Bring the Payne
I thought you would like to know that the Clark County commissioners were talking about you last week during board time. Specifically, they were talking about how they hope you make it so property owners can make partial payments on property tax bills. As it is, people make two payments, in April and October, and as one commissioner can attest, that doesn’t always work with a family budget. Or he just forgets.
Allowing people to make partial payments probably won’t affect too many people. You’ve told me that more than 50 percent of property owners let their mortgage companies handle the payments, and 90 percent of people who do submit their payments do so on time.
Bill Barron said he’d ask you about the commissioners’ request, and, frankly, Commissioner Madore didn’t think you were up to the task. He was smiling while he was talking, so I think he was trying to be nice, but he essentially said you’ve been at your job for so long he didn’t think you’d be willing to change your system to accommodate partial payments. He suggested that the commissioners do the research, and then just tell you what to do. He would love to help.
At that point, Commissioner Mielke spoke up to remind Madore that commissioners don’t set policy for your office.
“He’s elected, just like we are,” Mielke said about you.
I wouldn’t take Madore’s comments personally. During the campaign, he said he’d tell Sheriff Lucas how to best spend money in his department. I emailed Lucas about that, and here’s what he wrote in response:
“I’m sure that were David Madore to be elected, he would have more than one surprise.”
Oh, that Lucas. You know, it must be a confidence booster to be able to wear a gun as part of your uniform. I’m not sure when you’ll meet next with commissioners to discuss your proposal to allow partial payments — Kelly Sills did speak up on your behalf, by the way, and reassured Madore that you have been talking to the Kitsap County treasurer — but I have some unsolicited advice. You don’t really have that Lucas swagger going for you. So when you meet with commissioners, I suggest you bring your deputy, John Payne.
In 17 years as a reporter, nobody has scared me more than John Payne. Did I ever tell you about the time I interviewed an inmate on Death Row at the Washington State Penitentiary? Good story, but I’ll save it for another time.