Press Talk: Crazy times in the Couv!

By Lou Brancaccio, Columbian editor

Published:

 

Editor Lou Brancaccio's Press Talk column normally appears on Saturday, but this is a special edition of that column.

With apologies to Quiet Riot:

"Come on feel the noise

"Rock the M&M boys

"We'll get wild, wild, wild.

"Wild, wild, wild."

The M&M boys of mischief were at it again. I mean, come on now!

As though you didn't already know them, but the M&M boys would be Clark County Commissioners David Madore and Tom Mielke. (Hey, when I characterized these guys in my column last Saturday as the M&M boys, little did I know it might take off.)

They're catching some heat — I mean, like hotter than Haiti heat — for their slipping state Sen. Don Benton into the open county environmental director's job.

Through the back door, no interview, "Hey, I could start tomorrow" silliness would be terrible no matter what. But the idea that Benton likely doesn't know the difference between deciduous leaves and a ham sandwich, well come on now!

(Hey, Don, I'm kidding here. Well, a little. Who loves ya?)

Anyway all of this — and a few other things the M&M boys have been up to — created a standing-room-only crowd Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning at the commission meeting.

Yep, it went that long.

Residents were at the meeting to slap these guys upside the head for their behavior. Well, not literally. There was a cop in the corner keeping an eye on things.

The crowd was seated early and raring to get a piece of M&M (life is just a box of chocolates) when — surprise — a little change of plans.

Rather than have the meeting go as scheduled — with the comments first up — M&M decided to move it to the end of the meeting.

Mielke said he didn't want to have county staff workers sit through all the commenters.

Huh?

You mean, the county staff workers are more important than the residents who took the time to show up to voice their opinion? And no one was paying the residents. I suspect the county workers were on the clock, getting paid by those very residents who now had to wait.

Come on, now!

Of course, many of those who wanted to speak just left. So if M&M wanted to weed out some of the negative vibes, mission accomplished.

Still, those who remained were all over M&M like flies on cow dung. Speaking of cow dung, former Vancouver Mayor Royce Pollard stuck around to tell M&M how poorly they have behaved. And he played the “BS” word in all its glory. To be honest, Pollard has never been one to wear heels and hold his pinky out when he’s drinking tea. Well, there was that one time when ... but I digress.

• • •

I tried to get Madore to explain some of this stuff to me. Before he was elected, he always was a straight shooter with me, always answered my questions in a direct way.

But he's changing now.

When I asked him if — after listening to the crowd Tuesday — he was sticking to his position to keep Benton, he simply wouldn't answer directly. Instead he said:

"(We need to be) streamlining our permit processes by empowering champions to lead our outstanding team."

That champion leader — for Madore — is Benton.

I can only repeat what I noted five months ago after Madore was elected.

"Fasten your seat belt, it's going to be a bumpy ride."

Lou Brancaccio is The Columbian’s editor. Reach him at 360-735-4505, lou.brancaccio@columbian.com or Twitter: http://twitter.com/lounews