Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Lying Fool or Sociopathic Schemer? You Lose Either Way!

I just couldn't not comment on these quotes from professional pocket-liner Mike Chapman, regarding the huge amounts the County Commissioners get paid...

Chapman brought the conversation back to elected officials' pay..."I would just not be able to live with myself making $600 (per month) more than the District 3 commissioner, whoever wins," he said. "I have no stake in who wins. I just don't think that's fair."

He added: "I'll write a check back to the county if we don't pass something."

Point  #1: Gee, Mike, you seem to have been managing to "live with yourself" for years now, making more than other Commissioners. Years. I guess this wasn't a concern then because..?

Point #2: No one believes you "have no stake" in who wins the election, Mike. You're a sexist, overpaid, white Republican guy. Clearly you'd be happier and more comfortable if Bill Peach, your demographic and ideological twin, won. Do you really think anyone believes your "fair and balanced" act at this point?

Point #3: Since this is a monthly difference in pay, I assume you'd be writing a check to the County each and every month you're in office, Mike?

Point #4: From the context, and the amount mentioned previously, I have to assume that this mythological check would be for the aforementioned $600. If - and I do mean IF - you were to actually write that check, Mike, then you'd be returning double the amount that your pal Steve Tharinger did after promising to return all the pay he received from the County while working as a State rep. The amount Tharinger's promise would have had him returning from his double-dipping would have been in the thousands, not a puny $300.

Mr. Smith went to Washington...
Mr. Chapman and crew just go to the bank.

But you guys all do like to hang on to your money, don't you, Mike? And I have a strong feeling that Steve's broken promise will soon be joined by yours. After all, you're pals, and cut from the same rotten cloth.

And finally...What kind of idiotic, backwards, out-of-touch County gives step pay increases to elected officials? These guys are posturing as being concerned about the budget, but left that little fiscal timebomb in place? That should have been one of the first things you changed.

And it would have been, if you were actual public servants. But you're not. Mike Chapman, Steve Tharinger, Jim McEntire...All the same. Professional pocket-liners and thieves, hypocrites and liars. No wonder then that Clallam County is in the sad condition that it is.


  1. The step increases are dumb but this isn't about the commissioners pay. It is yet another attack by the commissioners on the other elected officials pay and "big government" in general. The Treasurer, Auditor, Assessor, Sheriff and DCD actually do real work for their pay and we get a good value for our money.

    McIntire's recent proposal to cut their pay in HALF was an attempt to shift the perception of what's reasonable towards larger cuts. This is the next phase and now freezing salaries looks more reasonable than cutting them in half, doesn't it?

    As Selinda continues to point out, what value are we getting from our $183k/year County Administrator? Why aren't we talking about cutting his salary to be more in line with elected officials? Why aren't the commissioners doing more of his work, considering how much they get paid?

    1. It makes me sick to my stomach to think that Clallam County will have paid Jim Jones a million dollars, or more, by the time his "retirement" is announced. A million dollars for that fool. What have we got to show for it?

    2. At least you are partially right. The Assessor, Auditor, Sheriff and DCD ARE full-time Department Heads, and well deserving of their pay. The former Treasurer, Judy Scott used to be, but, according to many courthouse observers, the current Treasurer only works about half-time.

  2. Did anyone else see the new unemployment numbers for Clallam County? Up again, though still, let's be honest, artificially low, given that many, many people here have simply given up looking for work.

    Of course, another reason cited for the numbers not being even worse was that the local labor force has shrunk 500 people since last year. Not as in 500 people retired happily since last year. No, that means at least 500 people simply got fed up and moved out of Clallam County entirely since last year.

    Why are they moving away? Well, I'd guess a lack of jobs is the main reason. So why's the economy here SO shaky and weak? I'd say it's mostly due to totally uninformed local "leaders" making bad decision after bad decision.

    Then, when election season rolls around again, they come up with meaningless gimmicks like cutting their own pay to try and look like they care, like they know what they're doing. But from where I sit, it sure seems like they don't really care, and certainly don't know what they're doing. And it will only get worse once Doherty is gone, no matter who wins.

