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San Juan County Council approves purchase of 16 acres on Shaw for public works site

LWVSJ Observer Corps summary of San Juan County Council's June 25, 2024 meeting.
During public comment several residents of Shaw spoke to the county’s planned purchase of land for a
public works facility. Two commenters raised unanswered questions about the project with one opposing
the purchase without more information.

Friends of the San Juans reminded the council of the need for environmental assessment review before developing the site. Two commenters spoke in support of the project, one of whom read a letter signed by many residents, noting how the inadequate existing facility affects the quality and scope of road and other projects on Shaw.

Later the council approved the purchase of the 16-acre property, 1427 Neck Road on Shaw Island. They have long been seeking a site and appropriate properties are rarely available. The future of the existing site is an open question for community discussion when the time comes.

The council approved an ordinance to update the county code on vehicles and traffic, adopting the
model state traffic code, excepting sections that do not apply in the county.

The County set a public hearing on changes in the Noxious Weed Control Board Membership Voting Map.
Human Resources briefed the council on equal opportunity statistics for the county and the council adopted
an Equal Opportunity Plan for 2024-2025 required under federal law. Women are underrepresented among
sworn law enforcement officers, skilled craft and senior administrative positions; the report does not cover
elected officials where women are well represented. Men are underrepresented in administrative support
positions and black and Hispanic residents are underrepresented across job areas.

The County will form an internal working group on the 32-hour work week to monitor how the new system
is working, develop appropriate performance indicators, and seek solutions to address the challenges
identified for staff and the public.

Given recent security incidents in the county, the safety committee will look into staff training on
de-escalation and dealing with threats. Chair Fuller reported that after the council's letter to Washington State Ferries, she had several conversations with WSF senior staff to discuss the communications issues that have plagued the ferry schedule task force and to some extent the Ferry Advisory Committee.

They have a plan to address the problems starting with the June 26 meeting of the task force.

The new County Manager Jessica Hudson is due to start on July 15.

The League of Women Voters, a nonpartisan organization encourages informed participation in government. The Observer Corps attends and takes notes at government meetings to expand public understanding of public policy and decisions. The notes do not necessarily reflect the views of the League or its members.

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