Central Washington Sentinel posts feature opinion articles, newspaper editorials and letters to the editor on the issues of the day affecting Central Washington.
Welcome to the new Sentinel
Thanks for stopping by! If you are new to our hub website you may not notice anything new, but if you are one of our followers, you’ll be a little surprised. The short: We’ve rebranded. We’re now “The Central Washington Sentinel”. Here’s the deep dive …
First off, we have not changed our mission, the three words that guide what we do: Accountability, Transparency, and Vision. To us, those are the essentials of good government, and too often the process of running even a small rural county can hide important information. Officeholders must also be held accountable for their actions since they are basically given a guaranteed 4-year non-dismissal pass by their election. Their actions must be as transparent as technology and common decency permit. And they must be held accountable for their actions, the same as me and you.
And most important for all of us, they must have a stated vision that they are willing to govern by. Everyone talks big about their vision at election time (if they talk about it all) but that vision often gets whittled down by the actual experience of governing. We don’t like to see that happen
We have made the site more contemporary with a new logo, masthead, and design, and most important we will be reaching out to other central Washington counties to enlist their ideas and input. The growth, economic development, social and governance problems that are happening to us here in Kittitas are coming to your county sooner than you think!
We’ll be inviting guest columnists to contribute, we’ll be soliciting ideas from throughout the political spectrum on how to solve rural county issues like affordable housing, growth management, economic health and diversity, forest use and wildfire prevention.
In the past we have been successful in stopping ridiculous Critical Areas Ordinances, trimming back Comprehensive Plan amendments and making sure that elected officials are aware that we are monitoring their actions. We have started the move for a new view of forest health and productivity, and, with our regular interviews and meetings with pivotal people, we have gathered an overview of what people want in Kittitas county and, many times, have offered them pathways to get there.
We think a wider conversation is necessary so the smaller counties in Central Washington can share their experiences and ideas, goals and dreams. And though we hesitate to put it this way, get the yoke of the western counties off our necks and allow us to become what we need to be to succeed in our own counties.
We’ll also be keeping an active Facebook page going so you can keep an eye on us and the things we report.
So, thanks for your support in the past. We hope that you’ll continue to follow us, and we hope you will become a participant in our mission, to make our local governments Transparent, Accountable, and driven by a Vision of the future, not a response to the past.
Greetings from the Central Washington Sentinel
To us, the essentials of good government are what our vision, purpose, and intended results are all about. Too often the process of running even a small rural county can hide important information. Officeholders must be held accountable for their actions since they are basically given a guaranteed 4-year non-dismissal pass by their election. Their actions must be as transparent as technology and common decency permit. And they must be held accountable for their actions, the same as you and me.
And most important for all of us, those office holders must have a stated vision that they are willing to govern by. Everyone talks big about their vision at election time (if they talk about it at all) but that vision often gets whittled down by the actual experience of governing. We’re here to give you not only information, but a voice in that process.
Ian Elliot – Editor
Ian is a retired businessman living in Ellensburg. Ian previously ran an environmental and economic development consulting business and has served in the Washington State Legislature as a Representative for District 1. For many years Ian volunteered as the president of Seattle Community for Youth at Risk, the largest mentoring program in the Seattle school district. He also served as the president of United for Washington, a non-partisan political action committee supporting business-friendly legislators. Recently he has participated in local governmental issues and currently sits on the Kittitas County Planning Commission and the Governor’s Energy Facilities Site Evaluation Council.
Jerry Martens – Land Use/Water
Jerry has enjoyed a forty-five-year career within the building industry specializing in home construction and land development. He is an active participant in government issues with a particular interest in land use regulation, controlling government oversight and private property rights. He enjoys traveling and building unique wood pieces for sale through his home business, Rustik Kreations. Jerry is a founding member of the Kittitas County Sentinel.
Bruce Coe – Journalist/Reporter
Bruce has been active in Kittitas County governance and land use issues for 30 years. A former County Commissioner, he has also been involved in water issues both privately and as the county representative to the Yakima Basin Water Enhancement Project. He served in the initial implementation of the Growth Management Act and has monitored land use and planning as the Act unfolded. He has held both administrative and legislative positions in government, managing the annual Kittitas County Fair prior to his service as an elected official. His family operated a dude ranch on Kittitas County for 50 years. His interests are governmental transparency, vision, and accountability.
Art Colts – Publisher
Art was born and raised on the West Coast moving to Cle Elum with his wife Susan in 1999. He has enjoyed careers in electronics, system analysis/design/marketing, mortgage banking/real estate investment, and digital communications/publishing. These careers have allowed Art to serve in numerous community organizations like the Breakthrough Foundation and to hold instrumental team building positions with the Seattle Community Youth at Risk Program, Seattle Choral Company, Care Net and Young Life. His current focus is on local economic development, governmental accountability and digital marketing/publishing. Art is a founding member of the Kittitas County Sentinel.