State Conservation District Board Decides not to Certify Whatcom County Conservation District Election

All but 2 of the 45 Conservation Districts in the State of Washington had their elections certified by the Washington State Conservation Commission board at their last meeting. The Whatcom County election was not included in the lists of  certified elections.

Supervisor Larry Helm

This means that Larry Helm will continue to serve as a local district supervisor until the state board decides what to do about the complaints made by Whatcom County citizen Bruce Ayers here.  And a third complaint here in the election held March 13th of this year.

Sources say the certification can occur at any time with a special meeting but the next scheduled state board meeting is July 28th, 2018.  The Fourth Corner will continue to follow this story.

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Here is a brief explanation of the Conservation District  organizational Structure.

From their website: “Conservation districts are locally led. Each district is directed by a five-member board of supervisors. Three members are elected locally, at least two of whom must be landowners or operators of a farm. The SCC appoints the remaining two members, including at least one landowner or farm operator.

There are 45 Conservation Districts in the state of Washington. Find yours today! Visit the Conservation District Map and Directory.

Chapter 89.08 of the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) is the enabling statute for conservation district work in Washington and was adopted by the legislature in 1939.

Within this link is a letter from Executive Director, Mark Clark verifying Conservation Districts are local government entities.”


City of Bellingham Passes Clean Energy Measure

Industry warnings about costs, reliability overruled

Bellingham City Hall

by Brett Bonner, WBA Public Policy Director

The Bellingham City Council has decided to move the city toward 100% renewable electricity, heating and transportation by 2035.

The Council voted on (5/7/18) in favor of a resolution that energy industry representatives say could cost consumers and businesses millions of dollars in extra expenses. While saying they support the renewable ambitions, energy officials asked the council to first determine if such lofty ambitions are technologically feasibility and at what cost—before setting target dates for implementation.

Under the resolution’s aims, Bellingham municipal facilities would use 100% renewable energy in just 12-years. The same target date has been set for the entire Bellingham community’s electrical supply. By 2035, the Council wants 100% renewable energy for all heating and transportation in the city.

The measure creates a 12-member “Community and Staff Climate Action Plan Task Force”, which is to determine the feasibility, costs and impacts of the 100% renewable energy ambition.

Energy company representatives are guaranteed just one seat at the “Task Force” table. The rest of the board will consist of up to six members of City of Bellingham staff and one representative from public transportation, with the balance being of up to six community representatives with experience in “renewable energy, energy conservation, land use, energy/resource economics, community engagement, transportation or finance.”

Bellingham City Council

Energy industry officials say that renewable energy ambitions are not technologically achievable at this point in time and could create serious reliability issues. They also say the costs could hit the elderly and low-income families particularly hard.

A similar measure was proposed at the state level during the last legislative session; lawmakers determined not enough information was known and decided not to vote. Legislators agreed to consider a committee to study energy goals.