Giving thanks for Clark County politics

In honor of the holidays, I’m toning down my usual snark to reflect on some of the things I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving.

I’m thankful for those who read my stories, correct me if I make mistakes and challenge me to ask tough questions and dig deeper. “Don’t read the comments” is a familiar adage for reporters, and no wonder, given how much vitriol is frequently contained in comment boards. But many of you have helped me grow as a reporter, engaged with me on social media and given me a fuller and more vibrant picture of Clark County politics. And while this is obviously not a job I do for the thanks or praise, those of you who have supported me in the face of pretty nasty criticism have helped me through some of the stress of this job.

I’m thankful for Clark County staff, who have answered my pestering questions, given me excellent tips and been patient as I’ve been learning the ins-and-out of county government. This is my first real political reporting gig, and there’s more to learn than I could have ever imagined. Staff have been helpful and accessible throughout the last nine months, and I am so grateful for that.

I’m thankful for my relationship with Councilors Elect Julie Olson, Republican, and Marc Boldt, no party. Both have been accessible by phone call, text and email. It’s easy as a reporter to take such a simple thing for granted. The fact that Councilors David Madore and Tom Mielke have been so inaccessible to me quite literally since Day One is no skin off my back, personally. But I believe it’s an affront to tax-payers who deserve the opportunity to hear from their elected officials through the local media. I am looking forward to being able to suddenly talk to the majority of the council in the new year.

I’m thankful for my coworkers, especially those sitting immediately next to me, who listen to me every day vent about sitting in Meeting Hell. They’ve helped me keep things into perspective and, since almost everyone I work with has far more experience in this county than I do, have taught me so much about the various personalities and policies.

And lastly, I’m thankful for all three Clark County councilors. Say what you will about this county and its politics, there’s always something to write about. I say a lot of things about my job. That it’s boring has never been one of them.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Kaitlin Gillespie

Kaitlin Gillespie

I'm the education reporter at The Columbian. Get in touch at or 360-735-4517.

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