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Jeffreys takes helm of County Commission

Shelton-Mason County Journal of Shelton, Washington

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Mason County Commissioner Terri Jeffreys was elected by her peers to serve as board chairperson for 2016 at a regular Mason County Commission meeting on Tuesday.

She replaces Commissioner Randy Neatherlin as head of Mason County's top political entity.

As chairperson, Jeffreys said she would make sure the board adheres to the proper procedures to conduct meetings as well as assure all voices are heard. She also said she would like to present initiatives to the board.

Jeffreys commended Neatherlin on a job well done.

"I thought he did a fantastic job as board chair," she said. "He kept order at the meetings of the board and always looked for consensus from the other two commissioners."

Commissioner Tim Sheldon was elected vice chairman.


In other action Tuesday, the commission approved a $1.8 million property tax levy shift by a vote of 2-1.

Commissioner Tim Sheldon cast the dissenting vote citing that the levy shift could set a precedent for future commissions.

"It was approved by a lame duck (city) commissioner," he said referencing that former City Commissioner Mike 01-sen voted for the levy shift on Dec. 28. "I don't think it is necessary to do this."

The shift will affect city-taxing districts, with the Shel-ton Metropolitan Park District being affected by about $150,000.

The county cleared $150,000 in the 2016 budget as a way to "buy down" the tax rate of Shelton property owners, which will negate any increase to Shelton property taxes in 2016.

"I think this is a transaction that mixes the finances of the city of Shelton and the Board of County Commissioners," Sheldon said. He added that the levy shift is very difficult to understand.

The $1.8 million gained from the shift will be used to pay for state audit findings.

Sheldon said he would have liked to see the money come out of the 2015 ending fund balance, which sat at more than $9 million.

The parks district will meet tomorrow to recertify its property tax levy with the levy shift included.

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Original Publication Date: January 7, 2016

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