    1. I didn't see that. Another 500 moved away? Well, of course they would.

    2. I really hate this place. Always have. We moved here because my wife's mother lived here. We sold our place and moved here. She is dead now. We are stuck with a property that has seen deteriorating value since 2005. No jobs for what I know how to do. (Machining, International Trade and another). We have seen companies get lured here only to find out there is not much help in infrastructure and then they back out. Tourism...blah, blahh, blahh. Big mistake for us. I love the beauty but you can't pay the bills looking at a lake. Meth heads, shops that are never open on weekends or after 5. Diversity? Oh, we have a record number of crappy restaurants and only 2 or 3 decent ones. An over the top bureaucracy of paper shufflers. A closed off mentality of the locals and a red neck population that still think that logging is still a viable employment opportunity. Increasing utility rates, etc...Big mistake. Don't ever move here.

    3. Your first line: "I really hate this place."

      Your last line: "Don't ever move here."

      That about sums up Port Angeles, doesn't it?

  3. Bully politics, pure and simple. As another poster stated, this is the equivalent of saying you're going to kill and dismember someone, then, switching to saying you're just going to lop off one arm. It makes the remaining assault/violence seem more reasonable or restrained. "Hey, at least they didn't KILL me!"

    Sick shit. Seems like that's all that the courthouse produces, under the watchful eyes of the commissioners.

  4. You know, I had high hopes for this blog, back in the beginning. It promised an intelligent review of the local scene, from a progressive point of view, offsetting much of the Right Wing regurgitation of their own, made-up, set of facts. Alas, I was wrong. This blog has devolved into not much more than a mouthpiece for those people who freely substitute sarcastic opinion for facts and then congratulate themselves for how smart they are. Where is the honest discussion of different ideas? It is a real shame. :(

    1. At this point, having lived through and gotten out of Port Angeles and Clallam County, this blog is intended as an informed warning to those who might be considering visiting or moving to the Olympic Peninsula: BEWARE!

      Even with that being the case, I still think the information presented here is just that - information, facts, reality - far more than it is simple "sarcastic opinion." (Though that is here in smaller amounts, to be sure.) Whatever information is made available here is presented warts and all, unlike the highly polished unrealities that come from the PDN, or the rambling, nonsensical content of other blogs.

      Thanks for the feedback, though. Sorry that we don't agree on some points, but feel free to steer us back to a more righteous path.

    2. CK, your blog captures the essence of PA perfectly. How can anyone take this place seriously? Why would anyone take this place seriously?

      Look around you, people. Really, really take a look.

    3. CK, you're the greatest.

  5. If I'm reading the numbers tossed out correctly, the pay for one or two commissioners will go down, while some will see their pay increased. That seems to balance out to no savings at all. So even as a political theater gesture, it's pretty weak. Of course, it also ignores the truly big bucks problems the county is facing. But hey, it does provide an opportunity to posture (however weakly) and to try and get back at some of those who have pushed back against and/or caused problems for the commissioners.

    Not so sure that revenge is a great reason to change policy though...

  6. So Sissi Bruch has gotten into bed with Steve Tharinger, judging from the mailer I got last week. One side of the mailer features glowing plaudits from Derek Kilmer, Kevin van de-whatsit and the mayor of Sequim. The other side has a photo of Sissi, all a-glow, gazing beatifically upward toward Steve Tharinger. You can almost hear the sound of an angel chorus!

    Anyone really think things will change with Sissi on the County Commission and, now, so obviously in the back pocket of Steve Tharinger?

  7. Just read Mike Gentry's latest piece at the POC. Sad to say he sounds totally out of it. It's like he's gone to the same lousy restaurant year after year, gotten the same lousy food and service year after year...Then, after somehow getting an alright meal there, he thinks it's a great restaurant.

    Mike, get a grip. Port Angeles hasn't changed, and isn't likely to change, other than to run further into the ditch. One happy CrapFest experience for you doesn't make up for years and years and years of corruption and incompetence and stupid, stupid, stupid decisions. It doesn't. It really doesn't. Port Angeles is SO FAR behind the time, SO FAR out of touch with the modern world, it would need turbo boosters just to catch up to the end of the last century.

    Really, Mike, look around. Those empty storefronts, they're telling you something. Those shrinking population numbers, they're telling you something. The fact that those of a liberal or progressive bent flee this town tells you something. It all tells you a LOT more than one Happy Meal does.


    1. Mike's whole piece is premised on him coming home from doing work out of town. As in, there is no work for him here. None at all, due to corruption and incompetence.

      Those are the same reasons there are no jobs here in general, for anyone, other than a select, connected few. So we all get to "enjoy" a corrupt political system AND a nearly dead economy.

