A Meeting with Vision

56 residents of Clallam Bay/Sekiu faced a wall of problems and refused to give up at the community meeting Satuday, April 29th, 2006, at the restored Clallam Bay/Sekiu Community Hall.

Paul Johnson of USDA Rural Development, and Linda Rotmark of the Clallam Economic Development Council, called on residents to write down the needs and solutions of the community on cards that were then hung on the wall, organized and voted upon to prioritize action by local and county organizations.

First priority was the organizing of a co-op to provide the services of a grocery store and a bank, both of which the community lost within the last year.

Patti Adler, of the Clallam Bay Advisory Committee, which acts as a go-between between the towns and Clallam County government, said, "We've been counting on outside political processes for too long. We need to rely on ourselves, but we do need help, at least in the first stages."

Paul agreed with Patti that the first step to dealing with local needs was evolving a coherent strategy.

Mike Dukes, of the Cape Flattery School District, pointed out that attempts had been made to organize the community 20 years before. Some residents have seen local failures as a permanent situation. Others view them as part of a learning experience that will support future success.

Paul Johnson said, "What does success look like to you? Instead of thinking of the bad things, think about the good."

Rocky Hinkle, of Hinkle Real Estate, said, "Realistically, we need to accomplish things now. A bank delivery, three times a week, espcecially for the summer tourist focus, will help us see that things are being done."

A survey taken among local business in the summer of 2005 reflected a wish to protect the environmental riches of the area.

Mike Doherty said, "Timber harvesting will be back to normal. It will be more intense but will be more specialized, and support salmon habitat and the watershed. We need a skill center for the new jobs, including stream restoration. We want smaller harvests for smaller companies, too."

Plans are afoot to rebuild the original 1906 fog station and 1914 lighthouse on Slip Point and incorporate it into the Scenic Byways project.

Linda Rotmark said that, "Several groups are watching Clallam Bay/Sekiu, including government agencies."

Taking advantage of local internet services, Denise Dunne Devaney and Linda Dillard volunteered to compile an email contact list to be used by community action committees for continuing on-line meetings, to help save time and transportation costs normally required for face-to-face meetings.


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