I hear Commissioner Larry Givens has announced his intention to run for re-election, and it’s about time. After pushing through the EOTEC project being both a board member and commissioner, I’m convinced that he’s the right man to solve that bird nesting and goat-head problem at Hermiston’s new state-of-the-art maintenance-free facility. With Commissioner Bill Elfering as an ally, county funding for any repair work on the damage caused by the birds and a long-term solution shouldn’t be a problem. Then again, maybe it’s time for him to make a choice, the EOTEC Board or county commissioner, not both, and eliminate the obvious appearance of a conflict of interest.
Minimum wage increases have perhaps claimed another victim — my paperboy. Remember that young man that gave $1,000 of his hard-earned money to get the fund raising effort off the ground and completed for the July 4th fireworks? Yup, that’s right, the money has been raised, though it looks like unemployment will be staring him in the face at a young age.
The latest news on the Rivoli Theater Restoration project looks promising, and city taxpayers may finally be getting a well-deserved temporary break. It sounds like Mr. Picken has a new target — current and retired federal employees. Fortunately, that’s a pretty long list.
Meanwhile, those stewards of our public property that balked at deeding the BMCC baseball field over to the college, calling it irresponsible, continue to let the Vert Auditorium rot away while investing in a private project that will compete directly with its venue. City donations total $165,000 so far for the Rivoli Theater project. Really? A City Hall that would lease a public building for $1 a month or give away a building appraised at $300,000 while ignoring the Vert? Sounds like the pot calling the kettle black when it comes to irresponsibility.
The city manager states: “We’re not ignoring it, we’re just not talking about it right now,” and then blames a past convention center manager and the budget for the current state of affairs. The apathy shown by the city manager, mayor and city council, those stewards of our public property, is the Vert’s worst enemy.
Now, “deferred maintenance” rears its ugly head again as the window replacement at city hall is postponed. Why the Rivoli Theater renovation and moving the Eighth Street Bridge continue to garner a higher priority than city infrastructure is beyond me. “Please help tell our story” pleads the mayor in the latest city newsletter. The condition of the Vert is one sad story that’s desperate for a happy ending.