• Arne Mortensen

Cowlitz County Strategic Plan 2016-2020

Tuesday the 19th I attended the weekly commissioner’s meeting. There were few people there (maybe fewer than 12), and many of those seemed to be part of county government.

On the agenda was the vote to pass/approve the Cowlitz County Strategic Plan 2016-2020. When that came up, I spoke and requested that the commissioners delay passage of the plan until it could be reviewed further. Specifically, I mentioned that I had not seen it. In asking for the delay, I also mentioned that a delay would cause no harm. Immediately after my request, the commissioners unanimously passed, with no explanation, the strategic plan.

Can there be any clearer example of why the entire commissioner process is wrong? Here is a list of pertinent considerations:

  • What does it mean to have a public meeting if only maybe fewer than 6, citizens show? This entire process of a public hearing/vote that appears to serve to legitimize activity is a charade. That is particularly evident when the simple and innocuous request to delay was ignored.

  • Given that I did not have that document before Tuesday, it would have been reasonable to assume that the plan had not been aired properly to the public. Commissioners should not just go their way as they please on serious documents.

  • That document is not just any document; it is supposed to be a strategic plan for the county, and as such it should have had very heavy public involvement, including workshops.

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