State of the County offers strange reminder

When Clark County’s 2021 State of the County address begins next week, it’ll be a reminder — one of several of late — of a particularly strange few days.

County Council Chair Eileen Quiring O’Brien will deliver the address virtually at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday. She is expected to focus mainly on the county’s ongoing response to COVID-19.

Last year, the address was scheduled for March 11 in the sixth-floor hearing room of the Public Service Center in Vancouver. A sizable crowd packed into the hearing room for the address the previous year, so one might have expected a similar turnout.

But, as the virus started hitting the county, officials announced hours before the scheduled start time that it was being canceled “out of an abundance of caution.”

At that point, one case of COVID-19 had been confirmed in the county. Public meetings and events were beginning to be postponed or canceled left and right.

Two days later, the council declared its first emergency proclamation in response to the virus. As Quiring O’Brien speaks Tuesday, the county proclamation will still be in effect, though the rollout of vaccines continue.

This time next year, rather than a strange reminder, the address could be a representation of the county’s return to normalcy — in the form of a full hearing room.

The address will be broadcast live on CVTV. Recordings will also be available on CVTV channel 23/323 and

Jack Heffernan

Jack Heffernan

Jack Heffernan is a breaking news reporter and covers Clark County government for The Columbian.

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