Whatcom council selects chairman, looks forward to better tribal relations

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJanuary 17, 2014 

Carl Weimer became chairman of the Whatcom County Council to start his third term, and council members expressed renewed interest in the Intergovernmental Tribal Relations Committee at their first meeting of the year Tuesday, Jan. 14.

Weimer replaced Kathy Kershner, who served as chairwoman for two years but lost her re-election bid in November.

Barry Buchanan, who defeated Kershner, and Barbara Brenner were chosen for the Tribal Relations Committee, which brings together county officials and Lummi and Nooksack tribal officials to discuss issues they have in common.

The committee hasn't been meeting, but Brenner said Lummi Nation's chairman, Tim Ballew, has shown interest in restarting the group.

"I feel like he definitely wants to work with the county. I think that's great, and I'm looking forward to it," Brenner said.

Buchanan told council he wanted to be on the committee because he is of Yakama Nation descent. In an interview Wednesday, Jan. 15, he said his father's mother was one-quarter Yakama and one-quarter Nez Perce.

Buchanan said he met with Lummi officials after the election and told them he wanted to improve communication between the tribe and county government.

Reach Ralph Schwartz at 360-715-2289 or ralph.schwartz@bellinghamherald.com. Read his Politics blog at bellinghamherald.com/politics-blog or get updates on Twitter at @bhampolitics.

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