Jan 12, 2021 by Cody Hart for Government Accountability

The Skagit County Board of Health's most recent proposal to enact civil violations for those who oppose their boards orders is shocking residents across Skagit County and exposing a government growing more and more obsessed with power and out of touch with the people they are supposed to be serving.

Under the apparent leadership of the Public Health Director Jennifer Johnson and Prosecuting Attorney's  Rich Weyrich's office, the December 22, 2020 Board of Health meeting decision to move forward with hearings for proposed changes to Skagit County Health Code that will create civil fines for not wearing masks as directed by the health department reveals a contempt for individuals liberty and more evidence that it is power and not public health that County officials are interested in using their positions for.

Although the Board was reminded during the meeting that its purpose was to address all county health issues, such as the shamefully large increase in drug use throughout Skagit County, alcoholism, and increases in mental illness, instead, the County Health Board appears to instead see an opportunity to use the lesser but more politically charged subject of COVID, to expand its power and to fine residents and businesses beyond what the existing legal system allows.  

As one example of misplaced justifications for the new civil fine proposal, County commissioner Lisa Janicki stated during the December 22nd Board of Health meeting that her support for the proposal was based on the desire to protect business by providing them the opportunity to protect themselves from patrons that chose not to wear masks because there wasn't anything they could currently do about it.  Astoundingly, Commissioner Janicki is so out of touch with society she is unaware, or has conveniently forgotten about trespass violation laws that have been and are regularly used by businesses when patrons violate terms of use of their business.

More troubling than any of the Boards misguided support for the proposal is law enforcements efforts to assist the Board by recommending Civil fines.  While the Board chair Jennifer Johnson seemed to briefly describe law enforcements guidance on how civil fines could be used, everybody should be deeply concerned with the concept she has embraced.

What Jennifer Johnson has been guided to do, and what the Board of Health seems eager to adopt, is the creation of a new process of policing the public in Skagit county that is outside of what the laws of our county, state and country currently allow.  In other words, sending us to jail and arresting us isn't bad enough, now Skagit County Government see's a way to fine us into doing us as they want, see a way to use all government employees as police, and a way to use the Civil court system to punish those who do not do as they command.

Do not misunderstand my position, I support police officers and all they do for us but those who are behind what the Health Department is proposing are not police, they are bureaucrats and politicians who do not feel obligated to serve the public but instead, they serve their thirst for power.

I ask all my fellow Skagitonians to use the public hearing process on January 20th to voice their opposition to what the Board of Health is proposing and reject this attack on our Liberty.  

Select this link and the below for additional information:

Participation in the public hearing, pursuant to Proclamations currently in place, shall be through remote access via GoToMeeting. To participate in the public hearing, call +1 (408) 650-3123 (Access Code: 632 327 501) or join from your computer, tablet or smartphone at:  

Citizens who would like to sign up to provide public testimony must call the Clerk of the Board at (360) 416-1300 before the meeting is scheduled to start. The Clerk will need each citizen's name and the town or city where they reside. Once the public hearing is opened, those who signed up will be called on oneat-a-time to provide public testimony for up to 3 minutes 

Share This Post...