Signs, spray paint and staying quiet

Those Salmon Creekers who live west of Washington State University-Vancouver. What can you say? First they complained about students parking in their neighborhood. So the county put up 47 signs that look like this:


And the neighbors wanted the no-parking rule enforced. It was. Then residents started complaining when they got ticketed for parking in front of their homes.

So the county’s considering issuing parking permits to homeowners (two per home) and spending $3,000 to $5,000 on new signs. A fact sheet for the county commissioners noted that “existing posts could be reused.”

It also noted the modified no-parking system “would require active monitoring and enforcement” by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. “Given past indications by the CCSO and given their present resources, their ability to actively enforce is questionable.”

During board time on Wednesday, commissioners discussed the sign issue and then talk turned to spray paint and an increase in tagging. A Vancouver resident emailed Commissioners Steve Stuart and Marc Boldt, asking them to consider an ordinance like one passed in Portland that requires stores that sell spray paint to keep it under lock and key so customers have to request it.

Commissioners were open to the idea, even Tom Mielke, who typically balks at the government telling store owners how to do business.

Talk quickly turned to Mielke’s stash of spray paint, all in a shade he called “fluorescent Chinese red,” that he uses to retouch the lettering on his 4-foot by 8-foot campaign signs.

So first the commissioners talk about replacing parking signs to reflect the fact that residential permits are required, then they mention Mielke’s got an artistic touch.

Am I the only one seeing a connection? A way to save taxpayers from the expense of new signs?

Apparently, yes, I was the only person thinking Mielke could update the signs himself. I stayed quiet, figuring commissioners wouldn’t appreciate my thrifty suggestion.

Besides, what do I know? I actually park in my garage.

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