Not that long ago, the Montesano Senior Center was located at City Hall as a stop gap to its new home today. At the time, though, the senior center was being told by the county that local and state rules would prohibit the facility from serving lunches, even though there was a kitchen on site and the facility has served meals in the past.
If the rule was left to stand, hundreds of residents who counted on those meals would have been on their own.
Grays Harbor County Commissioner Wes Cormier took the task on and personally did the research, going over RCWs and county ordinances to see if there was something, anything, that could be done.
With the help of the commissioner’s clerk, Wes found a variance that could be applied to current code allowing for food to continue to be served. This is a variance that county staff apparently didn’t even know existed. What I love about this story is that Wes was able to work within the current rules, without the need for new laws or new regulations. This is Wes’s personality: He will spend hours and hours researching an issue to see how he can help by the book.
Thankfully, the seniors have a new community center as a home. But without proactive county support, we might have a much sadder story to talk about here.
Wes is the most transparent county commissioner I’ve met. And that’s saying something because I had the pleasure of working with a whole lot of county commissioners over an 11-year period while working as a newspaper reporter.
He fought to change the county’s nepotism-friendly job hiring practices as soon as he took office. When he saw that the former owners of the Grays Harbor Raceway kept messing up, he led the efforts to fire them. That stupid lawsuit with the judges? Settled under Wes’s watch.
My mom recently moved to the Harbor. She’s just starting to figure this county out. I lived on the Harbor for a long time. I’m recommending my mom vote for Wes. You should, too.