This year Whatcom County will put the final touches on what is called the Whatcom County Comprehensive Planning Document (Comp Plan). This planning document will be the playbook used to plan for the future growth of Whatcom County for the next 20 years. The Comp Plan is mandated by the Growth Management Act as a tool to be used as a way to insure that Cities, Counties, and our State plans for growth in a manner that meets the needs of these areas to avoid the waste of resources and provide an overlap between cities and counties as a guard against conflicts within each entity. Proper planning promotes good growth. To do anything but that creates deficiencies in education, infrastructure, livability, safety and protection, and discourages economic growth for the residents and tax payers living here.
Last night the Whatcom County Council held a published, public comment period for the people of Whatcom County to show up and voice their vision of what they want Council to address within the 2016 Comp Plan update. That was the stated purpose of last night’s public comment. Council Chambers were overflowing out into the Rotunda and many people used this opportunity to share their thoughts to the Council last night.
Two weeks ago I shared a letter which was addressed to Mark Personius, Assistant Director of Whatcom County Planning Department Services. Within the letter from the Lummi Indian Business Council, aka the Lummi Nation, was a request by the Lummi Nation to place a moratorium on all exports of fossil fuels from Cherry Point, and to deny future expansion of the Cherry Point Industrial zone. Their letter asked that such language be added within the 2016 WC Comp Plan update. Shortly after that, RE Sources for a Sustainable Community took up the Lummi Nation’s issue to help elevate it and create pressure on the leadership of Whatcom County to legitimately consider the Lummi Nation’s request.
Long story short, RE Sources and the Lummi Nation showed up at the last night’s Council meeting. Also in attendance in great numbers were the people who work at the Cherry Point Industries and a number of businesses who independently contract with these industries. Everyone had a story to tell and we recorded some of the testimony for you to watch. Some of them are shared in this post and as we finish uploading them all to our YouTube channel, they will also be shared on our Facebook page. (See below)
Within the audience you will see a lot of people wearing red shirts, sweaters, and jackets. RE Sources suggested that their supporters wear red to show solidarity with this issue without violating Council protocols. It did not go unnoticed that Councilmember Carl Weimer was proudly wearing his red shirt, too.