The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Commissioners handle personnel issues, bid farewell to Blair Brady


January 3, 2019

Diana Zimmerman

Wahkiakum County commissioners held their final meeting of 2018 last Wednesday. It was the final meeting for Blair Brady, right, who lost the election to Gene Strong. Next to him are Dan Cothren, left, and Mike Backman, center.

Wahkiakum County commissioners handled business and Blair Brady bid a graceful adieu as his term ended at the board's meeting Dec. 26.

Residents from Puget Island and the Cape Horn area commented on recent king tides.

"We've lost some more county property," Marianne Brightbill said.

Richard Erickson, who was in attendance to hear an update on sand replenishment for Cape Horn, had similar concerns.

Key agency players were out due to Christmas break, Commissioner Dan Cothren said. He suggested tying on logs to help buffer the wake.

Try to take care of your own right now," Cothren said.

Commissioners approved a temporary, part time position in the sheriff's office.

"We haven't had to approve a part time deputy in five years," Howie said, "but while we've got a cadre of folks in the academy, that leaves us short quite a bit."

The pay for the position will be eligible for salary reimbursement, Howie said.

Howie said that he and the undersheriff were filling in for their colleagues who were training and were on call out at all times.

After voting to realign the Assistant Public Works Accountant position from pay class 5 to pay class 6, Cothren suggested that they table the decision on the Public Works Accountant position and hold a workshop to discuss adjustments in all offices, to "make sure we are doing this fairly."

Commissioners approved reappointments for Kay Walters, Daria Lacey, Mike Whelan, and Joe Blalock to the County Fair Board for another three years. They also approved to reappoint CeCe Raglin to the Johnson Park Board for another two year term.

Brady thanked them for their service.

Cothren was appointed chair and Commissioner Mike Backman was named vice-chair for 2019.

Finally, Brady, dressed in a festive two piece suit trimmed with lights, received praise from his colleagues before quietly and kindly helping Backman get through some of the intricacies of public meetings. As they made their way through flood zone districts budget supplements, Brady murmured prompts, helping Backman to recess, ask for comments, close the hearing, and go back into regular meeting before doing it all over again two more times.

Praise for Brady:

"We didn't always agree on everything but we went through the issue for the issue. I appreciate that. I wanted to say thank you, and I enjoyed working with you," Backman said to Brady.

"I'm definitely going to miss Blair," Cothren said. "With the legislature, I go quite often and testify. Blair has already been there and talked to them. That means a lot. They don't have to just read the paperwork, they've got it by mouth."

"When I went to Washington State Association of Counties meetings," Backman added, "there are 39 counties, but everybody knew him, and everybody knew the county because of him."

"I appreciate you giving your service to the community. I think you've really done a hell of job, myself," Al George, a Wahkiakum County resident said.


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