The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Darrell Smith

'Get rid of the old folks'


To the Editor:

At the Dec. 1 meeting of the City Council of Goldendale, Mayor Baze was given a vote of “no confidence.” This action was “for the record” to show that the majority of the council wishes to be known as not endorsing the mayor’s actions related to his failure to share the notification of license application from the Liquor Control Board (LCB), and that alone.

Those at the meeting were witness to the mayor’s severely limited vocabulary, forcing uses of scatological words in his tirade as commas, periods, exclamation points, verbs, nouns, adjectives, and conjunctions. When confronted by a member of the council calling him out of line, we saw and heard, first-hand, his insincere and condescending “apology.” During this rant by Baze, violations of the secrecy of executive sessions occurred at least twice, ostensibly to shame the remaining council members for considering a real estate deal for a marijuana grow operation in the city limits.

Subsequently, Baze went on a local media and Facebook blitz, whining about his treatment and conflating multiple issues into a single “they are out to get me” complaint. The singular issue—and only issue—related to the no confidence vote, and the demand that he step down as mayor, is centered on the LCB letter of June 6 that he failed to act on or bring to the attention of the council or public. We find this to be misfeasance or, at a minimum, nonfeasance, and this requires him to leave office.

What we have witnessed throughout this entire episode is deception, obfuscation, and legerdemain. A very wise warning is, “Woe to them who call evil good and good evil, that put darkness for light and light for darkness.”

A member of the council who supported Baze has been loosely quoted as repeatedly saying that “if the old cronies were off the council, we could get something done.” Throughout history and the entire world, elders and their acquired wisdom were both sought and honored. Further, it has been conventional wisdom throughout history that the inexperience of younger people was to be avoided and tempered with wisdom that comes with years. Wisdom does come with age, and serious and altruistic actions occur by those seekers who are earnestly striving for it.

We have lost the meaning of “politics” altogether in our self centered and hedonistic society, where it is, after all, “all about me.” The meaning of politics was captured by Noah Webster in his 1828 Dictionary of the English Language: “The science of government; that part of ethics which consists in the regulation and government …for the preservation of its safety, peace, and prosperity, with the preservation and improvement of their morals.”

“Ethics? Morals? The government isn’t interested in those!” Well, yes, they are and should be. Sadly, those who are ill-equipped for statecraft, public service, or politics as a protector of ethics and morals—and little understanding of the implications of history—cannot possibly offer anything to the city and its people except failure. Goldendale was jerked awake with this whole episode and from now on, character, credentials, and proven performance must be the most important criteria for selecting council members and mayor.


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