Let's stroll down memory lane, shall we?
First, the City actively acquired what is now the landfill and infamous Garbage Bluff. They took it in, took charge of it, wanted it. So that was done. Surely they knew what they were getting. How could they not?
Then, more dumping took place under their watch. I say dumping to differentiate it from what happens when a municipality has garbage hauled to a designated spot. That happened there, too, but there was also still a lot of good old fashioned not-quite legal dumping.
All of this on an existing bluff, mind you. With heavy tidal activity below.
So the City bought and built this timebomb of a dump. They - literally and morally - owned it, owned the problem.
So, when said bomb seemed to be getting ready to blow - UH OH! - the City decided to "solve" the problem by spending millions of dollars to...scoot the problem a little further back from the bluff. The same bluff that is still eroding.
"Hey, you! Don't store that bucket filled with gasoline by the fireplace! It could explode if you put it there!"
"Der, duh, okay. I will move it instead over here by this here space heater instead, so as to keep it safe. Der, okay? Problem solved!"
And now, with all their own history in this, the City is now pleading ignorance. Oh, they were in charge of the dump, but gosh, they didn't know what all was in there. Oh, jeepers, they knew it would be expensive to deal with, but not that expensive. Shock! Surprise! Pretending to be concerned about the costs!
It's a scene we've all seen played out before in Council Chambers, many, many times. Which doesn't make it any less pathetic or stupid.
But what is really, really, really stupid is to spend all this time and all that money to simply scoot the problem back a bit. I mean, the City of Port Angeles has literally kicked the can(s) - and the asbestos and everything else - down the road a ways. This problem isn't solved. Not even close. And those bills, both present and future, will have to be paid.
And we all know who really ends up paying in Port Angeles. The citizens. They get the dubious pleasure of paying for stupid every single day, with no end in sight.