I-5 Exit To US 101 In Olympia Closes Thursday Night For Expansion Joint Repairs

us101 I 5 workOLYMPIA – From 10 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 3, to 5 a.m. Friday, Sept. 4, maintenance crews will close the southbound Interstate 5 exit to northbound US 101 in Olympia. In addition, they will close the right lane of southbound I-5 approaching US 101.

During the closures, crews will repair a bridge expansion joint. Drivers will be detoured to US 101 via the Trosper Road interchange. The work is weather dependent and could be rescheduled.

Expansion joints create a smoother surface for drivers by allowing concrete in a bridge to expand and contract with changing weather.

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WSDOT News - September 3, 2015/IMAGE from work last year in same area.

Port Rules To Change Accounting Method

portsheltoncommission2015At the Port of Shelton meeting Tuesday, CPA Jan Fancher reported on the additional investigations she completed to determine which method of accounting best fit the Port of Shelton's needs. 

Francher met with:

  • The State Auditor, no issues were identified or foreseen with the change in methods, mainly due to recent audit results and the personnel controlling the books.  Recommendations were made to avoid potential problems.
  • Port of Othello (currently uses Cash Basis accounting) and has had no problems qualifying and obtaining grant money. The Port of Othello also had citizen concern.
  • A citizen opposed to the change to explain and discuss the differences in the accounting methods and share information on financial processes and policy currently in place.

Francher reiterated her commitment to keep the information transparent, so the citizens get the information they need.  Asset lists are maintained and new items added to each year for a complete listing of assets. 

Each of the commissioners had completed their own research and found nothing to prevent them from changing the accounting method.  Commissioner Wallitner stated it was the commission's fiduciary responsibility to reduce spending whereever they could, and the Cash Basis appears to save a few bucks, because it is simpler.  Commissioner Buck also did her due diligence by checking with other like ports and CPS's, as did Commissioner Taylor and found no game changing issues.   Taylor reminded the public State Audits will continue.

The commission voted 3-0 for changing the accounting method, the change will switch the books effective January 1, 2015 so the year is under one accounting method and there is adequate time to resolve issues before the end of the year.

Community Correspondent, Jerry Eckenrode – KMAS Newsradio, September 2, 2015

New Mason County Deputy Sheriff Sworn In

newdeputy mcso(MCSO News Release) - Tuesday morning, September 1, 2015, in front of family, friends and fellow co-workers, Mason County Sheriff Casey Salisbury gave the oath of office and swore in Stephen Rowe, the newest Patrol Deputy of the Mason County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Salisbury stated that we are very fortunate to have been able to hire Deputy Rowe and that he will be a worthy addition to our agency!  Deputy Rowe fills a very much needed position within our ranks of patrol Deputies.

September 2, 2015/IMAGES:  left - Deputy Rowe’s wife pinning on his new badge. Right: Sheriff Salisbury congratulating Deputy Rowe after reciting the oath of office.

Updated with day corrected to Tuesday.(9/3/15)

Jennifer Deyette Named As Shelton High School Principal Beginning With The 2015-16 School Year

Superintendent of Shelton School District, Dr. Alex Apostle, has named Jennifer Deyette as the principal of Shelton High School beginning with the 2015-16 school year.  Wanda Berndtson, who has served as principal for the past eleven years, will be assuming the role of Director of State and Federal Programs, a position formerly held by Ms. Deyette.

The decision provides the district the opportunity to capitalize on the strengths and talents of individual staff members and the contributions they can bring to their respective roles.

Ms. Deyette is a life-long citizen of the Shelton community.  She graduated from Shelton High School and later earned her Bachelor’s degree from Central University, her Master’s degree from Lesley College, and her administrative credentials from Seattle Pacific University.  She began her teaching career in Shelton School District in 1993 and taught at Oakland Bay Jr. High until 2013. She served as the Interim Principal of Oakland Bay Jr. High for the 2013-14 school year, and as the Director of State and Federal Programs for the 2014-15 school year. 

