A recent topic of conversation among county commissioners has been whether to lower, or alter in some way, their monthly car allowance. Currently the commissioners receive $600 a month. Next year, that will bump to $700, but commissioners have discussed whether to lower it.

So far, Commissioner David Madore has been alone in supporting a decrease. He has suggested that maybe the commissioners don’t need nearly $10,000 a year, on top of their six-figure salaries, for gas. However, commissioners Tom Mielke and Ed Barnes want to keep the car allowance where it is.

Mielke, in particular, has been adamant that the commissioners deserve nearly $1,000 a month so they can buy gas. They travel all over the county, he says, and they shouldn’t be expected to do so on their own dime. In case you’re wondering what Mielke has been driving recently, this is it (hat tip to a reader who passed the photo along).


In case you’re having trouble seeing the picture, it’s a white Chevrolet Corvette (I believe) with a vanity plate that reads “Mielke.” This makes sense. I mean, when you’re rolling through Amboy or, I don’t know, Brush Prairie, you want to do it in style. You want it to be the jazz hands of cars, something like a 20-year-old Corvette — blasting, I imagine, some outlaw country, like early-era Waylon Jennings. And don’t forget the vanity plate displaying your name. You want everybody to know who that sweet ride belongs to.

It’s a real eye-catcher.

So if you ever see this vehicle cruising around, try to flag it down and grab a ride. After all, the $7,200 a year the county gives Mielke so he can gas it up (and, presumably, the rest of his fleet) is your tax money.



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 tyler.graf@columbian.com

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