Why only 24 hours notice (the minimum required by law) is given to citizens about meetings commonly acknowledged to be of great public interest remains unanswered. What did the Pork Commissioners/staff know and when did they know it? Is this 24 hour notice a pattern? Why?
Wendy (@ the Pork) learned from John Dobson that he confirmed the meeting time with his principles last Thursday/Friday. Wendy states she learned of it (confirmation) only today.
The meeting started out slow, but built up steam before eventually sputtering to a halt. Everyone, it seems, was in favor of the Fairground$ (especially the Hansens) but n0body wanted to pay for one. This hot potato was tossed around until a consensus to punt was reached. The 6 commissioners agreed to re-appoint/select a citizen committee from a new list of volunteers to study the issue and make recommendations. After a spate of mutual back slapping, they agreed to swap spit more often in the future. All agreed as well to placing a levy or increase of taxes for funding a new fairground on the ballot, that if the voters rejected such a tax/levy, the issue became moot/dead. No discussion (other than taxpayers) was given to alternative (e.g. naming facilities after sponsors, concession leases/fees, combining facilities w/adjacent counties, etc.) methods of financing construction of a fairground to replace the current soon to terminate arrangement.
The show lurched to a start chaired by Linda Ring-Erickson, our County Commissioner and 35th District State Legislatrix in waiting. She narrated the nature of the two official bodies composing the meeting along with their respective purposes before turning the mic over to Commissioner Bloomfield.
Steve Bloomfield recounted his concern and legal research into State mandates with respect to State agencies/bodies exceeding their jurisdiction. e.g. The Pork of Shelton appointing a citizens advisory committee including some from within Mason County, but outside the Pork’s political boundary of franchised residents. Bloomfield criticized the Pork for doing so and alleged it had overstepped its bounds, and was now cramping the County Commissioners’ style. Pork Commissioner Dick Taylor was allowed to respond.
Dick Taylor (the Pork’s Chair) defended his body’s position by arguing the Fairground’s future was a countywide problem of considerable interest to the larger Mason community. Not wanting to be seen as giving up any turf, the County Commissioners took the bait and sagely nodded in agreement. After that, the spit swapping began in earnest.
As it turned out, ‘everyone’ was in favor of continuing, after reincarnation, the Fairground. But like the mice in the well known fable, nobody wanted to Bell the Cat! i.e. Nobody wanted to PAY for it.
After mutually blaming the recent economic downturn for the impasse, the exultation of Commissioners agreed to fly their respective flags over the joint selection of volunteers for a grander citizen advisory committee fully authorized to make recommendations to the Commissioners for more studies on the Fairground issue. Suspecting a Commissioner in the woodpile, Tom Wallitner emphasized his insistence those selected would be ‘interested’ in the Fairground. “I’m certain volunteers for such an appointment will be interested,” Tim assured him.
The meeting lasted an hour. The public was allowed to listen only. At one point when Commissioner Linda Ring-Erickson began to inquire about the possibility of leaving the current location of the Fairground alone, Pork Manager (and pilot) John Dobson could be seen shaking his head. Sitting behind him (in V-formation) were the Hansens, hoping to spearhead the charge toward taxpayer largess.
Tom Davis was there, holding up a chair–everyone was on their best behavior…knowing Santa will be arriving Nov. 2 (at least for them) this year.
Somewhere in the middle of this, Jay’s proteges felt honor bound to eulogize Hupp and his efforts toward dissing the FAA (federal agency). Based on his own research into the legal ramifications of title transfer documents underlying the Fairground and Port property, Jay had a very different tale than the one Wallitner presented to explain why the Fairground was going to be cast adrift. Like the labors of Sisyphus, this tin can will continue to reappear along whatever path the Commissioner’s choose.