What's the difference between $50,000 and $500,000? Is it just one zero? Or is it several zeroes?
Well, those zeroes at the Port of Port Angeles are all onboard to spend $50,000 - just to get off the ground - to hire consultants to yada yada yada the airport. Yes, they want to pour more money into the airport by way of "studying" whether or not it's economically feasible for an airline to service Port Angeles.
Not to bum you out or anything Port Commissioners, but, uh, you've already had that study, in the form of multiple airlines who pulled out because it wasn't economically feasible for them to be there. There weren't even enough passengers to keep Kenmore aloft, and their planes didn't even seat ten people.
Still, it's only money, right? So why let stupid be an impediment to spending? Cue the Commissioners:
John Calhoun said the port was taking the lead on behalf of all Clallam County for restoring air service but that other private and public agencies must participate, perhaps by establishing a "ticket bank" of guaranteed air fares.
"We could potentially spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on capital improvements to try and get air service back," said Colleen McAleer, only to have the carrier quit after several months. "We can't allow that to happen."
Well duh, Colleen, the only way that could happen is if you were stupid enough to spend those hundreds of thousands of dollars on maintaining an unneeded facility. Mind you, you are all stupid enough to do that. I have faith in that.
Hey, Commissioners - Your feasibility study is here!
As for Calhoun...What a slimeball. His grandiosity - "taking the lead on behalf of all Clallam County" - is exceeded only by his naked greed. Yes, John, a ticket bank - more funds! - is a GREAT idea. Now let me guess which public agencies would be most likely to make withdrawals from that bank. Hmmm...
Meanwhile, up at the Courthouse...King Jim McEntire is moving fast to consolidate hold on the reins of power. Which, in his case, looks a lot like sticking his pudgy fingers in the cookie jar.
Yes, one-upping the Port, the County Commissioners are moving ahead with giving a whopping $500,000 to the new, unimproved EDC. Yes, the same EDC that has such a dismal track record. The same EDC that King Jim has so carefully remade in his own image. And the same EDC that no one seems to support - not even their own board members - other than the unholy trinity of King Jim, Bill Peach, and the dependably slimy Jim Jones.
Poor Norma Turner summed it up: "You're going to move it (the money) from county plans that require a lot of public comment and oversight to a private entity that created this plan around the table with a select group of individuals, and then use tax dollars to fund whatever they come up with."
Former County Commissioner Mike Doherty, after pointing out the utter lack of information available about the EDC on their own website, stated: "Basic economic development planning, and any kind of planning, involves the public. Clearly, you've heard today this is not a well-documented, public process."
In response to these allegations of waste, stupidity and mendacity, the right and honorable King Jim was nothing if not contrite: "I have no conflicts of interest whatsoever...And I will have no conflicts of interest. It is thoroughly consistent with my duties that I was elected to perform to make decisions on monies that go to private sector organizations. I think I know a little bit about strategic planning."
And so it was, with this royal decree, that the hogs of King Jim were set loose upon the public troughs. In response, there was a notable lack of rejoicing throughout the kingdom.
"I think I know a little bit about strategic planning.
I even dress myself and everything."
A comment came in that provides so much more information on the County Commissioners' meeting that I felt it was important to include it in the body of the post itself. (Needless to say it can also be found below.) Full text of the comment is cut and pasted here...