The Grinch that stole the community center
January 13, 2022
To The Eagle:
According to Town of Cathlamet Mission Statement:
"Cathlamet is committed to providing credible leadership and quality services to the community through transparency of its processes, good stewardship of public resources, respect for the Town's heritage, and valuing its diverse citizenry."
And where is that commitment when our past and present town council members have dropped the ball in maintaining our recently closed Community Center? After previous council members passed management of the facility to the Wahkiakum County Board of Commissioners, the commissioners in turn passed the ball to Health and Human Services without finding out if that agency wanted the responsibility. Clearly HHS did not want that responsibility as witnessed by the history of not keeping a coordinator, and finally cutting off phone service, then the power and internet service.
Now in these days of ‘democracy by zoom’ we receive no indication of what we can do to re-open that critical facility. In the meantime, I have contacted several past council members and a couple of other town employees who have indicated a willingness to serve on a one-time commission established to develop a realistic ten-year plan to maintain the Community Center and to renew programs that serve this community.
Just a week before the council members closed the Community Center, an older couple came in requesting help in renewing the husband’s driver’s license. They had been told that they would have to drive to the Department of Licensing in Kelso to renew the license; that meant our county has no means to renew a license within our county. However, two of our volunteer hosts showed the couple how to renew the husband’s driver’s license on the internet (dol.wa.gov). The husband left with a printout of his temporary license, to await a permanent original by mail.
Services like that are not available at present, thanks to council members who seem to not care about the services not available due to their insensitivity to a need for a functioning Community Center. Hiding behind Zoom meetings is not keeping faith with their Oath Of Office or the Town of Cathlamet Mission Statement.