Clark County, We Have a Problem

by lewwaters

Yes, we all have witnessed the dysfunction ongoing with the five member County Council and finger pointing is going in all directions. But it seems the problem extends beyond just the friction between the five councilors.

It’s bad enough that the councilors can’t seem to agree on much, but week after week we see the same citizens coming forward repeating their vitriol towards one group or another.

And it is not only these two in the video capture, there are others we see and have seen for some time that just can’t stop themselves from spewing vitriol against one or more of the council.

It appears that one way or the other, it is a fringe of citizens demanding one-party rule with only their views being addressed or heeded, the hell with others that see life differently.

Our problems do not reside with any one councilor or even a group, it is all five that act more like grammar school is in session, not a county government.

And both sides have their own group of angry citizens every week throwing out their barbs against the others.

We are a county of diverse people with differing values, wants and needs. Neither side is always right nor do they deserve to have only their views represented.

Lost seems to be a meeting of the minds to achieve the best overall for the county as each pushes for their views and their views only.

It has no good to tell these fringe speakers to tone it down or not direct such comments toward staff or councilors, they ignore all sense of decency and spew their vitriol anyway as the chair looks on, sitting there like a deer caught in headlights.

Yes, each one has a first amendment right to freely speak, but with that right comes responsibility and these speakers only add to the divisive nature we find ourselves in.

Surely we can stand up against the fringe from both sides that demands only their views be addressed before it gets much worse?

I simply fail to see such outbursts being constructive.

How do we stop this? I’m open to suggestions.

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9 Comments to “Clark County, We Have a Problem”

  1. Good question. I have tried no new ideas come to mind.


  2. We should be so lucky to have all of the hotheads from both sides go take a long walk off of a short pier 😉


  3. I appreciate the spirit of this piece. I fear that as long as the leaders, and members, of the various factions continue to foster and encourage the rhetoric exampled in your clip there is little hope. I do, however, remain ever cautiously optimistic.

    Regarding the public, personal, haranguing of individual County Councilors, I would like to see the other council members speak out against such treatment of their colleagues.

    On a community level I challenge each person to strive to eliminate dehumanizing terms and rhetoric from their face-to-face and online interactions. I challenge each of us to push back against simplified solutions and the idea that any one person or faction has all the answers. For myself, I my push back is reserved for those I have traditionally considered my “in-group,” for the “other” I seek first to understand.


  4. Lock them all in County Council chambers, hand out clubs, and let the winner take all.


  5. “I love all of our regulars,” he said. “All we are limiting is your time on television.”

    So said Spokane City Councilor Jon Snyder when the council in January decided to limit each person one meeting per month for public testimony.

    I can see the value in this policy.

    I regard public comment as similar to ordering something from a catalog. You place your order once and it is received. Do you really have to make the same order, over and over again, every week of the year? Eventually, the council stops hearing the comment.

    Maybe Clark County Council should consider adopting Spokane’s policy, Lew. It would give us all a rest from the broken record testimony.


  6. While I don’t like restrictions on free speech, Michele, I do see merit in this proposal, given the outrageous conduct of repeat commenters from both sides.

    Such outrageous behavior on the part of those who nearly every week take up time to throw barbs over addressing issues actually prevent others from coming forward with real issues. People stop coming to meetings sooner or later.

    I think this proposal should be considered, even if on a temporary basis to see if people calm down.


  7. ” Do you really have to make the same order, over and over again, every week of the year? ”

    Sounds like the local daily Pravda. Madore, Madore, Madore. Over and Over and Over. Madore, Madore, Madore. And again and again and again. And again. And over and again.

    Maybe while they’re busy limiting public comments to once a month, they can also limit the Pravda’s Madore needling to once a month.


  8. Several have complained about the incessant, lopsided editorializing by ol Lefty Lou. I told him many years ago his subscription rate might even improve if they ever were actually objective and treated both sides fairly.

    I can’t silence them, but I sure can not buy their paper.

    Much of the hateful rhetoric leveled each week towards the council lies right at Brancaccio’s feet.


  9. Only issue I see with that proposal,Michelle is that the county councilors aren’t painted in a favorable light whereas the city council is. Would the columbian print names AND photos of those who frequent county meetings like they did back in 2011 ? Would the columbian approve of the policy if implemented ? Would John laird and others rush to the county’s defense like they did when leavitt proposed cutting the mic ? I didn’t see many people throwing barbs at M and M get their names and photo in the paper. Shoot, John laird and other democrats flipped when David madore changed a rule regarding testimony but gave leavitt a free pass for allowing Moeller to speak more than the allotted time.


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