distance corrections, drainage restructuring and realignment of the road to be centered within the right-of-way.    

Council voted to schedule a public hearing on June 6, 2023 regarding the Bailer Hill / Douglas Road centerline location and accepting of easements by the County.  

3.Discussion: Open Space Tax Program and Designated Forrest Land overview –John Kulseth, County Assessor. 

Assessor John Kulseth presented an overview and refresher of current use and designated forest land tax programs. He also led a discussion of forested areas as possibly satisfying requirements for open space classification.

4. Discussion: Lodging Tax Facilities Grant Program Awards made in 2022 for expenditure in 2023, Jon Cain – Deputy Prosecuting Attorney. 

Jon Cain presented 3 proposed LTAC awards for Council to consider: 

  1. Genie Lift purchase for the San Juan Community Theatre - approve modification to move grant agreement forward.
  2. Dept. of Environmental Stewardship - Cattle Point Interpretive Area Upgrade
  3. Dept. of Environmental Stewardship - Training and Certification Program

Council decided to reach out to the applicants for further clarification of their proposals.  

5. Discussion: County Boards Commissions and Advisory committees review, Amy Vira-Prosecuting Attorney.

Prosecuting Attorney Amy Vira presented the beginning of an audit of the County’s boards, commissions, and advisory committees. She walked Council through considerations of evaluating boards, commissions, and advisory committees in advance of working through the entire list. 

Amy will continue using this format to evaluate other groups and plans to return to council in late June with additional updates.  

6. Discussion: Law and Justice, Linnea Anderson –Juvenile Director and Alex Frix –Public Defender.

Council was presented with information about the Law and Justice Council (LJC) which is authorized by WA State RCW 72.09.300(1). 

“Every county legislative authority shall by resolution or ordinance establish a local law and justice council. The county legislative authority shall determine the size and composition of the council....”

The San Juan County Local Law and Justice Council (LJC) co-chairs provided an update to County Council regarding recent LJC activities. Most recently, the current LJC was invited to provide feedback by way of a survey covering the following topics, meeting frequency, membership roles and responsibilities, the mission, and the LJC plan. The LJC currently meets quarterly and met recently to review the survey results and contemplate next steps.   

7. Discussion: Juneteenth acknowledgement for the June 13thmeeting, essay contest, art, poem or other?

Council discussed possible ways to recognize the holiday of Juneteenth and decided to write a proclamation. Council Chair Wolf took the lead in drafting the proclamation. 

8. Discussion/Action: Washington State Department of Commerce Budget Proviso, Consolidated Homeless Grant (CHG)

The State Department of Commerce is making some funds available in the form of recording fees. This is being done in an effort to backfill counties that had shortfalls in their recording fees. This funding would be on a two-year cycle at just over $24,000 per year that would be utilized to backfill any recording fee shortfalls. 

Council directed staff to ‘opt-in’ for the funding and to return to a future meeting with updates.  

9.Council Member & County Manager Updates

Council Update:

Councilmember Minney: 

  • Attended Council Meeting on Shaw Island
  • Attended the Washington State Association of Counties Board of Directors Conference in Moses Lake 
  • Attended the WSAC Virtual Assembly which was held to better understand the state of housing in Washington State  
  • Attended an IOSA board meeting 
  • Attended the first Northwest Regional Council meeting
  • Plans to attend the canoe journey arrival at Jackson’s Beach 

Councilmember Fuller: 

  • The Washington State Transportation Commission is coming to San Juan County in June
  • Discussed transportation projects with staff
  • Meeting regarding Child Protective Services in San Juan County 
  • Continuing to work with USPS to improve Post Office services on Shaw 
  • Working on ferry-related issues with WSF
  • Met with Rep Larsen’s staff
  • Met with neighbors of MacKaye Harbor regarding Public Works facilities  
  • Attended Board of Health meeting 
  • Working on a broadband access program for San Juan County  

Council Chair Wolf: 

  • Attended meetings in Washington DC as part of the Puget Sound Partnership on the Hill 
  • Announced that federal funding is available for culvert projects 
  • Attended the Ecosystems Coordination Board meeting
  • Plans to attend the Canoe Journey Landing on Orcas  

County Manager Updates: 

  • The County hired Norm Gollab as the interim director of DCD 
  • The County has begun a search for a new permanent director for DCD
  • The County is working with a consultant to review environmental reports submitted by applicants. This is in an effort to support reviews of land use permits in DCD. 
  • The County Manager met with the San Juan Builders Association to answer questions and receive feedback 

Review Agendas & Council Calendar Items: 

Next scheduled Council meetings; Tuesday meetings; June 6th, June 13th (Away meeting on Orcas Island), June 27th and July 11th.



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