The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Assessor should be qualified; McClain isn't


To The Eagle:

Like most voters, I consider candidates for office as applicants for a job. My duty is to examine their credentials and cast a vote for the most qualified. No matter how amiable a candidate is, if they can't cut the mustard, they won't get my vote.

The campaign for Wahkiakum County assessor is a case in point. In my view, incumbent Bill Coons is qualified for the job. But he is also a man who doesn’t suffer fools gladly, resulting in an occasional brusque demeanor.

Challenger Brian McClain, on the other hand, a U.S. Navy retiree known in the community as a skilled auctioneer, has absolutely no training or experience in evaluating homes or property. Since the state strongly suggests that county assessors have real estate licenses, he says he will apply for a waiver based upon his military service. In an interview in the June 28th edition of The Eagle he went on to say, “If they don’t agree with that, then I will get my real estate license. It’s not rocket science, and that’s what I used to do…”

For some Skamokawa residents, Brian McClain running for county assessor seems like “déjà vu all over again.” We recall his recent turn at running our tiny post office. He applied for the postal clerk vacancy and was rated at the top of the list mainly because of federal veteran’s preference laws. Selected for the job, he was reportedly sent through comprehensive USPS training in Portland for a full week. He was also provided detailed manuals and access to online instructions. To top it off, postal patrons noted that for his first week on the job, he had an ace postal clerk instructor from Longview at his side to show him the ropes.

The duties of the job were basic and the training thorough. But he appeared to be totally flummoxed and incapable of handling the job. Days later, he was gone, replaced by a temporary clerk. The USPS is tight lipped about the circumstances. Perhaps Mr. McClain thought the job would be easier. Maybe more like rocket-science.

Keith Hoofnagle



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