Community Council talks building codes, ferries and more

The Vashon-Maury Island Community Council passed two resolutions in its December meeting.

By a large margin, the Vashon-Maury Island Community Council passed two resolutions in its December meeting.

The first regards King County Building codes and has been discussed in the last few Council meetings, with experts on different sides of the issue presenting in detail. The resolution read as follows:

“The Vashon-Maury Island Community Council (VMICC) is concerned about the climate and understands that greenhouse gas emissions from buildings is the number two source of climate pollution in Washington State. Because of this, the VMICC endorses approval of updated building codes being considered for approval by the King County Council. These new building codes would restrict most uses of fossil fuels in new commercial and large multifamily buildings in unincorporated King County.”

The second was introduced in response to recent graffiti found uptown and on the Village Green. It read as follows:

“The Vashon-Maury Island Community Council: (1) Condemns the racist graffiti incident in the Vashon Village Green of Nov. 2021, adding our voice to the hundreds of organizations and individuals on Vashon-Maury islands who added their names to a statement in the November 11, 2021, edition of The Beachcomber. (2) Commits to form an Equity committee, who will engage in meaningful communication with the Vashon-Maury community to educate the Council about equity barriers facing island residents. (3) The Equity committee will create and submit an Equity Policy, for approval by this Council, to guide our own actions and policies to remove equity barriers and to advocate for bias-free norms in the wider community, and (4) Commits to take appropriate action on racial justice and equity issues affecting Vashon-Maury Island residents brought to the Council.”

A resolution to read the Pledge of Allegiance before Council meetings failed.

There was also an update by Nancy O’Connor of Zero Waste Vashon on a study by King County to gauge interest in a full compost facility on the island so that food and yard waste would be composted locally. The county will ask for input from islanders via a mailer, in early January.

Information about our ferries was provided by Vashon’s members of the Washington State Ferry Advisory Committee, Justin Hirsch and Emily Scott. Hirsh reported that WSF is still struggling to hire and train enough employees to return to a three-boat schedule and estimates that Vashon will remain on the current schedule until spring.

Vashon-Maury Island has an unfilled seat on this committee and the VMICC has long been designated by the Legislature as the entity responsible for selecting our representatives. The VMICC Board will be speaking with candidates for this position at its Jan. 3 meeting and seeking to nominate a representative for ratification at the VMICC’s general meeting on Jan. 17. All persons interested should contact Justin, Emily or a member of the VMICC Board and submit a resume.

A proposed addition to the VMICC Policies and Procedures was introduced. This addition would follow directly after “avoid partisan activity” clause in our current policy, and reads as follows:

■ Avoid adopting symbolic resolutions.

■ Strive to be neutral ground in our wider societal culture conflict, allowing islanders of different ideologies and political persuasions to join together to work on local issues.

The VMICC board voted unanimously at the November executive board session to propose this addition for a council vote. It is intended to try to keep the VMICC a politically and ideologically neutral space for islanders of all stripes to work on local issues, and to keep our limited time and volunteer energy on practical and actionable work. It will be up for discussion and vote at the next meeting, on Jan. 17 (MLK Day), at 7 p.m.

If you are a Vashon resident over the age of 16, you’re a member of the council. Come on in, join the discussion, and cast your votes! The zoom link will be posted, as usual, on our website at Full minutes for previous meetings are also posted on the website. Hunter Davis contributed to this report.