Newsletter: WSRP Meetings, Affordable Housing debate

posted in: Chair's Corner | 0

Hello Conservatives!

 We hope your June is going well!

​There is no June event due to scheduling conflicts. 

Our next event is tentatively planned for the middle of July. 

More details to follow. 

WSRP State Committee Meetings

Two weekends ago, May 19-20, the WA State Republican Party (WSRP) central committee met. Each county sends a state committeeman, a state committeewoman, and usually a chairman to meet together once a quarter. I typically send Vice-chair Lynda Gerpheide in my place. To read State Committeewoman Carter’s report on the state meetings click here (on SJCRP website).

Thank you Cindy Carter, Rick Boucher, and Lynda Gerpheide for attending. This represents a significant expense both in financial resources and in time. It is an act of patriotism.

Affordable Housing

You may have noticed quite a few articles and letters regarding housing in San Juan County. Most recently, the Journal published an article this week called “Planning commission suggests annual fee for all vacation rentals.” This is a follow up (also by Hayley Day) on their article in the Islands Weekly last week here. There was also a letter, “Protect our way of life against vacation rentals.”

Lopez Community Land Trust submitted an article to the Islands Weekly this week. They are also planning to build a few new homes on Lopez.

This issue has been getting a lot of coverage, and it’s something being talked about all over the county:

From the SJCRP May 29th newsletter: “both the Islands Weekly and the Sounder reported on pushback to proposed restrictions on vacation rental permits.” 

From the May 18th newsletter: “In these anti-development times, it was refreshing to see the Journal advocate in favor of tourism.”

From the April 29th newsletter: “San Juan Island Real Estate update report. This is of interest to property owners and would-be property owners alike. Island Guardian reports.”

From the March 29th newsletter: “A group of people (including several prominent dems) are blaming vacation rentals for the lack of affordable housing in our county. You can read the statement here. (Journal)  Do you agree?”

From the March19th newsletter: “Seattle flounders in dealing with its housing crisis with a number of measures that only discourage investment in housing: here and here. (Seattle Times). Locally in SJC we are struggling with this issue, and liberals have proposed vacation rental permit changes.”

From the March 13th newsletter: “On Lopez, the Land bank is making a purchase. Islands’ Weekly reports.” 

Also note the SJC Planning Commission and SJC Housing Bank Commission on the county website.

I’d love to see letters in all of the local papers across the county on this issue. We don’t all need to agree on what the “conservative answer” would be, but we should certainly add our individual voices to the debate. Sound Publishing has a weekly deadline of Friday, which is printed on Wednesday. Online papers like the Island Guardian don’t really have deadlines.

Journal (SJI):
Sounder (Orcas)
Islands Weekly (Lopez)
for the Island Guardian: email <> (Jack Cory is the editor)

Local News and Links of Interest

Hospital Districts have been in the news quite a bit lately. On Orcas, there was a full length article regarding UW Medicine and Orcas Island. The Journal’s article about the new SJCPHD#1 contract with Planned Parenthood was updated on the 31st. I saw one letter in the paper. Michelle Loftus posted about it on the website here. On this issue I just publish whatever I see, for or against, because I work for SJCPHD#1. I am making no judgments on this issue.

In an Island Guardian article entitled “Gold Standard Designation SJI National Monument,” they report that our county monument lands have “join[ed] ten other areas across the country to be recognized as an exemplary outdoor area.”

OPALCO is planning a solar array for Decauter island. Island Guardian reports.

The Sounder reports that Jay Inslee published a notice of Judicial Vacancy, apparently indicating that Judge Eaton is retiring soon. Attorney Steve Brandli has applied for the job. Sounder reports.

A nice article about Memorial Day by King County Republicans.

New state law about distracted driving. Seattle Times.

Governor Inslee is speaking at the Lopez’s high school graduation on June 10th. Islands Weely reports.

A surprising editorial for the USA Today:  “The Obama administration’s illegal spying may have been worse than Watergate.

Many of you emailed me about Comey’s firing. I admit I also felt quite indignant that his firing was seen as either a surprise or some scandal. I was surprised that Obama hadn’t fired him. Unfortunately, most of the emails included attachments and such that are hard to forward. However, if you were frustrated by how the media has handled this, rest assured that you are not alone.


County Council Calendar (for more details click here)

Marine Resources Committee Meeting
June 7, 2017, 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM @ Council Hearing Room

San Juan Action Agenda Oversight Group/LIO Joint AOC-IC Meeting
June 7, 2017, 11:00 AM - 1:30 PM @ Islanders Bank Admin Bldg.

Human Services Advisory Board
June 12, 2017, 11:45 AM - 1:15 PM @ Large Legislative Conference Room

Ferry Advisory Committee
June 14, 2017, 8:30 AM - 10:30 AM @ Large Legislative Conference Room

Housing Bank Commission Meeting
June 14, 2017, 11:30 AM @ Health and Community Services


Nathan Butler
Chair, San Juan County Republican Party