Time. . .
. . .for a Change!
. . .for an Independent Commissioner!
. . .for a More Affordable Jefferson County!
August 29, 2008
This first went to members of the Jefferson County
Home Builders Association on August 29.
Message from JCHBA President
Political style of BIAW not to JCHBA's liking
Thank you for all of your input regarding the political
climate of Jefferson County and Washington State. Since the board's e-mail
regard-ing the governor's race went out at the end of June, we have heard
from quite a few of you. The message has been consistent: the tactics
of the Building Industry Association of Washington are not appreciated
here in Jefferson County. Many of you (far left and far right) are just
pitching the Building Insight newsletter into the trash.
The vast majority of the JCHBA board does not condone the editorial policies,
or political tactics, of the BIAW. They fully appreciate the excellent
work the BIAW lobbyists do on behalf of the small business owners, as
well as the retrospective rating and health insurance programs.
JCHBA Executive Officer Sandy Hershelman and I, in particular, have taken
(and given) sharp blows over the past year because we refused to kowtow
to the BIAW's current leadership. As BIAW attempted covert tactics against
us, the battle got ugly. Good people were manipulated; friendships violated.
Since we first rejected BIAW's questionable political funding proposal
in early 2007, some at the state level have ostracized the JCHBA. (The
Public Disclosure Commission is currently investigating a complaint against
the BIAW filed with the Attorney General's Office.)
Usually the political drama doesn't hit here. This year, however, is different.
BIAW has repeatedly been on every news program and in newspapers across
the state. A vicious gubernatorial rematch is underway...and your executive
officer is running for county commissioner. The JCHBA has become a target.
Letters to the editor have already alluded to Sandy's connection with
the big, bad developers...and the BIAW has been thrown into the muddle.
Sandy has talked to literally thousands of people in the last few months,
as she's knocked on doors and campaigned at myriad events. At least 100
have expressed their disgust with BIAW; two members support BIAW in whatever
it does; one nonmember praised the BIAW newsletter; another nonmember
e-mailed us that we were mandated to uphold the views of the BIAW. Sandy
corrected him: BIAW holds no authority over the JCHBA. Both are chartered
through the National Association of Home Builders. NAHB bylaws forbid
state association interference in the local HBAs' markets. (BIAW has repeatedly
It pains us to have the public (and some members) equate the JCHBA with
Sandy's message has been consistent: "I have worked extremely hard
during the past six years to encourage a diverse membership in the JCHBA,
one that truly reflects the building community of Jefferson County. The
JCHBA is nonpartisan, a mixture of traditional and green custom homebuilders
and their associates. They are (for the most part) a wonderfully supportive
group of men and women. The JeffCo HomeShowTM and Built Green® of
Jefferson County are two of the JCHBA's gifts to the community."
"The BIAW's political tactics and editorial slant are a prime example
of what I despise about partisan politics. While the organ-ization is
phenomenal at lobbying on behalf of small business, those victories are
tainted by BIAW's rabid political posturing."
The good news is that there is an internal move for more moderate members
to regain control of the association. I have recently returned from a
meeting of the presidents of the local associations that make up the BIAW.
The presidents, who were at the meeting, represented 70% of the state
membership. The unanimous conclusion was that the members should steer
BIAW; BIAW should not drive the members.
In addition, we sent notice to BIAW leadership that the tone of the Building
Insight was not what we wanted to see. We should be addressing the issues
and not slinging mud at individuals. There is still much work to be done
to try to bring BIAW leadership in line with the thinking of the local
presidents, but we are all confident that the problem is not insurmountable.
We will be meeting again in October in a joint meeting with the BIAW executive
board to stress the points we are trying to make. The key point is that
we, the members of JCHBA, are the BIAW. If we want to change the way BIAW
acts, it is up to us to change it.
I hope that we have addressed some of the concerns of our members. Should
you have questions, feel free to contact Sandy or me.
P.S. Let us know if you'd like to be removed from the BIAW's
mailing list. If you're not reading the Building Insight, why waste a
P.P.S. Sent with the blessings of JCHBA Second Vice President Kevin Coker,
Secretary Joy McFadden and Treasurer Rick Gore.
Update: We appreciate all of you who
e-mailed and called in support of the board's stance, above, as well as
the one pro-BIAW e-mail.
Any further member comments? Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Sandy at 360.385.1087
Elect Sandy Hershelman
Lizanne Coker, Campaign Manager
Jana Daubenberger-Filli, Treasurer
P.O. Box 521
Port Hadlock, WA 98339
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