>Community Meeting Report – 11/15/09


Requested Report.  We have been asked what happened at Saturday’s Illahee Community Club meeting, and responded that we would summarize our response in an update.  We didn’t take notes so this is from memory and what we thought significant.
How Informed of Meeting?  The ICC president, Barney Bernhard, had attendees tell how they heard about the meeting when they introduced themselves.  There were some who only saw the signs (there were 12 posted at various locations), some got letters (those who were active members without email), and the rest seemed to have gotten emails and most commented they also saw the signs.  What they have found out is that the signs work in letting people know about the meetings, even if they don’t attend.  But, then they want to know what happened, and that is what they like about the Updates.
Well Organized.  We found the ICC group had established a number of new committees, complete with chairpersons, and seemed more organized than ever.  If you were a member or on their email list all you had to do is check in.  Someone has done some significant work and it showed.
Grant Report.  We found the grant information most interesting.  The Port of Illahee’s Dept of Ecology grant is huge, over $200,000, that paid for the Parametrix Illahee Creek Watershed Surface Water Management Plan, and the Aquifer presentation at the Norm Dicks Center this summer, along with water quality monitoring of the creek, and future tree plantings along the creek.  The grant evidently also covers a Native Plant Demonstration Rain Garden project being planned for the new Illahee Preserve parking lot. 
Rain Garden Vote.  The ICC group voted to support the new rain garden, and has already helped with keeping the weeds down this past summer, which was also one of the service projects during Illahee Days. 
Why Rain Gardens?  One of the major findings of the Parametrix report was that we as residents could reduce the impact of storm water on Illahee Creek by residents having their storm water go through rain gardens.  Sounds too simple but evidently it works.  That is why the interest in a demonstration rain garden so that individual homeowners could see what a rain garden is and then create one.
Another Reason for Rain Gardens?  If we understand the aquifer situation correctly after listening to Dr. Massmann’s presentation this summer.  The Manette aquifer is essentially in balance, which means the water we are pulling out through wells, is basically the same with the rain water that is being infiltrated back into the aquifer.  In other words, it is extremely important for us to find ways to help infiltrate the rains that fall on our properties, back into the ground where it can replenish our aquifers.  We are looking into asking the grant people if they can make available the video that BKAT made and aired following the presentation of Dr. Massmann.
Port of Illahee Report.  The Port noted they are proceeding with the purchase of property in the vicinity of the community dock for use as an office.  They noted they are purchasing a solar powered speed sign for along Illahee Road that should be installed by the end of the year.  They are taking applications to fill Don Deitch’s Port Commissioner position (Don turned in a letter of resignation) and will announce their decision at their December meeting.  It is nice to have involved and dedicated Port Commissioners.
Illahee Community Plan.  We saw this item on the agenda, but they appeared to have skipped over it.  What we did see were CD copies of the Illahee Community Plan and a few paper copies.  Evidently they were just made up that morning and they don’t know how much to charge for them, or if they should give them away.  We will try to find out more on the availability of copies.
Timbers Edge Discussion.  This was most interesting for many in attendance.  Earlier the Board of Directors was approached and encouraged to appeal the Commissioner’s decision regarding Timbers Edge.  The Board said they would only do so if the community would come up with the money or pledges as the Board is liable financially for bills and fees.  At the meeting they were still going through the checks and pledges that had come in and no final report was made. 
Legal Issues Discussed.  The legal issues were discussed with one that was very interesting — it read “Commissioners engaged in unlawful procedure to come to their decision as they came into ex parte contact with staff.”  One of the resident Illahee lawyers explained what that meant and we will try to explain it here.  Judges, and those in a judicial capacity such as the Commissioners when they hear an appeal, are not supposed to discuss the case with one side without the other side being present.  According to the ICC, they feel there was such contact.
Wikipedia Ex parte Definitions.  We looked the term up in Wikipedia and found the following:  Ex parte is a Latin legal term meaning “from (by or for) one party” and “It is also used more loosely to refer to improper unilateral contacts with a court, arbitrator or represented party without notice to the other party or counsel for that party.” and “In the United States, the availability of ex parte orders or decrees from both federal and state courts is sharply limited by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, which provide that a person shall not be deprived of any interest in liberty or property without due process of law.”  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ex_parte
[some parts removed because of confidentiality]
Sensitive Report.  We understand that the legal items we are reporting on are sensitive to some in the community (they would rather have us not report on legal issues since they fear they will be prematurely passed on to the other side).  We did reduce our Cc list considerably, which was also a conern.  We are trying to report impartially what we hear and know of so the community will be well informed, and feel that some of this information is too important to wait until items, like probably further appeals, are actually filed.
Legal Issues Reporting?  Let us know your thoughts on what you would like to see in our reporting of legal issues.
Jim Aho