Port attempts to kill initiative for two new seats

Permalink +

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.

Port attempts to kill initiative for two new seats

Tue, Jan 31, 2012, 9:36 am  //  Paul deArmond

Port Commissioner Scott Walker and attorney Frank Chmelik get caught ballot-rigging again

0 comments

UPDATE: City of Bham Moonlighting Issue - More Documents

Tue, Jan 31, 2012, 12:58 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley updates us on the latest facts coming to light about City of Bellingham employee moonlighting

2 comments; last on Feb 01, 2012

Village Books

In historic Fairhaven. Take Exit 250 from I-5.

Compliance, Noncompliance and Invalidity in Whatcom County

Mon, Jan 30, 2012, 12:16 am  //  Wendy Harris

The 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

A Worm’s Eye View of our local WorkSource Center

Wed, Jan 25, 2012, 11:42 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley visits the local WorkSource center and interviews the regional director

0 comments

Watch out for basement flooding

Thu, Jan 19, 2012, 11:03 pm  //  Paul deArmond

Stormwater surge may back up sewers

5 comments; last on Jan 21, 2012

The Political Junkie interviews Kathy Kershner

Thu, Jan 19, 2012, 6:29 pm  //  Riley Sweeney

Riley discusses the Jail, Jack Louws, and an impartial council with our new Council Chair

1 comments; last on Jan 20, 2012

SOPA - A Step in Destroying Democracy

Thu, Jan 19, 2012, 2:17 am  //  John Servais

NWCitizen.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

Why SOPA is so terrible

Tue, Jan 17, 2012, 8:28 pm  //  John Servais

On 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.

0 comments

Planning Commissioner Mocks Environmental Concern For Coal Terminal

Sun, Jan 15, 2012, 1:06 am  //  Wendy Harris

Planning Commissioner Onkels should recuse himself from review of environmental impacts at GPT.

3 comments; last on Feb 08, 2012

Jack Petree, Olympia, the Whatcom Council and Obama’s Inner Circle

Wed, Jan 11, 2012, 10:04 am  //  Riley Sweeney

Latest from the Political Junkie on a variety of subjects

7 comments; last on Jan 16, 2012

Commmunity Governance at its Best

Mon, Jan 09, 2012, 10:27 pm  //  Tip Johnson

We have a new mayor!

4 comments; last on Jan 10, 2012

Property Rights Protected Under Lake Whatcom Stormwater Proposal

Mon, Jan 09, 2012, 1:02 am  //  Wendy Harris

The County's proposed stormwater regulations for Lake Whatcom will increase development without improving water quality

2 comments; last on Jan 20, 2012

Riley Rouses Row Over Domestic Violence

Sun, Jan 08, 2012, 3:21 am  //  John Servais

Issue is County Council member Kathy Kershner and how our social service programs are funded.

3 comments; last on Jan 08, 2012

Some thoughts on the Occupy Bellingham issue

Sun, Jan 01, 2012, 2:05 am  //  John Servais

A 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 Info

Candidate Filings

Primary election results

Whatcom Auditor

Coal, Oil & Trains

Community Wise Bellingham

Powder River Basin R. C.

Local Blogs & News

Bellingham Herald

Bham Herald Politics Blog
Bham Politics & Economics
Cascadia Weekly
Ferndale Record
Friends of Whatcom
Get Whatcom Planning
KGMI
Latte Republic
League of Women Voters
Lynden Tribune
MikeatthePort
Northern Light

Twilight Zoning
Western Front - WWU
Whatcom Watch

Local Causes

Chuckanut Community Forest

City Club of Bellingham
Conservation NW
Futurewise - Whatcom
Lake Whatcom
Lummi Island Quarry
N. Cascades Audubon
NW Holocaust Center
RE Sources
Reduce Jet Noise
Salish Sea Org.
Save the Granary Building
Transition Whatcom
WA Conservation Voters

Governments

Bellingham

Port of Bellingham
Skagit County
US - The White House
WA State Access
WA State Elections
WA State Legislature
Whatcom Auditor
Whatcom Auditor
Whatcom County

Weather & Climate

Cliff Mass Weather Blog

Climate Audit
Nat Hurricane Center
NW Radar
Two day forecast
Watts Up With That? - climate

Leisure

Adventures NW

Edge of Sports
Entertainment NNW
Famous Internet Skiers
Recreation Northwest
Sailing Anarchy

Good Web Sites

Al-Jazeera online

Alaska Dispatch
AlterNet.org
Antiwar.com
Arab News
Asia Times
Atlantic, The

Common Dreams
counterpunch
Crosscut Seattle
Daily Kos
Daily Mirror
Doonesbury
Drudge Report
FiveThirtyEight
Foreign Policy in Focus
GlobalPost
Guardian Unlimited
Gulf News
Haaretz
Huffington Post
Innocence Project, The
Intrnational Herald Tribune
James Fallows
Jerusalem Post
Joel Connelly
Juan Cole
Julia Ioffe/New Republic
Le Diplo
Media Matters
Michael Moore
Middle East Times
MoveOn.org
Nation, The
New American Century
News Trust
NMFA
numbers
Online Journal
Palestine Daily
Palestine News
Paul Krugman - economics
Personal bio info
Portland Indy Media
Progressive Review
Project Vote Smart
Reuters
Sea Shepherd
Slate
Stand for the Troops
Ta-Nehisi Coates
Talking Points Memo
TED
The Crisis Papers
The Intercept
the Oatmeal
Tom Paine.com
truthout
Vox
War and Piece
Washington Votes
WikiLeaks.ch
ynetnews.com

NwCitizen 1995 - 2007

Early Northwest Citizen

Quiet, Offline or Dead

Bellingham Police Activity

Bellingham Register
Bob Sanders
Carl Weimer
Chuckanut Mountains
Citizen Ted
Citizens of Bellingham
Cordata & Meridian
David Hackworth
Facebook Port Reform
HamsterTalk
Jack Petree
N. Sound Conservancy
No Leaky Buckets
Northwest Review
Orcinus
Post-Oklahoman Confessions
Protect Bellingham Parks
The American Telegraph
Wally Wonders