Saturday, May 08, 2010

Running Rogue in Astoria

Lately it's occurred to me that Astoria has several organizations that run rogue and do whatever the hell they please because, well, they can.

Here are just two examples (yes, there are many more - just think about it):

A Rogue Chamber of Commerce:

The Astoria-Warrenton Area Chamber of Commerce thinks it's OK to get involved local politics, which is contrary to the charter of any chamber I've ever heard of, and certainly a no-no for U.S. Chamber of Commerce members.

Guess what? They don't belong to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. They don't belong to ANY governing organization, and consequently, do whatever the hell they please, including touting a local politician at a public event.

It's bad enough the chamber board thinks they can get involved this way, but what's really galling is they clearly don't give a rat's ass if their members espouse the same causes. They can't even obey their own bylaws (maybe they've changed them by now, so they can do whatever they want - officially). I'm just one artist who won't be joining any time soon.

The Rogue County Commission (except Dirk Rohne!):

Oh, this is by far the biggest and baddest of the bunch. Since the list of transgressions against the will of the county residents is so long and egregious, I'll just go straight to the most recent topping on the cake:

They let Bradwood Landing run up huge debts that the taxpayers will have to absorb, now that Bradwood has gone belly-up and declared bankruptcy, leaving the commissioners holding the bag. I don't even want to think of all the implications of this, because they make the commissioners look like utter fools, on a good day, and that's about the nicest thing that can be said.

Let's just say the situation smells. No, it's actually a stench of ... well, I'll let you figure that one out.

Anyway, at least there is hope for the rogue county commission.

Three businesspeople are running for the commission - Scott Lee, Peter Huhtala, and Debra Birkby. I don't think they, or anyone, with even a grain of business sense would have let Bradwood "run a tab." Hell, I think even my 5-year-old granddaughter would have known better.

If Huhtala, Lee and Birkby win, I'm damn near certain I'll be able to take the Clatsop County Commission off my "Rogue" list. And I'd be more than happy to do that.

Click here to see Elleda's photography at the Astoria Photografpix web site


Anonymous said...

It sure is good a bunch of Californians moved in here to try to take over the area.

Elleda said...

Ummm ... Well, Mr. or Ms. Anony, since you don't have the courage of your convictions - i.e. you haven't the testicular fortitude to say who you really are - I take your comment with a bucket of salt.
Knee-jerk reactions like "blame it on the Californians" show no thought. Which only serves to make my point.
It's a lack of thinking which has caused the county commission's latest embarrassment - $200K in taxpayer debt.
Do you think if you walked in and said you needed building permits, but you didn't feel like paying for them right now, that you would actually get your permits?
Do you think real chambers of commerce in regular cities are run by football teams who cheer on politicians of their choice?
If so, what can I say ... I feel sorry for your inability to do anything other than recite tripe.

Charles said...

Well gee, Elleda, thanks to VOTER APATHY, you will indeed be able to take the County Commission off of your "rogue" list.

Never mind that the previous commission voted based on the laws, not by their personal views, unlike Mr. Rohne, who happens to be my comissioner, and whom I am completely disgusted with.

You all get your way now...and let's just see how much of ANYTHING gets done now, in the next four years.

What goes around, comes around.

Elleda said...

Well, Charles ...

My, my, are those sour grapes leaving a bad taste in your mouth?

Yes, indeed, what goes around comes around, and I hope that swinging door doesn't hit the departing commissioners in the butt on the way out.

I also hope they haven't managed to give the county away by January, or incur more debt. (Who's going to pay that $200K "tab" their Bradwood pals ran up?)

It's a simple matter of democracy. The so-called "minority" in the county spoke. Loud and clear. For once, the commission is forced to listen. And it's about damn time.

Charles said...

Well, if it makes any difference, Elleda, the County only billed every 6 it's their own damned fault that the bill got so high.

That is a fact, and you can ask anyone in the Planning Dept if you don't believe me.

Elleda said...

The commissioners are "the county," for the most part, and I am doubtful their pals at Bradwood could have run a tab without their approval.

Regardless, it was stupid on a good day to let Bradwood rack up a bill, and extremely poor business practice. Not to mention highly irresponsible.

NO ONE should be allowed to run a tab (you don't think they'd let you or I run one, do you?), much less a large group of speculators from outside the county who can easily bolt and run (as they just did) and leave a trail of debt in their wake.

They're probably laughing all the way to Texas after giving the county (and several other people) a good financial screwing.

Charles said...

Nobody is laughing Elleda...there are many OREGONIANS now out of a job. These people were not from Texas, they are from HERE. In this state. Yes, the company was based in Texas, but the people that worked in Oregon and in Astoria were from here.

And I will stick by my stance that the commission voted BY THE LAWS and not with their emotions, unlike Mr. Rohne.

Elleda said...

Too bad they lost jobs, but they hitched their wagon to the wrong horse. The bottom line is that the whole rigamarole was sheer energy speculation, which is hardly a stable business. At least they had jobs for a while.

If you're going to start on laws, the commissioners repeatedly defied county law, i.e. ignoring the allowable size of a project in the Bradwood area. Which is why the project was appealed to LUBA, and send back to the county. Twice.

Just because the commissioners decided to call the project "small to medium" didn't make it so.

Trying to make the Bradwood project fit with existing county use laws is like herding cats. Futile.

Anonymous said...

Voter apathy?
The turn-out for the May 2010 election was HIGHER than two of the other May primary elections in the last 6 years.
Voters spoke loud and the reason was the exact opposite of apathy.
This is democracy.
The voters shared Elleda's concerns