Population of Mason County: 60,497.
Population of Clark County: 443,817.
Distance from Shelton to Olympia: About 22 miles.
Distance from Vancouver to Olympia: About 106 miles.
Pay of Mason County Commissioner: Base salary of $79,152.
Pay of Clark County Chair: Base salary of $63,000.
Tim Sheldon’s position in state Senate: President pro tempore.
Ann Rivers’ position in state Senate: Majority coalition whip.
Mason County government: 3 commissioners.
Clark County government: 5 councilors plus a county administrator after charter takes effect.
When Sen. Ann Rivers announced this month she is running for chairwoman of the Clark County Council, she included a second announcement that’s rarer among politicians: She plans to keep her seat in the state Senate.
In her defense, she pointed up the road to Sen. Tim Sheldon, who is also a county commissioner in Mason County.
“So I know it can be done,” Rivers wrote in a press release.
Sheldon, a Democrat from Potlatch, was elected to the upper chamber in 1997 and first elected to the Mason County post in 2004.
He still serves in both roles.
It can be done. The question is, how well.
Sheldon’s two roles
In Sheldon’s life, there are no time cards, no punching in and out.
His county commissioner landline rings through to his cellphone if he doesn’t answer.
It’s not uncommon for lawmakers and county commissioners to have another job, as Sheldon is quick to point out, and both positions are technically part time.