Saturday, April 18, 2015

Washougal Mayor Sean Guard takes buffoonery to new levels

(transcribed by Nuance Dragon Naturally Speaking 12.5)

Local politics around here can be quite entertaining.

There's drama, pathos, more drama, more pathos; there's boss hog elements, they're some of the worst political liars I've ever seen in the 26 years I've been politically active, and then there's the buffoonery of Washougal Mayor Sean Guard.

Up until now, Guard is best known for his role in playing a fake cop… A stupidity that in any other town with voter intelligence would have cost him elective office.

That Guard still has the job tends to speak more to the fact that apparently nobody else wanted it then it does to Guard's skill and accomplishment of the job of Mayor.

Apparently, it has come to something of a surprise to many in the Washougal community, that railroad tracks run through their town. They frequently act as if they had no idea that such tracks existed when they moved there.

Now we're in the midst of some local controversy. The Port of Vancouver, correctly, approved the decision to build oil terminal because of the fact that large amounts of oil transport this area on a daily basis otherwise known as bakaan crude.

There are a wide variety of opinions on the port's plan. I support the idea of an oil terminal here locally for two primary reasons: first and foremost is that the oil is going to come through our community regardless of anything that those who oppose this project want or demand and secondly, I use a wide variety of oil-based products in my daily life.

Unlike those opposed to this program, I'm not willing to be a hypocrite about the use of petroleum- based products, particularly when those products are coming through our community one way or the other.

During the most recent campaign cycle, our local pathological liar, Maureen "Bully" Winningham, did everything she could to terrify everyone in the area over the fact that hundreds of thousands of gallons, if not millions of gallons of oil, came through this area on a regular basis. (Is this where I point out that she got slaughtered at the polls?)

Along with leftist allies such as those at the democratian, much as been made about issues of safety, since in areas of North America there have been oil trained derailments, many of which have been quite spectacular, and caused a great deal of damage and some loss of life.

But to oppose this project based on those facts, would lead one to ponder: should we apply the same level of scrutiny to every form of dangerous transportation that people choose to take, and in many instances must take, in spite of the fact of hundreds of thousands of lives being lost over the years as a result; specifically hundreds of thousands of lives lost in traffic accidents, plane crashes, boats sinking, and the like?

Is there a risk as a result of the oil running through our community?  Of course there is. But there is a risk every time you leave your front door. There is a risk throughout the house. Tens of thousands of Americans are hurt and killed every year on our nation's highways and accidents around the home… Far more than those who are hurt or killed concerning the transport of oil.

Does that mean we should get rid of homes, cars, trucks, roads?

Of course not. Unfortunately, those opposed to this project have yet to come up with a compelling reason for their opposition. And every single one in the opposition is heavily dependent on petroleum based products of varying kinds in everything from medicine to the gasolines that propel their vehicles to the various plastics and other products that are based on petroleum as I am… Used without a moment's doubt or hesitation by the same people complaining about these trains.

So why is Guard doing this? Is it out of some sense of misguided heroics?

Because as "dangerous" as oil trains are, the very idea that he would occasionally stay in a travel trailer parked next to railroad tracks allegedly to "count" trains going by, besides being a colossal waste of time, accomplishes what exactly?

The fact is that most people do not care. The fact is that most people understand that there is nothing Guard can do for or against any of this. Engaging in wholesale political theater that consist mainly of the self-aggrandizement of Sean Guard will not result in these trains not running, or the project not being built.

In fact, it goes directly to the heart of the issue: is it responsible for Guard to sit there in the middle of what we're being told repeatedly is the danger zone?

How dangerous can it be… If the mayor of Washougal is sitting there in the middle of this barbecue pit effectively just waiting for somebody to strike a match?

At the end of the day, it would be tragic if an accident of any size were to occur here locally. I believe there are certain common sense steps that can be taken to prepare for such an instance. Correspondingly, I do not believe that the risk is any greater, then say, for example the risk of a jumbo jet crashing at Portland's airport. They are well-prepared for such an eventuality, but nevertheless no one is suggesting that we should stop flying in planes, and hundreds of thousands of people go through the airport on a regular basis to do that very thing.

What has Sean Guard accomplished here, save for increasing his notoriety?

Absolutely nothing, except for shoving local politics to an even greater height of buffoonery.

What was missing? his fake cop badge. That would've been the perfect capper.

and to the citizenry of Washougal… You truly do have the government you deserve.

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