7/09 Klickitat County Commissioners Meeting

Klickitat County Commissioners met yesterday for a morning-only session. Sheriff Bob Songer was scheduled to appear, but Undersheriff Carmen Knopes ended up representing the department. She read a statement from Songer that repeated his suggestion that the commission put the future of the county jail on the ballot in November. 

That drew a response later in the meeting from Human Resources Director Robb Van Cleave:

“I keep hearing and reading that potentially there is some confusion about whether you’ve made a decision to assume supervision of the jail, and it’s my understanding through two resolutions, that question has been answered. The only remaining question is when, not if.” 

Commissioners did give Van Cleave approval to begin advertising for a permanent jail administrator.

Commissioners responded to several remarks made during public comment. One person had argued there was a lack of resources for youth in the county. Dan Christoper said he agreed and added:

“That is why a couple years ago I pushed for a park fund, which was $50,000 per commissioner district, to be used on parks, because I believe that the parks in our county, well, frankly, suck. No money’s been invested. They have a lot of work to do. They don’t facilitate ADA. They don’t facilitate a lot.” 

He explained that the park fund was only approved for one year, and that he was outvoted two to one when he proposed continuing the program this fiscal year.

Commissioner Jacob Anderson had a different interpretation:

“I grew up in this county. We live in paradise. There are an abundant amount of things for children to do here. We live in an outdoor Mecca, especially on the west end of the county where the summer programs that the schools put on, that the nonprofit organizations put on, kids have an abundant amount of things to do, and I would much rather raise my child here than in any city.”