It’s the calendar’s fault!

Last week, Clark County held a going away bash for Steve Stuart, whose last day as a county commissioner is today. Dozens of well-wishers showed up, including former county commissioners Marc Boldt, Betty Sue Morris, Craig Pridemore and John McKibbon. Even the chair of the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners, Marissa Madrigal, popped in (a Ridgefield native, like Stuart, she worked on his first election campaign).

Absent from the send-off were Stuart’s colleagues on the board, commissioners Tom Mielke and David Madore. It was curious considering the county sent out a notice about the farewell, implying that the commissioners would be in the same place and there’d be quorum.

According to a Facebook post by Madore — his preferred mode of communication — he received an angry message from a constituent about his absence. She’d read about it in The Columbian.


To be clear, Madore wrote: “Although I was aware a party was being planned, for some unknown reason, the event was not added to my calendar. Typically, county events of this nature are always added to our Calendar’s as reminders.” (Emphasis added.)

Somehow department heads and other county employees knew about the party. And, of course, the county did send out at least one reminder, the notice of quorum. To be fair, there was a Southwest Washington Behavioral Health Governing Board meeting just prior to Stuart’s party.

Blaming his absence on the calendar, though, is an interesting tactic.

Interesting because it should be noted that Madore is the only commissioner who has an assistant dedicated to helping him. In January 2013, he privately hired Anna Miller, his former campaign manager, to work as his executive assistant. She’s not paid by the county, but rather out of Madore’s pocket. She shares the commissioner’s office, reads his emails and maintains his calendar.

It’s unclear from Madore’s post whether he’s saying Miller is to blame — or someone else at the county is — for his not knowing something that, evidently, everyone else at the county knew about.

Of course, it’s no mystery that Madore and Stuart didn’t see eye-to-eye on many issues. But while a lot of people who sit on policy-making boards are capable of maintaining at the very least collegial, in some cases even friendly, relationships with each other, that seemed unlikely with these two. In the end, it kind of made sense he didn’t show up.

Would you want to go attend a party where you weren’t welcome?

Tyler Graf

Tyler Graf

I started working for The Columbian in 2012 and currently cover Clark County. I'm a 2007 graduate of The University of Oregon. Contact me at

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