Thursday, March 8, 2012

Coal Port News: Just a General Discussion of some Stuff

You might think, to look at the County Council’s agenda for Tuesday, March 13, that the Council and staff have too much time on their hands.

At 11:00 a.m., the Council Finance and Administrative Services Committee will be hosting a “general discussion with county staff regarding the Gateway Pacific Terminal Project.”

Just a chat.  Just a "general" sort of discussion.  Nothing beyond the generic discussion that one would have, for no reason at all, about a proposal for North American's largest coal terminal -- a proposal for which the County expects an application soon and will unroll "pre-scoping" in a few days.

What’s up?   

Surely the Agenda Bill will tell us.  The Agenda Bill provides the Council and the public with background information. 

Go to the Agenda Bill and you’ll learn that the “title” of this item is “General discussion of Gateway Pacific Coal Terminal.” 

The “summary statement,” in which the author is instructed to “be clear about the intent of this action”?  “General discussion regarding Gateway Pacific Coal Terminal.”

So, John Q. Public, that's all YOU need to know.  Nothing there worth missing work for. 

Except that, according to Council member Ken Mann’s Facebook page  (thanks, Ken), it appears that this item will in fact address two issues that might be of concern to the public:  “a discussion with Planning staff regarding the costs of permit review for SSA/GPT” and “a discussion with legal staff regarding our restrictions on any kind of knowledge of SSA/GPT."

The cost of the permit review?  That subsidy of SSA that all County taxpayers are bearing? (Read more here, at Get Whatcom Planning, and here, in the Cascadia Weekly.)

The nature of the information flow to our County decision-makers? 

Seems like pretty specific items of interest to the general public. 

Some people aren’t on Facebook and  might look to the official County agenda for information.  Please, County, let us know what “general discussions” you’ll be holding. 

1 comment:

  1. Jean, you expect a lot from a County that will not disclose what case they are discussing in closed executive session.

    Wendy Harris