Spina returns to county historical panel

Paula Spina - File photo
Paula Spina
— image credit: File photo

The Island County commissioners quietly and unanimously appointed Coupeville resident Paula Spina to the Historical Review Committee Monday.

Last year, the Island County commissioners essentially booted her off the advisory committee, against the unanimous wishes of the committee members. In response, Spina filed a lawsuit against the county in an attempt to get back on the voluntary board.

Spina lost the lawsuit, but she won the battle. Two of the three commissioners who decided to get rid of her lost the election last fall. Monday, the two new commissioners, as well as longer-serving Commissioner John Dean, voted to return Spina to the committee. She was the only one to apply for the position vacated by Carol Olson; the position is supposed to represent the historical society.

Monday afternoon, Spina said she was thrilled to be back on the committee, though she never really left. She said she’s been attending all the meetings and has acted as “a de facto secretary.”

“Now I finally get a name plate,” she said.

The Historical Review Committee is charged with making recommendations about projects proposed for the historically-sensitive Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve.

Last fall, the commissioners became upset with Spina after she hosted a rally in protest of the county’s decision not to rescind a building permit for a giant home that was issued in error. The commissioners unanimously voted to replace Spina on the commission after the term of the person she had replaced expired.

In response, Spina filed a lawsuit against the county and her replacement, Tom Tack. She argued that the ordinance, which she said was “a mess,” was unclear as to whether she was entitled to a full term. Island County Superior Court Judge Alan Hancock ruled against Spina in February.

But now, Spina said she’s thrilled to be back.

“I care passionately about our history, historic preservation, open space and view-

sheds,” she said.

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