Citizen Editorial: Hood Canal Coordinating Council

I applaud Kitsap County and the Skokomish tribal members of the Hood Canal Coordinating Council board of directors for standing firm with Mason County in delaying 3 million dollars of restoration monies until a new method of prioritization for Hood Canal projects can be developed. Mason County Commissioner Randy Neatherlin deserves much of the credit for this new ranking system.
In the past,  projects were proposed by government and non-profit groups. They were then ranked by a technical and citizen advisory group made up of the same groups.  I have long felt the old system was based on who you knew rather than measurable, achievable outcomes.
Since January Commissioner Neatherlin has had many positive impacts to the HCCC Board and well as to these advisory groups. He first proposed that an annual budget be adopted and well as new “conflict of interest” policy changes to these advisory groups. Things I and other citizens felt were long overdue.
I attended the Hood Canal Environmental Achievement Awards and Conference last week.  I was encouraged to hear the elected Kitsap County board members talk about the need for strategic priorities, measurable outcomes, and involving and engaging the community.  These are all things that Commissioner Neatherlin has been bringing to the table since he became a member.
I am confident that Commissioner  Neatherlin will continue to provide quality leadership to the Hood Canal Coordinating Council as he is doing in Mason County.  

Ken VanBuskirk
Belfair