Commissioners will talk with
governor on growth management issues - Say a 'vocal minority' is driving
the issues, expresses concerns about sanctions due to 'noncompliance' with
By Mary Duncan
Shelton Journal -
Shelton, WA - 1/10/2002 - The Mason County commissioners
will sit down face to face with Governor Gary Locke in the state capitol
next Thursday to discuss growth-management
"We don't feel the governor really knows where we are and what's
here, in terms of growth-management issues, in terms of tribal issues, the
Skokomish River problems," Commissioner Herb Baze told The Journal
Since 1996, sections of the Mason
County comprehensive plan, development
regulations and resource ordinance have been ruled invalid and out of
compliance with the Growth Management Act by the Western Washington Growth
Management Hearings Board.
The governor may levy sanctions and withhold certain state funds from any
jurisdiction which remains out of compliance for three years without
a good-faith effort.
In December the commissioners
learned what sanctions against Mason County
might mean for the 2002 budget. Figures prepared by Ione Siegler, budget
director, indicate the road department could lose about $2.9 million, the
current-expense fund about $2.8 million and the special fund about
from real-estate excise tax.
The county's regulations have been challenged by the Mason County
Development Council and Advocates for Responsible Development as well as
Baze said the board is "very
disturbed that a vocal minority can shut the
county down." The county is attempting to plan under GMA, but
challenge whatever the county submits to the hearings board, Baze said.
"A vocal minority is driving
growth-management issues, and it is a minority.
Every time they say, 'Jump,' we do because they know they will be listened
to by the hearings board," Haze said. "We're doing everything we
want some reassurance the governor understands," he added.
The meeting, arranged by State Senator Tim Sheldon at the commissioners'
request, will begin at 4 p.m. January 17 in the governor's office.