>There is a second Illahee road vacation hearing coming up on January 14, 2008; the first was held on December 17, 2007.
Walk Thru In order for residents to better understand the two road vacation proposals we are walking through both areas on Wednesday.
Past Hearing The first road vacation hearing was the Woodworth proposal on the 17th of December 2007. The hearing was well attended by Illahee residents and Illahee groups who were not in favor of the road vacation. The County Commissioners will likely decide the issue at their January 14, 2008 meeting. The county hearing notice sign is still up along Hardt Ave off of Roosevelt if you want to check out the area.
Upcoming Hearing The second road vacation hearing is the Smith/Peacock proposal which is scheduled to come before the Commissioners on January 14, 2008. There is a county hearing notice sign up on Fern Ave off of Roosevelt.
Details We will meet at 11 am on Wednesday (1/9/08) at Hardt Ave off of Roosevelt to walk through the area. We recommend hiking shoes because we will traverse the ravine and then walk north up a short, but relatively steep slope, to the county property being proposed for vacation by the Woodworths. From there we will walk east down Dock Street for a block to Fern Ave and go south through the county property being proposed for vacation by Smith & Peacock, which will require going down and up the ravine and then back to Roosevelt. The walk is a short round trip, but because of the ravine (the corridor that local residents say the wildlife use) has some fairly steep slopes, you should be able to walk up and down the slopes if you want to walk with us. For those who would rather not walk the slopes, we will explain the issues along Hardt Ave (Roosevelt side) as we begin our walk, and then again on Fern Ave (Roosevelt side) as we conclude our walk. That way you will be able to see and understand the issues without having to walk up unpathed areas. It should only take about 20-30 minutes, unless there are lots of questions.
Questions? Jim walked the area on Monday (1/7/08) so if you have any questions regarding any of the walk through details, call Jim Aho at 479-1049.
Dennis Sheeran & Jim Aho
PS We have been asked to attach a letter that was written to the Commissioners after the first hearing, which helps describe the sensitivity of these road vacation issues.
I cannot tell you how outraged I am by your apparent flip-flop on the issue of the Woodworth road vacation. To allow yourselves to be swayed by the inappropriate, emotional appeal of Commissioner Angel and completely disregard all of the facts and statements presented by the residents of our Illahee neighborhood, the Illahee Preserve Stewardship Committee, the Port of Illahee Commissioner, and your own County Parks Department is both startling and disappointing.
I am also quite concerned about what may have been major breaches of both parliamentary procedure and county meeting protocol. I do not profess to know either system well, but it seems to me that, after public comment is closed, there should be no further comment from the public. In this case, that would be from Mr. Woodworth. It seemed rude and inappropriate for Commissioner Angel to deliberately address a question to Mr. Woodworth, after the close of public comment, and not allow others to refute his statements or add additional opinions to the record. The motion to deny the vacation petition had already been made and seconded. At that point, discussion of the motion between the Commissioners was called for. That discussion between the three of you should then have been followed by a vote. Instead, Commissioner Angel stepped out of bounds, showed favoritism for the Woodworths, and essentially tainted what, to that point, had been a well-managed public hearing. Her behavior was bad enough. But to have the two of you blindly fall into the trap she set and so quickly reverse your initial opinions leaves me wondering who we can depend on to help preserve what is left of Illahee, in particular, and Kitsap County, in general.
There is also an obvious problem with Molly Foster’s involvement in this situation. She has brazenly sided with the Woodworths throughout this process. Is she not supposed to be an unbiased, neutral county employee charged with compiling information and fairly representing all sides in this issue? Apparently she is not aware of that. Her behavior after the meeting is a prime example. We were all in the lobby of the building after leaving the board room. Did Molly make an effort to talk to any of us about what the next step in the process would be or give her opinion of how the meeting went or offer any suggestions on what we might do to clarify our positions in time for the January meeting? Absolutely not. She spent an extraordinary amount of time talking and laughing with the Woodworths. Might I suggest that someone talk to her and tell her to at least have the courtesy to hide her biases when she is in public view.
As you both are well aware, there are many of us in the Illahee Community who work hard everyday to participate in community functions, to be aware of what is happening in our area, to make our voices heard, to protect our neighborhood, and to appreciate the privilege we have of living in such a beautiful area. We have shown that we have the courage to educate ourselves about community issues, to take a stand, and to stick with it. We had hoped that the Commissioners, particularly the Commissioner that represents our area, would show the same courage. You failed us completely. Teresa Jones