The State of Pierce County

Posted by Paula Olson on Jul 21, 2017
Welcome to another exciting meeting of the Rotary Club of Lakewood! President Don Daniels led us in his third meeting – 49 more to go. Barlow Buescher led us in the invocation and Gordy Quick led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.
In his Rotary Moment, Don reminded us of the five ethics of life: listen before speaking, earn before spending, think before writing, try before quitting, and live before dying.  The last one got a round of applause.
 
The meeting was set up by Duncan and Rob, Paul Harris table by Chuck Hellar, Raffle by Jan Gee, Scribe by Paula Olson, Photos by Walt Richardson, and Sergeant at Arms was Tommy.
 
Greg Horn introduced a couple of visiting Rotarians: Charlie Maxwell and our presenter, Bruce Dammeier. Guests included Charlie Hyde, who was warmly greeted, Sharon Selden, and Charlene Moselli.
 
There was no Sunshine to report. Hooray!
 
 
 
                     
Announcements: Barlow championed the Floating Board meeting on August 8th starting at 4:30 pm.  $20 a person (spouses welcome) to cruise around and end up at Greg and Mary Horn’s place.  Fun times on the lake!  Greg told us about the Home Brew Fest at $35 per person but $30 goes to Paul Harris.  There will be 200 beers on tap, just find a couple you like.
 
Don began issuing citations.  Charlie Hyde stepped up with $100 for going to Macedonia, by Greece, to help build an apartment complex with Habitat for Humanity where he first met his wife, Tina. They stayed to travel around Greece and the kids are doing great!
Phil Eng got caught walking across the parking lot to play golf last week during the Rotary meeting.  He needs to start counting his dollars because the citations will be rough.
 
                       
 
Rose Stevens reported on her trip to New York to visit family and work on her east coast home. She was able to cough up $10 because her flight was delayed.
 
                       
Donn Irwin recounted his trip to Lake Chelan with the family. They stayed in Dave Covey's cabin, and one day the electricity went out and they learned that there was an electrical problem that was serious enough to start a fire if Donn hadn’t been there.  $20.
 
Chris Kimball told us about his trip to Charlotte, NC for a business conference and the last night in the USS Yorktown Air Craft carrier. He paid $25 to Paul Harris and $25 as a citation.  He added $5 for stupidity when he had to confess it wasn’t Charlotte, NC but Charlestown, NC.
 
Eric Quinn and Don Daniels talked about their group of five Rotarians who took 820 pounds of yard waste out of the yard of a lucky lady, Katie Hairston, whose dad bought this service, Five Rotarians Run the Yard, at our most-recent Auction. Katie was about to be deployed and wanted to rent the house, and with the beautiful landscaping left by Don and his crew, she can.  The crew went back to Don’s for a BBQ and relaxation. Great Job, Guys!
 
Someone lost their glasses at the Installation Dinner.  They are in safe keeping until found.
 
Tacoma Golf and Country Club won’t let us put the Rotary sign out on the road into the club any more.  It’s their current policy for no signage.  Chris Kimball suggested we place signs on the other side of the road, and the City Manager was present to approve that if the landowner okays it.
 
Our speaker was Bruce Dammeier, Pierce County Executive, after six months on the job. Bruce is a Naval Academy grad, civil engineer, two time representative in the State House of Representatives and one-time State Senator.  As a new Rotarian, he was a little worried when he heard about the $100 fine but felt better when the $10 one came up.
 
                  
 
Above: Bruce Dammeier, Pierce County Executive
 
Bruce is a leader who likes to spend ¾ of his time out in the community and visiting with county employees. He was recently at the Fleet Service, and yesterday he toured the Property Room, where they keep evidence of criminal activity. It is in the basement of the County City Building and a warehouse at the Pierce County Annex. It holds evidence from 50,000 active cases with a 1958 case as the oldest. There are 250,000 separate items, including a crown, drugs, cash, and a gold-plated AK-47 fully automatic that originated from Saddam Hussein.  Gayle Selden said she’d like to get that back if possible. The most disturbing items were the 2,600 rape kits; the most sobering was the five rooms of guns: three rooms of pistols, and 2 rooms of rifles.
 
Bruce underlined three words to describe his first six months on the job:
 
1) Action. He wants to do stuff, lots of stuff and not just react to issues.  He has put together a new Executive Team who is diverse, with public and private sectors represented. He developed a couple of new positions including a Policy Director who initiates policies where necessary and a Constituent Services person who works on new services. An example is the nuisance abatement and problem properties divisions. These sorts of issues drag the community down.The old Puget Sound Hospital is one such property and it’s going down. In its place will be the South Sound 911 offices. Bruce has also consolidated offices.
 
2) Collaboration by bringing people together.  One example is the Red Tape Production Group to streamline the permitting process without lowering standards.  They have taken the original 105 commercial zones down to five.
 
3) Partnership, working side by side going forward. One example is the County Council led by Doug Richardson.
What’s next, we wanted to know.  Bruce talked about economic development for family wage jobs, addressing homelessness as a regional issue with regional solutions, and using Medicaid money more effectively with Integration 20/20, to combine physical and mental health issues.
 
Members put hard questions to Bruce. He addressed the Piece County Transit bill and expressed his dismay and frustration being on the Sound Transit board with Rotarian Mary Moss. Bruce talked a little about the Hirst decision from the Supreme Court that affected small wells and permitting. Instead of a moratorium, Pierce County will allow wells when a landowner has a letter from an expert, stating that the well is in compliance with the provisions of the Hirst decision. Bruce also spoke about homelessness which costs $650 a month per person. He is working on empowering people as opposed to enabling them.  He had no response to Chris Kimball’s complaint about speed limits being lowered. 
 
Wrapping up, Bruce gave some suggestions for his Auction donation of a half day with the Executive and lunch. Maybe the Pistol Range. 
 
                        
 
Bob Lordahl won the raffle of $250. Editor's Note: The previous statement may be contradicted by the above photograph, wherein Bob Lordahl holds the white chip, thus indicating he only "won" $5. We shall see what further investigation reveals.
 
Meeting adjourned.  Go forth and enjoy the beautiful weather!
 
Remember: If you shop on Amazon, do it through the Amazon Smile program. A percentage of (almost all) purchases will be donated by Amazon to Lakewood Rotary.  We receive a check quarterly, and got our first one nearly a year ago. Set this up as your link to Amazon for all purchases:
 
And remember also: If you read this bulletin, and you missed this meeting, email Secretary Greg with notification of this, and you'll receive a makeup credit! Easy! And you stay informed without even attending the meeting.  gnsrediske@msn.com
Sponsors