I voted for what? Really?
The rule of three applies to trend stories: If you can cite three examples, you can call it a trend.
Here are three examples from just this month in support of the idea that Clark County Commissioner Tom Mielke doesn’t always know, or remember, how he votes or what he votes on.
At a Jan. 5 meeting with staff members about proposed code changes, Mielke said he had “big heartburn” at the idea of allowing no-parking zones as long as 250 feet on county streets.
The state administrative code calls for 100-foot-long no-parking zones on streets.
The county’s code would allow more than twice what the state allows, Mielke said. He can’t support that.
After staff members exchanged glances, one of them spoke up and explained to Mielke that he had already voted for the 250-foot-long zones to appease people who live near Washington State University-Vancouver and were tired of students parking on residential streets.
It took a few minutes to clear up the confusion.
“I understand that I overlooked it and I voted for it,” Mielke finally said.
At a Jan. 11 meeting, Camas resident Margaret Tweet spoke during public comment. She addressed Mielke, who as chairman of the board runs the meetings. She asked why the board did not publicly discuss the decision to give managers a 2 percent raise when the 2011-12 budget was adopted in December.
Mielke did not understand what she was talking about, so he turned to Bill Barron for help.
The county administrator explained to Mielke that managers had their pay frozen two years ago, and commissioners decided that no group of employees would have their pay frozen longer than two years. It was in a staff memo attached to the budget that was adopted, Barron explained.
While other employees are having their pay frozen now, managers are eligible for a 2 percent merit increase.
“I’m guilty of missing that,” Mielke told Tweet. “I didn’t realize that was in our final budget. I was still under the impression that we were under a full house freeze.”
At a Board of Health meeting Wednesday, commissioners heard a success story from the Nurse Family Partnership.
The Nurse Family Partnership was highlighted during the budget process last year as a non-mandated service that might be cut if commissioners didn’t dedicate more money for Clark County Public Health.
Ultimately, commissioners decided to support public health and the Nurse Family Partnership by raising property taxes by 1 percent.
Mielke smiled after hearing about a former heroin user who, with help from the Nurse Family Partnership, became sober. She has a job, a healthy baby and a driver’s license.
That is a nice story, Mielke said. But he just had a quick question for Kate Ketcham, the program manager.
“Tell me again about the program?” Mielke asked. “What’s it called?”