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Whatcom County Courthouse, Room 513
Thursday, May 12, 2011, 10:00 AM
Book: 65, Page: 1

Special Meeting

Called To Order The meeting was called to order by County Council President Sam Crawford

Roll Call
    Barry Buchanan, Council Member, Third Ward
    Stan Snapp, Council Member, Fourth Ward
    Michael Lilliquist, Council Member, Sixth Ward


Meeting of the Emergency Medical System (EMS) Joint Councils Policy Planning Group

Meeting convened, 10:02 by meeting chair Sam Crawford.

In attendance:

Whatcom County Council: Sam Crawford, Kathy Kershner, Barbara Brenner
Bellingham City Council: Stan Snapp, Barry Buchanan, Michael Lilliquist,

Participants agreed the chair would alternative between City and County.

Participants discussed the Planning Group membership, which will be revised to consist of 6 City of Bellingham and 8 Whatcom County designees. The City of Bellingham is in the process of choosing its representatives.

The group reviewed the County Council EMS Resolution and subsequent actions. The resolution calls for Countywide management of the system. The existing interlocal is going away. On April 26, 2011 the County Council Committee of the Whole specified two planning tracks. One is a system that includes both City and County participation and the other, Plan B, is to move ahead with planning for a County-only (excluding Bellingham) system in case a new Interlocal cannot be agreed to. There are two deadlines: on July 31, 2011 a progress report from the Planning Group will be transmitted to the Councils group. By September 30, 2011 the Planning Group would bring back the building blocks for a new interlocal, to include all fire responders in the County.

County Council members identified the following 8 delegates for the County:

North: Harry Andrews, Tom Fields
West: Bob Busch, Gary Russell
South: Ron Swanson, David Ralston
East: Floyd Roorda, Ben Thompson

The group discussed who the Administrative Board of a new system should report to, e.g. should it be the County Council (as per the County resolution), a WTA-like, board, or some other type of structure. Participants agreed that all funding organizations should be part of the governance board. Details will be worked out at subsequent meetings.

Participants generally agreed that there is currently sufficient money to operate a system and that no new taxing authority is needed at present. There was general agreement amongst participants that setting up a Countywide system with an independent governance structure is not an immediate (2014) goal of the planning group. Some participants support a fully countywide system as a possible long-term option.

The group discussed whether one interlocal is appropriate, v. separate interlocals between the various jurisdictions.

The group developed the following charge to the Planning Group. These issues are also to be discussed and clarified at a May 25, 2011 meeting, which will include both the EMS Planning Group and the EMS Policy Group.

Charge to the Planning Group:
    1. Administrative board and governance issues. Makeup of the administrative board; discussion of equal v. proportional representation; accountability to whom (ultimately, the taxpayers).
    2. Specific planning (operational) components.
      Daily Operations
    3. Short-term funding analysis. Document available current funds and near-term needed system upgrades.
      4. Existing EMS plan. Identify what is needed to update the 2005 plan.
        5. Interlocal. What is needed for a new interlocal – should there be one interlocal v. separate interlocals (legal input needed).
      Next meeting will include both the EMS policy group (6) and the EMS planning group (14) on May 25, at 10:00.

      There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 11:38 AM.
      Stan Snapp, Council President

      ATTEST: Mark Gardner, Policy Analyst

      This is a digital copy of an original document located at Bellingham's City Hall. The City of Bellingham specifically disclaims any responsibility or liability for the contents of this document. The City of Bellingham does not verify the correctness, accuracy, or validity of the information appearing in this document.