It started out as a friendly meeting Tuesday evening of the Manson Community Council. By the time it was over almost two hours later, there had been contentious discussions between Chelan County officials and Council President Kari Sorenson, and after the meeting Sorenson resigned from the council, she says so she speak her mind without being threatened in order to be silenced. Sorenson is angry at how county officials treated the council:
It came about during a discussion of what permit applications the council can receive from the county for review and community comment. Then specifically about approval of a distillery in a residential area. That's when Sorenson says the threats came:
Sorenson and County Community Development Director Deanna Walter went at it at Tuesday's meeting:
Sorenson's business, Blueberry Hills, was the site for Tuesday's meeting. In many ways, that restaurant marked the start of ag tourism in Chelan County and across Washington State. Former County Commissioner Buell Hawkins was at Tuesday's meeting, spent some time reviewing the commission's role in developing the wine and ag tourism industry, but echoed Walter's supposed threat:
It was those comments from Walter and Hawkins that prompted Sorenson to quit the council, and go into a new role as an outspoken community advocate:
Sorenson says she'll still attend Community Council meetings and speak up, but not as a council member.