Drinking, toking and the CRC

Earlier this month I taped a segment of “Clark County Focus” for CVTV with Commissioner Steve Stuart.

You can watch the show here.

We started by talking about the decision to limit after-hours use of the Public Service Center, which, according to some online commenters, appeared to be trying to ignore the problem of homelessness rather than addressing it. Not true, Stuart said, adding the county spends $3.5 million a year on services for people who are homeless.

I asked about a state proposal to extend “last call” and he said that while the commissioners favor local control and think Seattle should be able to allow alcohol to be served past 2 a.m., they would not consider it here.

If you are confused over what the county has against collective medicinal marijuana gardens, Stuart explains the reasons for the moratorium.

And what would an interview with a county commissioner be without at least one question related to the Columbia River Crossing?

State lawmakers approved tolling, and Stuart explains concerns brought up by Commissioner Marc Boldt, the chairman of the board. Boldt ultimately directed the county’s lobbyist to testify to those concerns.

For years, a group of CRC critics have been attending county commissioner meetings, city council meetings and other meetings, where the people in charge had no authority over tolls, to voice opposition to tolls. For years, Stuart and other local elected officials have been telling them, “Look to Olympia.”

Then, when the subject finally came up, not a single one of the regulars bothered to go to Olympia.

“If they cared that much about tolls, then why aren’t they up in Olympia fighting them?” Stuart said. He called it “disappointing.”

Ending on a lighthearted note, I asked Stuart if his shoulder was OK following his recent first pitch.

Next up for “Clark County Focus,” will be Boldt. I’m scheduled to interview him May 1. If you have a question you’d like me to ask, please email me at stephanie.rice@columbian.com or call me at 360-735-4508. One caution, though. Since it’s public programming, I can’t ask about his re-election campaign (because his opponents aren’t getting equal time).

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