County Decision Makes No Sense

So, let’s get this straight. The Clark County commissioners want to make sure that the Yakima Bears aren’t playing them for the fools. They don’t want the team’s owners to take advantage of Vancouver in order to get a sweeter deal from some other municipality.

Sounds like a good plan.

So the commissioners have their attorney draft such an agreement — “we won’t sneak around behind your back if you don’t sneak around on us.” And then the commissioners refuse to ratify it?!? How does that make sense?

From Stephanie Rice’s story in The Columbian:

Commissioners Marc Boldt and Steve Stuart seemed prepared to vote in favor of the contract.

Once Commissioner Tom Mielke, who said he didn’t understand the rush to sign any type of contract, said he’s “more committed” to the neighbors who don’t want a stadium at Clark College than he is to the Yakima Bears, Boldt and Stuart backed off.

Now, I’m no lawyer, but it’s clear that Tom Mielke isn’t, either. The agreement is only that neither the county nor the Bears will negotiate with anybody else. You know, like something Maria Shriver should have thought of. It doesn’t mean the county is committed to the proposed 5 percent entertainment tax; it doesn’t mean the county is committed to building a stadium. It doesn’t mean the county isn’t committed to the neighbors near Clark College.

It just means you won’t cheat on each other. What could be wrong with that?

Mielke’s interpretation of the agreement is laughable. But I don’t know which is worse: Misunderstanding the agreement, or spinelessly backing off like Boldt and Stuart.

Yes, the commissioners should be concerned about the neighbors. Yes, the plan should be thoroughly vetted in a public forum. But the agreement the commissioners refused to sign — one that they themselves had requested — has nothing to do with concerns about the neighbors.

It does nothing but protect the county from being played for fools by the Bears. Apparently, we don’t need any help with that.

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