All Politics is Local

State Rep. Liz Pike criticizes county council for fireworks ban they’re not considering

State Rep. Liz Pike isn't running for county council chair any more. But she will still tell them what she thinks.

State Rep. Liz Pike isn’t running for county council chair any more. But she will still tell them what she thinks.

When state Rep. Liz Pike, R-Camas, announced she was dropping out the race for Clark County Council chair she issued a statement noting that she would embark on an “adventure that does not involve elective politics or government agencies.”

Apparently that doesn’t mean she won’t show up at Clark County Council meetings to give councilors a piece of her mind about something she’s heard about that may or may not be true.

At Tuesday’s council meeting, Pike showed up for the council’s public comment period. She spoke after Carol Levanen, of property rights group Clark County Citizens United, who told the council that hobby farms with horses are more economically valuable than the large lot size farms favored by the county’s current zoning.

“I want to ditto what Carol Levanen said,” said Pike as she began. “If more people want to live in the rural areas, we should let them.”

But Pike was there to talk about two other things.

First, she asked the county implement “without further delay” a change to state law she worked on that would allow industrial development along a rail line in Clark County that could produce many good jobs. The county (under advice of staff trying not to get the county sued) has been cautiously implementing the bill. But Pike  told them that although Seattle-based land-use group Futurewise (which has already sued the county on an unrelated matter) has opposed the bill all along and the council should be strong. She said the Legislature did most of the heavy-lifting and presented them with the bill on a “silver platter.”

She was also there to talk about fireworks.

“I’ve been hearing that there is a proposed ban on fireworks in Clark County, by this body or by one or two members of this body, and I just want to voice my opinion that I am adamantly opposed to a fireworks ban,” she said.

She said that she doesn’t buy personal fireworks but fondly remembers her now adult twins loving them as young children.

“Fireworks is part of the great American lexion,” she said. “It allows us to be reminded of our great forefathers who sacrificed to make a free nation in America. And when I see those fireworks every 4th of July, I am reminded about the sacrifices: that first war, the Revolutionary War that set us all free. So I think banning fireworks would be a slap in the face to the liberty of this nation and the freedom that we get to enjoy.”

As Pike got up to go, she was stopped by Clark County Council Chair Marc Boldt. He said that there is an email circulating that claims the county is considering a county-wide ban.

“That is a misleading email where a lot of that is coming from,” said Boldt.

Pike asked Boldt to go on record that there is no proposed ban on fireworks in Clark County, which he did.

Councilor Julie Olson, who had her house burned by a firework last year, added that there may be a change to county firework policy  “but we’re not talking about a county-wide ban on fireworks; that’s never been apart of the discussion.”

“That’s good to know,” said Pike.

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