If you live in Baker City, almost every day dangerous substances pass within a couple miles of your home.
And considerably closer than that, if your address is near the freeway or the railroad tracks.
But we never see the toxic chemicals or other similarly hazardous stuff that rolls through on the road or the rails.
At least we hope we don’t.
A famous visitor walked into my office the other day and he came right over and licked my hand.
I have so few famous visitors, and no previous one had ever licked me,
and so this incident, despite the saliva, made a routine day mildly
interesting for me.
My guest was Buster. He is the most heavily publicized English bulldog I know.
He’s also the only English bulldog I know.
This is not of course any fault of Buster’s, and I don’t believe my
inability to get acquainted with multiple bulldogs ought to diminish
Buster, as you might recall, was the subject of several headlines around here during late May and early June of 2007.
Buster’s owner, Forrest Keller of Vashon Island, Wash., rode to Baker City during a Memorial Day weekend motorcycle tour.
Unlike most motorcyclists, Keller doesn’t mind riding with a bulldog strapped on the gas tank.
Baker City Resolution 3407 states in admirably blunt language how city councilors are supposed to behave during their meetings.
Based on what transpired during the Council’s Sept. 9 meeting, it
seems to us that some councilors ought to re-read that resolution.
Section 5(a) of the resolution includes this sentence: “All members
of the Council shall accord the utmost courtesy to each other, to city
employees, and to public members appearing before the Council and shall
refrain at all times from rude and derogatory remarks, reflections as
to integrity, abusive comments, and statements as to motives and
Section 7 of the resolution reads “A member shall confine discussion
to the question under debate, avoid personalities, and refrain from
impugning the motives of any other member’s argument or vote.”
Compare those sentences with what Councilor Terry Schumacher said near the end of the Sept. 9 meeting.
The television commentator frowned as she dissected Monday’s carnage on Wall Street.
People with 401(k) retirement accounts, she opined, must be plain sick about all the money they just lost.
What money did she mean?
Certainly not the currency most of us spend every day.
Baker City Councilors are elected to do three main tasks:
1. Supervise the city manager
2. Oversee the city’s budget.
3. Approve city policies.
Last Tuesday Councilor Gail Duman asked a legitimate question about Dan
Van Thiel, the city’s contract attorney, representing City Manager
Steve Brocato in a personal legal matter that didn’t involve his work
as city manager.
Unfortunately, Duman, along with the rest of the council and city
residents, received only a partial answer to her question Tuesday
because Mayor Jeff Petry was so quick to bang his gavel.
Brocato said he did not spend city money to hire Van Thiel — a
statement which Van Thiel’s billing records confirm. That answers the
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