You’re Outta Here: Woodland Government Edition
I learned this week via Twitter Woodland councilman Benjamin Fredricks once umpired high school and college baseball games. This explained why he often posted links to videos of Major League Baseball umpires ejecting players.
You can’t spend much time on the baseball diamond without recognizing the flaws, such as poor preparation, communication and execution, that make some teams losers season after season.
Mayor Chuck Blum’s administration is a perennial loser in Fredricks’ eyes. Think: The Kansas City Royals over the past 15 years.
The latest example of Woodland’s continual failure, according to Fredricks, is a city-financed roundabout at Schurman Way and Dike Road that is giving truckers fits because its width does not account for the vehicles’ size.
This fault could have been corrected had the city followed Washington State Department of Transportation recommendations, Fredricks said earlier this week.
“Why do we suck so bad?” Fredricks said in a moment of exasperation. “It’s like you’re on a team and you step back and watch it and think, ‘why is this so dysfunctional?'”
This situation highlights why the city needs a city administrator, he added. Blum opposes bringing in a city administrator.
Fredricks has since changed his tune about the city failing to follow WSDOT’s recommendations. The city followed the state department’s recommendation, he clarified in a voicemail Thursday afternoon.
Whether the city did follow WSDOT’s suggestions is up for debate. Blum said he believed the city had; local truck line owner Darlene Johnson rejected the city’s official view.
The city plans to address the roundabout at a special meeting at 7 p.m. Monday inside the Woodland council chambers, 100 Davidson Ave.
What is clear is if Fredricks could eject Blum from the ballgame that is Woodland city government he would. No need for such theatrics though. Blum is not seeking reelection in November.
Fredricks will soon get an opportunity to say the hallowed words “you’re outta here” again.