Monday, October 13, 2014

I'm running for office.

I haven't mentioned this before,but I'm running for political office; I filed for this position on May 12th, and I've been campaigning since.

It's been an interesting process; this is the first elected position I've run for, and I've been doing all of the things that campaigns need to do; public appearances and signs and advertising and fundraising and it's been a good education in the process.   I've probably talked to 5,000 people since the start of the campaign.  That's a lot of talking!

 

I'm running for the position of  Snohomish County Public Utility District (PUD) commissioner;  I am running to become a member of a 3 person commission that oversees the PUD; the commission approves contracts over $25,000, accepts or rejects rate changes, and can hire and fire the professional manager of the PUD.

To explain what a public utility district is, the closest analogy I've come across is the difference between a credit union and a commercial bank.  A credit union is a not-for-profit institution run for the benefit of its depositor/owners.  A commercial bank is run for the benefit of its shareholders.

The mission of the PUDS was to give the ratepayers in the service area a better deal than they might get from a commercial entity, and for most of the PUDs in Washington State (there are over 20 of them) they do.

But the Snohomish county PUD seems to have drifted a bit.  They have the highest rates of any PUD in the state, and they've had recent troubles that point to a management problem.   These troubles have led to the loss of millions of PUD dollars, and millions of federal dollars, too.  And they are studying a much larger project, at 180 million dollars, that I'm  that I'm skeptical that they can manage.

In addition, the basic job of the utility is to keep the lights on.  The number of days of power outages that the average customer experiences has climbed over the past 12 years

The job of commissioner is to make sure that your neighbors money is spent wisely, and that's what I'd like to do.  I think it's time for a change in the leadership, and for fresh eyes and ideas to take the PUD to the next decade.

You'll find my campaign website here, and here's a some recent letters to the editor that put it better than I can:

PUD needs King
Change Definitely needed at PUD
PUD commission needs a shakeup!

Friday, October 10, 2014

The chopper

Gehl 1075 on right, grass and corn heads on truck.  
 Picked up the forage chopper; a gehl 1075 with a grass head and a two-row corn head.  The tractor I'll use to drive this chopper is a 125hp, and I'm hoping that it's powerful enough.  The previous owner was running it with a 150hp tractor.  Guess I'll see what sort of speed we can do.

Going over it with a grease gun to make sure that everything that should be greased is.  Checking chains and belts, making sure tires are full.  Takes a couple of hours to get everything all set and then I'll run it slow for a while to make sure that everything is spinning the way it should.  Got the tank of farm diesel full for refueling...  can't think of anything else that needs to be done before we start chopping.    

Rain forecast for saturday; partly sunny sunday and monday and then rain for the forseeable future.  looks like chopping will be on sunday; hope to get it all done by then.  Tires and tarp are all set, silage pit is repaired and scraped clean...

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Prey drive starts early

Our dogs are farm dogs; they keep larger predators from our stock, guard the house and driveway, and are the constant companion on walks.  Airedales are very loyal and pretty intelligent... and can be stubborn, too.  Its a terrier trait.  They keep going despite difficulties.

We had a litter of pups recently, and it's been fun watching the personalities emerge.  Here, in his web debut is "blue" -- named for the color of the collar we initially put on him.  he outgrew that collar, but the name stuck.



Airedale puppy eating a rat and growling at other puppiesn from bruce king on Vimeo.