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Whatcom County Council District 1

Term: 4 yrSalary: $30,660The county council is the legislative branch of government, and it enacts ordinances, adopts the budget, and exercises oversight of the administration. The council can override a veto by the executive with a two-thirds majority vote or greater. Its role is similar to the role of a city council in a mayor-council city. Whatcom has a seven-member nonpartisan council.The County Council exercises its legislative power by adoption and enactment of ordinances and resolutions. The Council is elected to adopt plans for the present and future development of the county; conduct public hearings on matters of public concern; create county government policy; create land use rules; enact public safety laws; establish the compensation for all county officers and employees and provide for the reimbursement of expenses; establish, combine, and abolish non-elective administrative offices and executive departments and establish their powers and responsibilities, except as otherwise provided for in the Whatcom County Home Rule Charter; levy taxes, appropriate revenue, and adopt the county budget; set speed limits, no-shooting zones, and animal control regulations.
  • Candidate picture

    Rud Browne (NP) Entrepreneur & Councilmember

  • Philip J. Morgan (NP)

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Biographical Information

Why did you decide to run for the council?

What are three major issues facing your county?

Of the three, which one is the most urgent?

What are the issues surrounding your county's infrastructure?

What is your commitment to senior citizens?

How do you think your county should approach legal and illegal immigration issues?

How do you think your county could best respond to homelessness?

Phone (360) 820-9494
Town where you live Bellingham, WA
Experience (300 characters max) Currently Vice-Chair Whatcom County Council and Finance Chair. Former mechanic, commercial fisherman, built a high tech green computer business which created 360 jobs, won several environmental and “Best Work Place” awards. Recognized as one of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneurs of the Year in (2007)
I have served on many different community boards and commissions; I sold my business in 2011 and decided that the Whatcom County Council was a good place to serve next. The last 3 years has proven to be one of the most interesting and rewarding things I have done on my life. I enjoy learning about and listening to every segment of our community. I enjoy building consensus amongst constituents and solving large complex problems. I would like to continue and would appreciate your support.
1. Housing affordability - we must make housing more affordable, particularly entry level housing. 2. Increasing the supply of new Family wage jobs - as someone who personally created 360 jobs (140 in Whatcom County), I understand how to create Family wage jobs. 3. I want to help resolve the Whatcom County water crisis - so far I have personally spent over 200 hours working on this and I designed a detailed “Net Zero Water” solution that I believe addresses it in a way that is fair for all
I consider increasing the supply of new Family wage jobs and making Housing more affordable to be equally important
While we are generally in good shape we have two major problems areas: 1. numerous County government buildings require a lot of maintenance work and, 2. our existing jail is both inhumane and unsafe for inmates and staff. There is over $200 million in outstanding work required and currently no sources of funds that have been identified to address it.
On a personal level I have been helping my 94 year old mother through her “senior” years for almost two decades. It has given me a fine appreciation for the needs of senior citizens and I think my votes on the County Council have reflected that.
As an immigrant and former multinational business owner I am very aware of legal & illegal immigration issues. While I know many people want the County to get involved in immigration and some may even incorrectly claim that we have the authority to do so. The truth is the County government has very limited influence in any area related to immigration. The County only has the legal right to get involved in immigration matters if it relates to a health, sanitation or public safety situation.
The County should spend more money on providing homeless housing, giving priority to children, pregnant women, families, and the mentally ill. Irrespective of the reason why a person is homeless it’s simply cheaper and more humane to provide housing than have them rotating through emergency rooms and other crisis centers. I particularly believe that a focus should be placed on youth homelessness. I have sponsored legislation on the Council on this very issue and I hope to introduce more.
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