Why not bail out the city?

At Tuesday’s meeting of the Clark County commissioners, a citizen had a suggestion to solve the city of Vancouver’s money woes.

Holding up a copy of The Columbian, which had a front-page story on how the city likely has to lay off 105 employees because of a $10 million deficit, Jim Kinney asked commissioners if the county could give the money earmarked for a $9 million sports complex in Hazel Dell to the city.

Kinney and his friend Jack Davis don’t like the plan for baseball fields (and show up frequently to say so) and the city obviously needs money.

What’s not to like, right?

Chair Steve Stuart gave his stiff smile and responded, “There are prohibitions on gifts of public funds, but, you know, it’s a good idea.”

That wasn’t the only idea Stuart shot down.

Kinney, referring to time limits on public comments, said he would like to do as they do in Congress and gift his remaining time to Davis.

“Unfortunately we don’t have that rule,” Stuart said. “Because, Thank God, we are not Congress. We actually try to get things done around here.”

But Stuart must have been in a generous mood because he let Davis go over the time limit before telling him to wrap it up.

— Stephanie Rice

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