If you have been following local politics and events in the Island Guardian, you should have no problem “Ace-ing” this quiz. A good score means you have excellent comprehension skills. It is an “open book” multiple-choice test. In other words the answer is provided for you. It’s just hidden. There are no penalties for using the archives of the Guardian to cheat. Let’s begin:
1. “Open Government” is:
a) A process where important public policy issues are discussed behind closed doors.
b) Defined as Sub-committee meetings held in private which exclude the press and the public.
c) A campaign promise that each candidate made to the voters but they had their fingers crossed the whole time while their lips were moving.
d) None of the above.
2. The Ferry Advisory Committee:
a) Since its existence has dramatically improved our ferry service.
b) Consists of hard-working citizens with good intentions who have been largely ignored by the people who run the Department of Transportation.
c) Sits in the Ferry Pilot House helping the Captain steer around the rocks.
d) Makes up the funny names for Ferries.
3. The Solid Waste Advisory Committee:
a) Recently made a recommendation to the Council that ignores the comprehensive plan and other matters of law.
b) Should shut down public input at its meetings especially when making decisions that may destroy property values in neighborhoods where they plan to move a new dump.
c) Should never consider costs to taxpayers when making recommendations.
d) Should do none of the above.
4. If you get a threatening notice from Community Planning and Development that indicates your house has not passed final inspection, that attempts to extort fees, and accuses you of violations of law, you can assume:
a) Someone has been busy shredding old files. You should disregard this letter.
b) Permit applications have slowed down and someone is trying to look busy in order to protect and justify their job.
c) This Department is desperate for money and will stop at nothing to get it from taxpayers who they intend to shake down until they bleed them to death.
d) Good news! After 3 years the permit for your new garage has finally “popped” and you can start construction soon!
5. After spending more than half-a-million taxpayer dollars on an Environmental Impact Process to evaluate sites for a new transfer station, the Public Works Department should:
a) Make its recommendation to the Council before the study is finished and prior to public review.
b) Never depend on the conclusions of their studies but instead move forward with their agenda and move the dump any damn place they want.
c) Propose another site that has not yet been considered and urge the Council to pay more than twice the market value for it.
d) Advise the Council that they should ignore the frickin’ NIMBY’s who oppose this and go ahead with a plan that they can’t afford and hope for a bailout.
6. When private property may be needed in the future for the public good, like the Orcas fuel dock, the County should:
a) Pay any price for it even if that means they could not sell it again for half the purchase price.
b) Use the process of ‘eminent domain’ to acquire the property for the benefit of the taxpayers.
c) Count on a state recreational grant to pay for it that a department head tells them is surely going to come through.
d) Stick it to the taxpayers when the grant fails to materialize.
7. Property held in common by the island community, promised to our fellow comrades for subsistence farming, and managed by a central unelected board is an example of:
c) Land Bank.
d) All of the above.
8. The Marine Resources Committee should spend our tax money for an ad in the Fish and Wildlife regulation brochure that informs sport fishermen about additional restrictions and voluntary closures in our islands in order to:
a) Inform sports fishermen that they should stay the hell away from the San Juans!
b) To promote the local economy and small businesses who depend on sport fishing and whale watching for their revenue.
c) Promote responsible behavior in fishermen who because of their ignorance are responsible for the destruction of our shared pristine environment.
d) Give away all the places that have been voluntarily closed for years that might contain big fish!
9. The purpose of the Noxious Weed Board is:
a) To promote socialism
b) To trespass onto your property, pull your noxious weeds, and send you a bill for performing this essential community service.
c) To use police power to end the plague of Spurge Laurel.
d) All of the above.
10. We should not be concerned about the millions of gallons of sewage Victoria B.C. pumps into our local waters each day because:
a) Poop is natural.
b) The whales and seagulls do it too.
c) It is not politically correct to criticize our ‘Super Natural’ neighbors when we are guilty of environmental sins too.
d) We should be concerned. We should send a team of trained seals in to plug up the outfalls and end this ghastly practice once and for all.
(Gordy graduated with honors from Seattle Pacific University with a degree in Philosophy. He also attended Theological Seminary. He has spent most of his life in the San Juan Islands. He once owned a small chain of grocery stores in the islands. He has many years of active participation on utility boards and in countywide planning under GMA including membership on the original Citizens Committee for drafting the Comprehensive Plan, Vice Chair of the Countywide Steering Committee, and Chairman of the San Juan County Planning Commission. Most Recently, he served our community as an elected Freeholder from District)