How much should our mayor be paid?

July 31, 2013 07:03 by Ryan
As the Skagit Valley Herald reported a while back, the City Council recently discussed a proposal to increase the mayor’s base salary from $103,663 to $110,000. I can’t imagine why we’re considering this during the “toughest budget year in 19 years,” but since the mayor has proposed it, let’s talk about it. The M... [More]

The City Council Doesn’t Read the Contracts It Approves

July 15, 2013 23:59 by Ryan
But it really should. Tonight’s agenda requested approval for three contracts that were not included in the packet, including one for divers to remove milfoil from Heart Lake. When I asked that it be reviewed by the City Attorney before approval, Mayor Maxwell protested that he was responsible for the attorney review and that we didn't need t... [More]

City Council Resolutions Now Online

February 3, 2013 17:24 by Ryan
Thanks to a grant from the State Archives, the City was able to have all City Council resolutions back to 1901 scanned into TIFF format. No council resolutions appear on the city’s website—not even current resolutions—but I’ve made them all available in an easily-browsable (although unfortunately not searchable) format at th... [More]

Improving City Council Meetings

January 13, 2013 12:22 by Ryan
At a couple of recent meetings, the City Council has plodded through a set of summary procedural rules that we’ve spent a great deal of money having our city attorney draft. This has been a pointless exercise for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that we’re not learning anything about the very point of parliamentary procedure (to enabl... [More]

A Year’s Worth of City Council Paper

January 1, 2013 15:44 by Ryan
It’s recycling day at my house. The photo above represents about 12 months worth of unnecessary paper associated with my first year on the City Council—my attempts to reject it notwithstanding. The piles would stack higher if I’d rifled through it all, but most of it goes unread or untouched, because almost everything in City Council packets is... [More]

Playing by the Rules

September 25, 2012 08:08 by Ryan
Although the City Council hasn’t formally adopted Robert’s Rules of Order, we do seem to operate under some rudimentary form of parliamentary procedure. Except when we don’t. During last night’s debate on the Tethys UGA expansion application, I moved to postpone consideration of the motion to approve the application until December 1, which is th... [More]

Charging for Records Retrievals will Curb Access

September 20, 2012 22:54 by Ryan
Also published in the Anacortes American on September 12, 2012: A recent letter to the editor (“Public records ‘witch hunt’ cost city a bundle,” September 5) claims that requests for public records are excessively burdening the City of Anacortes and argues the Legislature should amend the Public Records Act so that requestors can be billed for res... [More]

Careful Stewardship, Not Blank Checks

September 9, 2012 13:27 by Ryan
The Skagit Valley Herald has a guest column worth reading today entitled “This special place that is our Skagit Valley” (available on GoSkagit or in the e-Edition) that notes the many “jobs” proposals we’ve seen over the years: The aluminum plant on Guemes Island. The nuclear power plants at Hamilton and on Kiket and Samish islands. The... [More]

What does Envision Skagit say about industrial land?

September 6, 2012 22:30 by Ryan
Several proponents of the Tethys UGA expansion application have tried to use the County’s Envision Skagit 2060project (an EPA-funded study to project growth in Skagit County through the year 2060) to justify the addition of industrial land to the City of Anacortes for the Tethys water plant. The Envision Skagit Citizen Committee issued an 85-page... [More]

What do you want to know about the Tethys UGA expansion proposal?

August 21, 2012 23:58 by Ryan
On Tuesday, September 4, the City Council will discuss the proposed resolution to ratify the mayor’s unauthorized application to the County to expand the Anacortes Urban Growth Area on behalf of Tethys Enterprises (ostensibly for a bottled water plant). A number of commenters at last night’s meeting had concerns about Tethys’s pla... [More]