These notes were taken by an Okanogan County Watch volunteer. Every attempt is made to be accurate. Notes are verbatim when possible, and otherwise summarized or paraphrased.
Note takers comments or clarifications are in italics. These notes are not the official county record of the meeting. For officially approved minutes, which are normally published at a later time, CLICK HERE.
The time stamps refer to the times on the AV Capture archive of the meeting on this date at the County livestream archive. To locate items in real time, the clock on the wall in the AV Capture screen can be helpful.
02.27.23 AM - BOCC
A public comment from Isabelle Spohn, regarding the need for an updated Multi-Hazard Mitigation Plan regarding wildfires, ingress and egress and escape routes with up-to-date signage for dead-end and closed roads, sparks a discussion by the Commissioners. They agree that an up-to-date plan is important and discuss problems of achieving that. Maurice Goodall (MG) of Emergency Management talks about this topic later in the meeting, and the Commissioners plan to discuss it with Josh Thomson, the County Roads Engineer tomorrow when he appears before them.
Zak Kennedy updates the Commissioners about the state legislature’s current session in Olympia.
Naomie Peasley, Fairgrounds Manager, and the Commissioners discuss funding sources for new rabbit cages and barns for both racehorses and 4-H horses. The rabbit cages and some of the horse barn project will have to wait until next year.
Pete Palmer, Planning Director, tells the commissioners that Isabelle Spohn continues to disagree with Pete’s assertion that the Tunk Rezone Hearing was properly advertised. She also says several members of the Farm Bureau have requested public records associated with the Tunk rezone.
Maurice Goodall and the Commissioners discuss roads during fires. Commissioner Branch says the BOCC should pay attention to the NEPA and SEPA documents and make comments about roads going through forests. MG says the county maintains a list of people with Special Needs who are notified in emergencies. County residents can call Emergency Management to discuss being included in the list.
Commissioner Neal says that the Priest Lake, ID, Sheriff’s Office is offering hiring bonuses of $10,000 for new hires and $25,000 for lateral transfers. He knows this because he saw an advertisement of TV for the bonuses.
Commissioners review the amount of ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) funds they’ve allocated to date. They’ve allocated $7,100,000 of the $8,200,000 the county was awarded.
Commissioner Branch urges the other commissioners to sign a letter to Senator Murray, requesting money for a feasibility study for a multi-county treatment evaluation center designed to keep people out of jail if a jail term isn’t what would help the situation. He’ll also solicit support from David McClay, CEO of Okanogan Behavioral Health Care and Sheriff Budrow.
Commissioners have two Executive Sessions.To discuss litigation and potential litigation, inviting Esther Milner, Chief Civil Deputy Prosecutor, Pete Palmer, Director of Planning, and Rocky Robbins, Planning, and
To discuss potential litigation, inviting Esther Milner and Shelley Keitzman, Human Resources and Risk Management.
Commissioners and Esther Milner discuss proposed changes to the county code.