At the first Board of Jefferson County Commissioners meeting of the year Jan. 7, the board welcomed new District 3 commissioner Greg Brotherton and appointed District 1 commissioner Kate Dean as chair.
“I’m honored,” Dean said before she switched seats with David Sullivan, the previous chair.
Dean is in the third year of her first term as county commissioner.
Members of the public congratulated Dean but made it known that many of the issues of 2018 still need to be addressed in the coming year.
“Many of you brought up concerns that we’ve been talking about for a long time here, and I am really hoping that in the new year, we dive into,” Dean said.
Releasing recording fees for homeless service providers, hiring a code compliance officer, implementing new shooting facility regulations and continuing work on the Port Hadlock sewer project were some of the issues citizens brought up.
“I see people lining up the issues are on our agenda for this year,” Sullivan said. “Some of those have been ongoing for a long time.”
Sullivan addressed the shooting-range issue in response to Tom Parks, who lives near the Sportsmen’s Association gun range located on county property on Jacob Miller Road. Parks said shooting noises have increased at the facility, and that shooting is occuring after hours.
“We finished some of the work we were doing about new gun ranges, but we have our own gun range to deal with,” Sullivan said.
“We are the landlords, and we can negotiate changes in our contractual agreement, and we do have the option of 180 days notice to terminate that,” Sullivan said. “We have been strong supporters of the Sportsmen’s Association in the past, but, as landlords, we need them to listen to the neighbors.”
Brotherton said it was new “hearing the comments from this side” as he began his first board meeting.
“This is day one, and I’m already frustrated at the speed that government works,” he said. “It is going to take time, it takes political will, and it takes budget dollars.”