Island County Commissioners cut ties with hearing examiner

Island County commissioners are looking to sever ties with its longtime hearing examiner.

At a work session Wednesday, commissioners asked Island County Planning Director Hiller West to begin a search to replace Michael Bobbink, who has served in the position for more than 25 years.

“He’s given many years of service to Island county but he’s not doing what we agreed to pay him for,” Commissioner Helen Price Johnson said.

She and Commissioner Jill Johnson said Bobbink hadn’t been fulfilling parts of his contract that require assistance to staff in code cleanup. The hearing examiner acts as a judge to resolve disputes within the county’s jurisdiction, such as building permit approvals or denials.

Price Johnson said part of his job was also to use his experience to help staff fix areas within the code that lacked clarity or consistency. West told commissioners when he first came to the county about three years ago Bobbink had been in a couple of code cleanup discussions but hadn’t participated much since.

Johnson added that the intent had been to fix issues before they would be disputed. Her issue was with the unwillingness to help in advance.

“Our goal is to have the cleanest code possible,” Johnson said, “and not have it pointed out where there’s flaws in the middle of a hearing.”

West said if a replacement hearing examiner is found, he will let Bobbink’s contract expire at the end of the year.

More in News

Burning bans likely to come earlier this year

This year, the fire forecasts provided by the state Department of Natural… Continue reading

Whidbey Queer Pride Parade postponed

May be canceled this year, organizers say

Coupeville ferry loses boat later this month

A complicated confluence of considerations means a cut in service for the… Continue reading

Rep. Larsen adds provisions to Defense Act to address jet noise

The Navy may end up conducting real-time noise monitoring of EA-18G Growler… Continue reading

Conservation Futures grant may help preserve shoreline property

An Island County Commissioner is seeking public input before deciding which land… Continue reading

Backups expected as ferry gets dockside checkup

Just as the tourism season is kicking into high gear, the Clinton-to-Mukilteo… Continue reading

WhidbeyHealth gets good news for budget

Medicare money and swing beds to help hospital’s financial woes

WhidbeyHealth CEO apologizes for Clinton clinic chaos

‘We want to take care of this community’

Clearcut swath on Maxwelton Road will be replanted

State permit allows 16 acres of timber harvest

Most Read