Island County Planning Commission met last week. Commissioner Rick Hannold’s new appointment, Shannon Williams, created headlines.
Ms. Williams’ opinions on the affordable housing plan were well-covered in the Whidbey News-Times last week. Her comments showed disdain and contempt for the work the commissioners have done the past two years to develop the affordable housing plan. It appears to me that she would prefer to eliminate workforce housing solutions and cut programs serving the needy hoping they would disappear, so we are free of “undesirables.”
I attended the Board of County Commissioners meeting to express my strong concerns about this to our commissioners.
After my comments, Commissioner Hannold defended Ms. Williams saying her words were poorly chosen, that she is not a politician.
If she were a politician, she might have been less transparent, but I believe she said exactly what she meant.
Hannold went on to say she is informed and will be an asset to the Planning Commission. Despite coaching from Commissioner Jill Johnson, he himself referred to affordable housing as if it were a government handout.
Hannold’s website touts his ability to be a “peacemaker” and his care for “vulnerable populations.” He either didn’t do his homework or he intentionally appointed someone who is very polarizing, disregards others and is intent on disrupting efforts to find housing solutions for all.
I wonder if Commissioner Hannold shares Ms. Williams’ values? Part of the responsibility of government is to provide for the needs of our most vulnerable.
When government fulfills its responsibility in this area, we all benefit.