Property rights advocate quits

Change keeps coming to Island County planning.

There will soon be three new members of the county’s planning commission and a new planning director, though it remains unclear how this will affect land-use policy.

Another member of the county’s planning commission quit this week. Deb Eidsness of Camano Island sent in her letter of resignation. She wrote that she wanted more time to devote to her family.

Eidsness is a Skagit Farmers Supply employee known as an advocate for farmers and property rights. She lives in County Commissioner District 3, which includes both North Whidbey and Camano. District 3 Commissioner John Dean will appoint her replacement.

Alan Schell, the chairman of the planning commission, quit earlier this month because he felt he was too busy for the demanding volunteer board. Bill Massey, another member, didn’t ask to be reappointed after his term expired this month.

Both Schell and Massey are in District 2, which is the Oak Harbor area.

District 2 Commissioner Angie Homola appointed Rex Porter Monday to replace Massey. Porter, the director of the county’s Marine Resources Committee, has a breadth of experience related to planning and the environment.

He’s worked for county planning and public works as both an employee and consultant. He is the lead consultant for the county’s Holmes Harbor Shellfish Protection District, he wrote the county health department’s septic tank management plan, and he’s the project manager for the county’s watershed and salmon recovery project. In addition, Porter wrote the Coupeville Storm and Waste Water Reuse program.

The commissioners are currently seeking applicants for the two open seats on the commission. They are accepting applications for the District 2 position until Friday, Feb. 6 and for District 3 until Friday, Feb. 13.

Interested individuals should send a letter of interest and statement of qualifications to: Island County Board of Commissioners, Attn: Ingrid Smith, Re: Planning Commission Vacancy, Post Office Box 5000, Coupeville, WA 98239. For additional information call 679-7353, or email Applicants must reside within the area they are representing.

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