No takers for the tank (yet)

Schedule a ribbon-cutting for any publicly funded project, from a neighborhood park to a freeway interchange, and a county commissioner will gladly show up. Open a new business or stage a community festival, and a commissioner will show up to shake hands and make small talk.

Ask one to get in a dunk tank, as Vancouver resident Judy Tiffany did last week? Expect a chilly reception.

Tiffany approached commissioners during the public comment portion of the May 31 meeting with a letter from the 4th Plain International Festival Planning Team.

The second annual 4th Plain International Food Festival will be 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 9 at the corner of Fourth Plain Boulevard and Norris Road.

Last year more than 2,000 people attended, Tiffany said. She wanted commissioners to show support by helping spread the word about the festival.

So far, so fine. Commissioners were smiling and nodding.

Then Tiffany mentioned there will be a dunk tank, and organizers are trying to find volunteers who will take a turn in the tank.

The nodding stopped.

Commissioner Marc Boldt joked that he can’t swim. Commissioners Tom Mielke and Steve Stuart didn’t say anything.

To sweeten the deal, Tiffany said that anyone who gets in the tank will get a few minutes to talk to the crowd. What politician can turn down a chance at a mic?

The festival is in Stuart’s district, but he was re-elected last year.

Boldt and Mielke are both up for re-election next year, and commissioners do have to run countywide in the general election.

Just how cold is the water?

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