Straight talk with Tom Mielke

Commissioner Tom Mielke engaged in some straight-up, down-on-the-farm, no-nonsense conversation last week as commissioners debated what to do about a lingering contract dispute with the Humane Society of Southwest Washington over stray animals.

After Mielke inquired as to why a county shelter would need medical facilities, he said the stark reality of bringing an injured animal into the shelter would require a decision be made on “whether or not you take them to the doctor’s office or euthanize them.”

That right there is some straight talk you just don’t hear much of these days.

Contrast that with the comments in a story on the distressed seal pup in Olympia.

From National Marine Fisheries Service spokesman Brian Gorman:

“This is what happens in the real world,” Gorman said, adding he doesn’t want to sound cold and aloof.

Not worried about sounding either cold or aloof, Mielke made a somewhat exasperated statement regarding the idea of fixing feral cats and releasing them back into the county lands.

“We feed coyotes with them. That’s what you’re doing. That’s exactly what you’re doing. I’ll be blunt, that’s what’s going on out there.”

That is blunt. Real blunt. Blunt in the way that kind of makes you realize the rural roots Mielke brings to the commission.

It’s even classic children’s horror movie “Old Yeller” blunt. Yup, let’s go there.


Anyways, after the commissioners discussed for some 20-minutes the minutia of how they believe a non-profit they don’t control should run its business so they get a better contract, they got back to talking about other, more relevant things, such as how long breaks should last between work sessions.

Erik Hidle

Erik Hidle

Erik Hidle covers Clark County government for The Columbian. He can be followed on facebook at, on Twitter at @col_clarkgov or contacted by email at

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