Letter: Commission is living with consequences of regrettable discussion

Editor,

The recent coverage of the Island County Planning Commission meeting on the Housing Element draft text as part of the Washington State Growth Management Act has been interesting.

The first news article, by reporter Laura Guido, covering the planning commission meeting on June 19 identified a new voice, Planning Commissioner Shannon Williams.

The coverage indicated a “philosophical shift” of the commission, which I believe is a gross overstatement.

The audio recording of the meeting may be heard at https:www.islandcountywa.gov/Planning/Pages/planning comm.aspx if you choose to listen to the actual language.

Williams, at her second meeting as an appointed commissioner, was, in part, supported by Commissioner Munson, from District No. 3. Commissioner Gilroy, also from District No. 3, offered several language edits to the draft, but did not express any change of support for the Housing Element draft “philosophy.”

Guido’s reporting did not reference my comments that attempted to bring the discussion back to the purpose of the Housing Element analysis, which is a serious look at the growth and housing needs of Island County.

Perhaps I was not strong enough in my language to disagree, but I eventually took Commissioner Williams at her original statement, that she needed more background in the project.

Several of the comments were volatile and expressed very biased opinions regarding the residents of our county. I had never heard this “exclusive” language nor narrow opinions during the many meetings that I have attended as a resident, or since I was appointed a commissioner in January.

The discussion deteriorated and, even after I attempted to bring this back to the intent of the Housing Element draft text, it felt like an ambush with some of the commissioners prepared with an agenda.

I leave the verdict on the “shameful” commissioner remarks as reported in the Opinion column to the community. I know that I will not let this language occur in the future without challenge.

The planning commission is left with the consequences of this regrettable discussion.

A planning commissioner’s appointment is not only about one’s perspective, but the community and culture of Island County as a whole.

Margaret Andersen

Planning Commissioner, District 1

Langley

More in Opinion

Cartoon for Feb. 16, 2019

Cartoon for Feb. 16, 2019… Continue reading

PUBLISHER’S COLUMN: Lawmakers should follow true science, pass HB1683

Growing up in Anacortes during the 1970s, we would line up in… Continue reading

Letter: Exposure to jet noise is harmful to your health

Editor, Noise exposure from military jets has long been shown to cause… Continue reading

Letter: Wondering if the Navy has problem with credibility

Editor, The Navy Growler EIS makes dubious assertions, as well as verbal… Continue reading

Letter: Fractional reserve lending a good deal for state residents

Editor, Former state treasurer Duane A. Davidson is opposed to the citizens… Continue reading

Cartoon for Feb. 13, 2019

Cartoon for Feb. 13, 2019… Continue reading

Letter: Dams came at high cost to tribes dependent on salmon

Editor, “Urgent warning: Elected officials, if breaching does not begin this winter,… Continue reading

Letter: Patriot Prayer can’t decide law is unconstitutional

Editor, First, a quote: “Like most rights, the Second Amendment right is… Continue reading

Cartoon for Feb. 9, 2019

Cartoon for Feb. 9, 2019… Continue reading

Most Read