Watch: 2/01 Goldendale City Council Recap

Video courtesy of Nancy Kusky of Goldendale TV. Don’t forget to Subscribe to her Youtube channel.

The Goldendale City Council met last night and covered a number of topics. Tony Gilmer of the Emergency Medical Services District introduced their new chief Will Harryman who answered questions about ambulance service, pointing out that the district had just purchased a new vehicle to replace one that was failing, that there were two ambulances stationed in Goldendale, but there was a problem if there were multiple emergencies, a problem not shared with other parts of the county:

“In White Salmon, we have mutual aid with Hood River Fire Department. And t hey have an ambulance and they will come over and run a call in that area if we’re out, like if we’re covering Goldendale, we’ll call them over. Same with Dallesport. We call The Dalles over to help cover those calls. Goldendale is isolated. There’s no mutual aid ambulance service that’s close enough to really be of assistance.”

Under department reports, Police Chief Jay Hunsaker reported one of his officers had been instrumental in getting evidence for a case that started with child pornography in Goldendale and ended in molestation in Tennessee, and he passed on this good news:

“The suspect that was in custody in [unknown] had pled guilty to Washington State charges this morning.  Officer Lou Patero did an outstanding job. You’re talking a case that was at least three years and five months long. It was not a pleasant case to be investigating, so he did absolutely great. The prosecutor was very pleased and wanted me to pass that along.”

But the most unsettling part of the meeting took place when Justin Leigh, former council member, who has been awarded a contract to work for the city part time as a city planner. He had applied earlier for a volunteer position on the board of the Central Klickitat Conservation District. But councilor Loren Meagher, who is employed at the district, said he considered that a conflict of interest, and abstained from voting on the contract for Leigh. Leigh said that he would withdraw his request if there was any legal opinion indicating a conflict of interest. He said that the had checked himself, consulted the city attorney and the head of the conservation district’s board and Leigh said they all saw no signs of a conflict of interest. He went on:

“Since then, Loren Meagher, the district manager and area engineer of the Central Klickitat Conservation District Board has persisted in taking a retaliatory assault on me, both personally and professionally, with the intent to have me withdraw my application to sit on this board [Mayor Canon makes a noise and Leigh reacts] No – nonono – what’s – yes, mayor. [Canon] “Justin, we need to meet in my office tomorrow. Loren can come if he needs to, but I think this is something we don’t want to carry on any further. I think everybody knows which details.”

When Leigh tried to get more of his message across, his microphone was muted. He tried twice more in the meeting to expand on the theme, and was twice more not permitted to speak.

Later Meagher said that he wanted to:
“Assure everyone that I did not intentionally harass anybody. I may have been too assertive about performance requirements and responsiveness and was just very excited to work on the ordinance committee and represent my community. That became nearly impossible to do, and so I was maybe a little frustrated in that process.”

Mayor Canon expressed hope that a quick solution could be found, saying that if the council and city employees don’t work together, the city will slip into gridlock where they don’t do anything but argue”