I know Smith to be a knowledgeable expert | Letter to the editor

Posted 10/16/20

I had the pleasure to serve with Lorna Smith on the Jefferson County Planning Commission, for close to four years. 

I have been a Jefferson County resident since 1993. During my time on the …

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I know Smith to be a knowledgeable expert | Letter to the editor

Posted

I had the pleasure to serve with Lorna Smith on the Jefferson County Planning Commission, for close to four years. 

I have been a Jefferson County resident since 1993. During my time on the commission, I cannot think of a time where I disagreed with her. I found her to be very well versed in county government and state law, in the context of land-use and federal environmental law.

I very much appreciated Lorna and others drafting the commercial shooting ordinance. Lorna’s’ drafting work was even written in ordinance language.

Having been here since 1993, I have watched many people come and go as our elected officials. Being on the Planning Commission gave me more insight into the inner workings of our county government. As citizens we should all be concerned with the amount of legal claims against our county, some in which the county has prevailed in the decision, and some in which the county was found to be negligent, resulting in financial loss.

Jefferson county has a very high staff turnover. This is a result of us not being able to offer the wages, and benefits, that our neighboring counties do. Yet our county commissioners are always advised to make decisions based on staff recommendations. 

As a Planning Commissioner, I had deep respect for our elected officials, and the decisions they make. But I also realize that you cannot be an expert in all the areas of government, and knowledgeable on every topic. Lorna’s experience is desperately needed on our commission. Lorna will consistently review every decision she is asked make. She will ask the questions that others don’t think of.

Mark Jochems
PORT HADLOCK

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