      And Mike Gentry thinks a couple plates full of crab outweigh all that is wrong here? He can't make a living here, but boy, once a year he can volunteer at Crab Fest?

      There must have been something other than Turd Tank sewage on the crab Mike ate. There must have been some powerful psychotropic drugs as well.

    2. Mike's write-up reminds me of what a short term tourist might naively conclude after a two day visit to Disneyland: "The City of Anaheim is such a bright, wonderful and happy place to live."
      I'm happy for him that he got a temporary high, though, to replace the customary downer that infests so many of us when returning to PA from elsewhere.

    3. Gentry means well, but he doesn't live in the same world as the rest of us mere mortals. As you point out, he hasn't been able to get work in Port Angeles because of the corruption he speaks of, but he always has the positive view of what is possible.

      As if Port Angeles has such a wonderful environment, or setting. Seriously. Perhaps, if you were born and raised here, and never traveled, and didn't read National Geographic, or own a TV or computer, you might not know that there is a great big diverse world out there. That there are many places with beautiful physical attributes. Beautiful weather, sandy beaches, incredible alps, jewels in beautiful water they call islands, forests with lush tropical flowers, and so much more.

      And, if you travel very much, you will see that often, the locals trash their environment like we do ours. Just saw a front page of a paper from Honduras with pictures of beaches covered in garbage for as far as one could see.

      If you travel, you probably have seen that, despite a beautiful setting, many areas have serious poverty. Serious issues with attracting industry to their part of the world. "Setting" does not trump "planning".

      CrabFest? Sure, not hard to understand that a food/drink based event will draw people. But, that doesn't create the kind of community Mike Gentry speaks about.

      It is a stunning indictment of the "powers that be" in Port Angeles that with the good and stable salaries of so many of the government jobs here, that the so-called leadership has not figured out how to make the town prosper. All those people need goods and services, but we know most go the Sequim. Is this the sustainable and inclusive community Gentry strives for?

      You say it so well " He can't make a living here, but boy, once a year he can volunteer at Crab Fest?"

      And, he is an architect.

    4. I think Mr. Gentry has a form of Stockholm Syndrome. He's been beaten down by Port Angeles for so long that he identifies with his captor.

    5. Yep, Mike missed the boat again! As an architect he should have known better, found real work right here in PA by taking a public sector job or running for public office. Hey Mike, you could be a Community Development Director!

  8. Is it truly helpful to put down one of the few positive observations? Do any of the readers have any positive suggestions for change? if any of you are running for public office, let us know who you are so we can vote for you.

    1. No, like most anonymous bloggers, "all negative all the time" is their mantra! By offering their highly distorted and ignorant opinions about waste, fraud and abuse examples as "proof" to bolster their overly simplistic "solutions", they actually detract from any relevant conversation that could help any given problem. ARE there problems around here? OF COURSE there are! Are we going to solve any of them by continuously ridiculing those who are actually out there, trying to make a differerence? I think THAT is what is really sad around here.

    2. Perhaps you are new to the area? Sounds like it, otherwise you would know of the many positive initiatives that have been undertaken over the last number of years. And how the powers-that-be make a deliberate effort to squelch anything positive in town.

      If you have been around for awhile, you will have seen that electing progressively oriented people doesn't change things. The keep-things-the-same people just set about to undermine and discredit these poor people, until they give up and move away.

      But, you sure are welcome to put your hat in the ring. Have you been attending City Council? Have you spoken up with your suggestions? Nothing stopping you.

  9. I have been attending city council meetings. On Tuesday night they had the roll-out of the 2015 Budget. The word heard most often in the two hour meeting was "unsustainable." They all know it but keep on doing the same things they already know is unsustainable. For instance look at the rate increases planned for next year. These are INCREASES over and above the series of increases we've suffered already over the past two years.
    Rate Increases by Percentage:
    Electricity 8.1%
    Water 3.69%
    Waste Water 9.6%
    Solid Waste 5.45%
    Medic 1 (ambulance) 6%
    Looks like we need to divest the city from ownership of our utilities. This is the only way they can raise revenue without voter approval and they intend to ride this pony around the track year after year. Even now 33% of the rate payers are getting subsidies and are not paying their bills. That means the few who are able to pay are subsidizing the rest. Also, Nippon uses millions of dollars of water and pays a paltry $15,000 per year. So, the entire community is subsidizing a Japanese company because they employ a couple hundred people. If they were made to pay market price for the water then the couple hundred employees could sit home in PJ's like Jeff Robb did for a year.