Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Replacing Sam Crawford

Council member Sam Crawford has resigned from county council, effective March 1, 2015. A video of his statement and some of the other council member's responses can be seen here.

There will be time to review council member Crawford's 16 year legacy of public service. There will be time to say, “Thank you!” and ask “Why?”. Sam will become a full time, Westside Building Center manager. Best wishes, Sam!

But what reality presses hard?  A position needs to be filled. The council will choose a replacement. There will be no election. An appointment will be made. If council cannot agree on a replacement in thirty days, the county executive has fifteen days to appoint a person to fill out the balance of Mr. Crawford’s term.

Six elected council persons will either cross swords intractably (remember Bob Kelly), or will collaborate to make an appointment.

What do you expect? How many candidates will apply? How will council members frame their favorites?

Here is my prediction.

There is one determined, progressively aligned council member who heavily supported a progressively aligned District 2 person who lost the race for District 42 State Representative in November, 2014. 

This council member is one of four progressively aligned council members who vote as a progressively aligned bloc on appointments for key council appointed boards. It is highly likely we will see this district 2 council position filled by this district 2 progressively aligned person who was soundly rejected by district 2 voters.


When Bob Kelly resigned, Pete Kremen wisely avoided appointing the progressive favorite who had lost elections two times just before that event. Conservative voters picked Tony Larson a few months later, and the retired Pete Kremen, as a new councilman unseated Larson a year after that.

However, the business world operates bone on bone. Free markets pick winners and losers. Canny business men buy low and sell high, and delight in extending their business reach. Patronage works. The only problem is that an unbridled drive to “control” ends up destroying both patrons and heirs. Successful public policy thrives, not on bitter force, but on trust built through servant leadership.

Tonight at county council, this same council member pressed very  hard to deny $30,000.00 for WRIA 1 planning unit quarterly operations. He said to wait for the state to fund this unfunded mandate. This is chump change. $20,000.00 for a two day, one time water seminar was freely given to WRIA 1 naysayers in the recent past.

This was nothing but a thinly disguised effort to crush dissent and irregularity. Rud Browne proposed a new “water council” that would supersede the WRIA 1 planning unit, an advisory only board totally synchronized by the executive’s office. Bone on bone. Crush “employee” dissent. Fire those who are shouting “fire”.

Tonight, two new, progressively approved persons were appointed to the planning commission, shutting out the reapplying conservative planning commission chair. David Onkels, known for challenging progressive planners and their dogma, with experience and counter balance, was tossed on the trash heap by county council.

Time will tell if the progressive Gang of Four on County Council have shown foresight in appointing only their own ideological kin to the leading Whatcom County advisory boards. Time will tell if the WRIA 1 planning unit’s contrarian instincts truly adds value or just angst to the WRIA 1 Joint Board, which has operated outside the RCW legal framework since 2009.

Time will show who truly can meld
  • fair, big government, mercy minded progressives,    (give to gov't charity)
  • free, big market, justice minded conservatives,        (give to private charity)
  • USING “humble” servant minded leadership.           (invest in adversaries).
It is the model and values of the servant leader Christ on the cross that gave us our western civilization. It is both the progressive AND conservative abandonment of that model for self actuated nihilism in the “new”, Post Modern West that is steadily leading us into a new dark age.

JK, Whatcom Works


Sam Crawford Resigns from Whatcom County Council


  1. Mr. Knapp, who at one time was the Whatcom County Planning Director, is well, even superbly, qualified to serve on the commission during a period in which the county's Comprehensive Plan will be updated. He will bring much-needed perspective to the process, which I will follow with interest. I am not that familiar with Ms. Oliver, who appears to be a person of accomplishment.

    1. Thank you for your gracious spirit and generous deference, David. I also stand corrected re credentials. We will miss your acuity. Time will tell if these persons can reach across the bias aisle and forge consensus. I hope I am wrong in my expectations. The saying goes, trust broken once, shame on you. Trust broken twice, shame on me. Teasing out conflict, then damning it seems to be the progressive way. JK


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