Most commented stories on Columbian.com last week

By Matt Wastradowski, Columbian staff writer

Published:

 

From the comments

Readers took opposing views on Lifeline Connections. Clark County Commissioner Marc Boldt voted to approve an emergency loan to the social services agency where his wife was employed.

Chris Prothero:

"This isn't some Wall Street bank, sketchy mortgage company or a car dealership. This is a private, non-profit public health service organization that serves the entire area...and the ONLY one as well. These people work to help addicts kick their addictions. If it were some mom and pop burger joint, I'd be in full agreement, but it's not."

Bob Williams:

"I believe that Mr. Boldt should have recused himself from voting on this issue, to avoid the appearance of impropriety. If that meant that a quorum was not available, then the vote should not have been taken at all. Just my opinion."

Note to readers: Columbian staff have been posting the most read stories on Columbian.com each week since July. We've noticed, however, that the stories that received the most traffic don't necessarily reflect the most important issues to our community of readers.

So we're trying something a little different, posting the stories that received the most comments. These stories got readers fired up for one reason or another and provide a better glimpse of the issues the community is most passionate about and interested in discussing.

What do you think about this new approach? What comments and discussions would you like to see highlighted? Tell us in the comments! We'd love to hear from you.

1) UPDATE: Boldt’s wife resigns after apparent conflict of interest

Dawn Boldt, the wife of Clark County Commissioner Marc Boldt, resigned Thursday from Lifeline Connections, a day after Boldt and Commissioner Steve Stuart agreed to make an emergency loan to the private nonprofit.

Prior to his wife’s resignation, Boldt said Thursday morning that his wife’s employment with Lifeline did not influence his vote and that he would recuse himself from a Feb. 21 vote on whether to loan Lifeline more than the initial $190,000 the organization said it needed to make payroll.

2) Washington House approves gay marriage bill

Washington state lawmakers voted to approve gay marriage Wednesday, setting the stage for the state to become the seventh in the nation to allow same-sex couples to wed.

3) Appeals court strikes down Calif. ban on gay marriage

Same-sex marriage moved one step closer to the Supreme Court on Tuesday when a federal appeals court ruled California’s ban unconstitutional, saying it serves no purpose other than to “lessen the status and human dignity” of gays.

4) Vancouver explores taxing district for parks

The Vancouver City Council said it wants to hear more on asking voters to make parks and recreation -- cut every year since 2003, including 17 layoffs this month -- its own property tax-based district in August’s primary. The move would free the department from the city’s general fund, which also supports police, fire and streets.

Our readers offered solutions for how the city could raise money:

Lon Wells:

"Vancouver & Clark County should do like Tacoma Parks and allow concessions into the Parks. The Parks Department would receive money and it would provide jobs. At Point Defiance one of the best Parks in the nation there are boat rentals, canoe and kayak rentals food stands and even a restaurant. These are all small business's providing jobs and services. It is a win win situation and would not cost the tax payers."

John Elkin:

"I believe many of the city's park problems could be changed if we lop off the budget breakers in parks. I like our Marshall and Firstenburg Centers but does the city truly need to be in the business of running a health club? Why not privatize (sell) Marshall and Firstenburg to someone like a philanthropic collaboration. They may, in turn allow individuals or neighborhood associations the opportunity to rent space for private classes allowing citizens and associations a chance to make money. The city gets these properties off their books, the centers stay open (Grandfathering in members who have dues paid in advance) and stay generally available to the public for a fee, possibly smaller than what is requested now."

5) Herrera Beutler may try to block CRC light rail

Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler wants one thing to be clear: As goes the C-Tran vote on light rail, so goes she.

If local voters say they don’t want to pay for light rail operations and maintenance, the Camas Republican said she’ll do her best to make sure the Columbia River Crossing is redrawn without it.