In our view: Cheers & Jeers

Fee holiday may be catalyst for jobs; Boldt should’ve been more open



Cheers: To a county fee holiday for businesses. Desperate times call for extraordinary measures, and Clark County’s continuing economic malaise has prompted county commissioners to waive development fees for businesses that bring at least 15 jobs in certain fields. Most of the fields are related to trade and technology. Commercial developments that don’t fit all of the criteria may qualify for a 50 percent fee waiver. The offer expires Sept. 28.While critics may point out that the fee waiver means businesses are subsidized by the county’s general fund, it’s right for county to put the focus on creating new jobs. More good jobs will eventually result in more revenue for that same general fund.

Jeers: To Clark County Commissioner Marc Boldt for neglecting to take a proactive stance as the county made an emergency loan of $190,000 to Lifeline Connections.

The private nonprofit is the county’s only inpatient substance abuse treatment center, and it needed the money to make payroll. Boldt could have owned this issue (which evolved into a controversy) and prevented the ensuing dust-up if he had made more clear from the outset that his wife works for Lifeline. Make that “worked” for Lifeline. Dawn Boldt resigned on Thursday. A more open and pre-emptive approach would have kept the public better informed and perhaps doused much of the resultant criticism.

Cheers: To Gyle Halverson. The Vancouver resident, who is 89 years old, was rightly suspicious when he received an official-looking letter announcing he had won $250,000 in a sweepstakes he hadn’t entered. The check was enclosed, but as is the case with all of these things, he was to call a “claims agent” to arrange to pay the taxes. Halverson instead took the letter to Vancouver police, who were able find out some things, including the check was a forgery and that the “claims agent” was in Canada, where he will be very tough to arrest. If Halverson had actually deposited the bogus check and followed the “claims agent’s” instructions, he’d not only been out the $250,000, but likely a large portion of his bank account, too.

Jeers: To title-only bills, because.

Feel like that was a little short on the explanation? Then just try to figure out what the state Legislature does with these work-arounds. Used just this week by the Senate Ways and Means Committee, these essentially blank bills are inserted into the legislative process as shells that can be used later to revive some legislator’s pet bill that was killed somewhere along the line. Useful? Yes, at least for the lawmakers. Good government? Hardly.

Cheers: To 50 years of nursing education at Clark College. The program celebrated its anniversary this week with a “baby shower” for its newest high-tech mannequin that can simulate an infant in perfect health, or in crisis. The baby, which cost $38,000 and was purchased with Clark College Foundation funds, perfectly illustrates the complicated and sophisticated nature of today’s nursing education and nursing careers.

Jeers: To boycotting Starbucks in the name of the Lord. A Christian pastor in California, upset about the coffee chain’s support of Washington’s same-sex marriage bills, is calling for people of faith to boycott the coffee chain. “Will you help the USA be blessed by God?” asks Steven Andrew, president of an outfit called USA Christian Ministries. Certainly every faith group or church has the right to patronize any business they want, or call for a boycott, but what’s the likely outcome? Andrew might also want to call for boycotts of Nike, Google and Microsoft while he is at it. Those large corporations also favor the legislation. Good luck trying to make those sacrifices.