Ms. Deyette is excited about the opportunity to work with the Mason County community to take Shelton High School to the pinnacle of success in every facet.  She will concentrate on increasing the graduation rate by focusing on school and community pride, effective instruction, reducing the drop-out rate, improving attendance, and building meaningful staff-student and school-community relationships to provide the most effective education to all students so they live successful lives.

Ms. Berndtson was a teacher for 17 years, with most of that time in the North Thurston Public Schools.  She then served as a vice principal for one year and a school principal for six years in the Puyallup School District.  In 2004, she was hired as the principal of Shelton High School and has served in that role since then.

 As the Director of State and Federal Programs and District Operational Support, Ms. Berndtson will coordinate all aspects of the district’s state and federal categorical programs.  In addition, her experience as a school administrator will be beneficial in providing ongoing operational support for the district in such areas as public relations/community engagement, strategic planning for facility needs, school safety, disaster preparation, and other such areas that will support the efficient and effective operations of the district. 

Shelton School District Press Release - August 27, 2015

County Releases 2016 Preliminary Budget

karenherr 090115Mason County Auditor Karen Herr delivered the preliminary Mason County budget to the commissioners Tuesday morning. The package includes Current Expense, Special Funds and a Budget summary.  Herr identified the new Munis Financial system was employed and offered a much easier and efficient process.  All of the county's departments entered their budgets directly into Munis and all departments were able to meet the August 10, 2015 deadline. 

The Auditor's departmental review was much faster, allowing for additional time to ensure BARS (accounting numbers assigned to activities) numbers were used correctly, for example salary positions were identified specifically replacing broad descriptions utilized in the past. Herr feels the level of clarity should benefit the board and departments when budget discussions begin.

Each of the budgets include actual revenues and expenditures for 2014; what was budgeted for 2015; revenues that were generated by department, and expenditures for 2015 through August of this year; and finally, the budget request for 2016.

Herr reported;

Total anticipated revenues for 2016 are: $29,485,867, a 1.8% increase over last year.

Total expenditures: $38,001,740, a 19.1% increase over last year. 

Expenditures are $8.7 M greater than revenues. The available Ending Fund Balance was used to balance the audit.

During the budget process the Board of Commissioners will determine the level of Ending Fund Balance and subsequently adjust the level of Expenditures that can be supported by the Revenues.

Community Correspondent, Jerry Eckenrode – September 1, 2015/IMAGE from masonwebtv.com youtube channel

Mason County Commission Notes

Lodging Tax Advisory Board Opening -The Mason County Commission is looking for interested citizens to participate on the Lodging Tax Advisory Board.   The open position is for persons, businesses, and or organizations involved in activities that are authorized to be funded by lodging tax revenues, know as a "Spender".  Interested parties should contact the county for more information and an application.  Lodging Tax Spender (PDF)

North Shore Road Closure Scheduled - North Shore Road is scheduled to be closed from September 8 to October 30, 2015 due to the replacement of a culvert at Mission Creek and North Shore Road.  Detour routes will be identified by the County.

Community Correspondent, Jerry Eckenrode – September 1, 2015

PUD3 Sends Crew To Assist Snohomish PUD In Power Restoration

pud3 helpsAbout half of Snohomish PUD’s customers (175,000 at one point) lost electricity in last weekend’s storm and they are getting help from Mason PUD3. PUD3 sent a crew to help Snohomish get the lights back on.

Along with Snohomish PUD's regular crews, personnel from Chelan, Cowlitz, and Grant PUD and other public utilities are also on the ground (and in the air) in Snohomish County.

Information from PUD3 – September 1, 2015/IMAGE:  (L-R) Dennis Simon, Foreman; Nate Benedict, Lineman; Jason Russell, Flagger; John Clements, Lineman; Alan Roy, Apprentice; Brad Hanson, Flagger