Dave and Judith Palmer
7475 State Route 12
Oakville, Wa. 98568
360/273-8117
www.theblackriver.net

December 17, 2007


Commissioner Bob Beerbower
Grays Harbor County
Montesano, WA

Dear Commissioner Beerbower,

We are but 2 of thousands of flood and wind storm victims in Grays Harbor County.

Ideally we'd be writing a letter thanking you, county employees, radio stations and newspapers for supporting us by:

Unfortunately Mr. Beerbower, we can't write such a letter. All of our information, which didn't always apply to Grays Harbor residents, came from KMNT and The Chronicle in Lewis County and from the Thurston County Commissioners and their departments.

We did find out about the property tax relief program, but not from the Assessor. Instead there was a news story on the Daily World website which we stumbled across. The Daily World won't deliver to our home, so we were lucky the internet connection was up.

We also came across the Grays Harbor Emergency Management request for flood loss registration and information while accessing the WWW.

One of the county press releases identified a 1320 AM station as the "official" county radio station. Even on a good day 1320 can't easily be received. From sunset to sunrise it is impossible to listen to 1320.

Something has to be done to address communications and support with the east county residents. Disasters will happen again.

Grays Harbor Fire Department #1 could host a low power FM transmitter to broadcast news to all residents out here. They could also be responsible for printing and delivering daily Grays Harbor Emergency Management bulletins to the Post Office for home delivery.

Perhaps the Grays Harbor Sheriff's deputies could provide a carbon neutral service by picking up water samples at City Hall and delivering them to Montesano and the County Health Department. Right now you ask each resident to drive the sample into Montesano. When one is recovering and repairing from a flood, a drive to Montesano is not something we look forward to doing.

The Commissioners could visit the area to assess the damage and listen to residents. The Assessor could mail notices to every resident.

We may be rural, but we pay the same taxes. We deserve the same support and access to information as received by residents of Elma, Montesano or other better served communities. We think the county is at risk from law suits brought by residents who did not receive accurate and timely disaster information that could have been easily made available to all.

Obviously we are very unhappy with the level of emergency services delivered to us and the hundreds of other east county Oakville area residents.

We did receive support from the LDS Church in Elma, and East County Rentals. They connected with us via the 'old boy network' that included a city council member talking to the City Mayor about the needs of a School Board Chairwoman (Judith). We deeply appreciated their efforts to load and haul out our flood damaged goods.

It would be nice to hear from you as to what the county plans to do in the future to support or not support the needs we have addressed.

Respectfully,
Dave Palmer
Judith Palmer


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