From the PDN today:
Sheila Roark Miller, the nation's only publicly elected county community development director, will seek a second four-year term to the Clallam County post.
The Department of Community Development, or DCD, is responsible for comprehensive planning and processing development and building permits.
In addition to the DCD directorship, Roark Miller automatically serves as the Clallam County fire marshal and building official.
Roark Miller, who resides in the Port Angeles area, said her family's 100-year heritage in Clallam County provides a “unique understanding of our citizen's viewpoints and unique cultural and ecological diversity, both from the west to the east end of the county.”
So here are my problems with all this.
One: Why is it that whenever you hear a phrase like "only in Clallam County" it's always describing something bad, stupid and backwards? We're the ONLY county that fills this position by election. Do you really think that's because Clallam County knows something all the other counties in the country don't? Or, do you suppose, this arrangement was put in place because, say, the local realtors thought it would be easier to game the system this way? Hmmm...
Two: Having this be a three-in-one position creates an artificial financial pressure to keep things the way they are. Can't you just hear a County Commissioner saying something like, "Well, if we change this, then we'll have to budget for two additional positions! I won't support that!"
Three: I'd say Miller's 100-year heritage in Clallam County is actually a negative, since it absolutely leads her to fall in line with the good ol' boys here, and helps to keep us out of touch with the real, modern world.
Four: From everything I have seen and heard, Sheila Roark Miller is very much a political partisan and very much a bully. And I hear her husband is rotten through and through as well. Whether or not this is due to her "100-year heritage" here, personal disposition, or both, the fact is she has been an unholy terror since taking this position. She has been spiteful, vengeful, and abusive.
So do you think this is a good deal for Clallam County? Do we benefit from, once again, being out of step with the entire rest of the country? Has this set up added to or detracted from our local economy and quality of life? What do you think?