SOUTH BEND — A debate on whether to curtail fireworks in areas under county jurisdiction erupted during the last commissioner meeting of August. That public hearing consumed almost three-quarters of the 90-minute meeting. As reported last week, commissioners Lisa Olsen, Frank Wolfe and Michael Runyon made no decision, and another hearing is scheduled for Sept. 28 at 5 p.m.
Beyond that lengthy discussion, commissioners handled regular county business as usual, including authorizing the advertisement of an administrative assistant position in the public works department. They also signed a contract with Naselle Rock and Asphalt to complete a project on Butte Creek Road outside of Raymond.
Court security upgrade
Before the commissioners was a request from the Superior Court requesting authorization to purchase a newer X-ray imaging system.
The upgrade is expected to help better provide courtroom security for anyone entering the courtroom, adding to safety and security, but the discussion was moved to an executive session, and no decision was made.
The historical Pacific County Courthouse has its perks and limitations, one of those being a fairly unsecured premise. Security for court hearings is often left on the shoulders of one corrections officer, and access to the building is smooth. Any inmates brought before the court in person are advised that they will be handcuffed and shackled to deter escape and evasion.
However, judges have been expressing security concerns for years, with improvements made more challenging due to many ground-level windows and other factors relating the building’s age.
The county received a request from the Pacific Events District (PED) to use the Pacific County Fairgrounds for a fall festival on Oct. 29-30. Any approval would be contingent on numerous stipulations, including the PED obtaining liability insurance, offering handwashing stations, and complying with any state-mandated covid-19 protocols.
Pacific County Fair Manager Bill Monohon immediately questioned the handwashing station stipulation and whether county-acquired stations that he obtained for fairground use should be included in any deals.
Olsen responded that she believes they should be included since the county has them and they should be used. Runyon backed up Olsen’s stance. County Administrative Officer and Risk Manager Kathy Spoor also chimed in to inform Monohon that should the stations need supplies, it’s something the county could provide and stockpile because of covid-19.
“If there is a need for another one or two of those stations to have adequate coverage, just let us know,” Spoor said.
9/11 Remembrance Day The agenda item was briefly brought up with a request from Wolfe for the Proclamation of Sept. 11 as the National Day of Service and Remembrance. Runyon seconded, and all three commissioners voted for approval.
Sept. 11 will mark two decades since terrorists overtook American Airlines Flight 11, United Airlines Flight 175, American Airlines Flight 77, and United Airlines Flight 93. Two crashed into the two World Trade Center towers in New York City, another crashed into the Pentagon, and the last crashed into a southwestern Pennsylvania field after the terrorists deliberately crashed the plane amid a revolt from the passengers and crew. Hijackers had intended to crash it into the U.S. Capitol.
Twenty-five thousand people were injured, and 2,977 directly died in the attacks, including 412 emergency service workers — of whom 343 were New York City firefighters.