Whatcom County's deadline for passing a Rural Element that complies with state law was March 29, 2011. Does that date ring a bell? Why yes, it's today.
Many people busted butt to take the County's massive and ever-changing proposal, try to figure out what it means, absorb the immense amount of documentation posted Friday evening, and submit comments by the deadline. That's how I spent my spring break. All of it. I wrapped up my comments last night at 11:00 (that's p.m.) and submitted them to the County. A day before the hearing. The record was open until the hearing.
What did the County do? It sent the matter back to committee. In short, the County Council decided not to meet its deadline.
And then, to add insult to injury, some members of the Council grandstanded about how the public had "plenty of time" to review this information. And got on their high horses about members of the public who can't get their comments in enough BEFORE the deadline to allow time for review.
Yes, this was the very SAME Council that had just decided to VIOLATE its own deadline.
These Council members, who are PAID to meet, but continuously miss, deadlines had the gall to imply that their constituents are lazy slackers. Let's not forget that the Council's failure to meet its deadline has monetary costs for the rest of us, in the form of grants and impact fees foregone.
I usually have a sense of humor about the Council's dysfunctional moments, and I rarely type in caps.
Tomorrow, maybe I'll think that the irony is funny.
Tonight? I just feel dissed.
If you want to comment on the Rural ELement, the record closes next Tuesday at 5:00. The Council wants a week to review comments. Don't be late. The Council can't be expected to review information at short notice. Citizens can -- a few days is "plenty of time" for the likes of us -- but the Council understands the importance of deadlines.
When they're applied to others, that is.