The Kennewick City Council is split over provisions in the new city managers contract. The delay can be a good thing, especially if it gets the entire council on the same page. It’s also an opportunity to re-examine what belongs in a public employee’s contract, and what doesn’t belong.
We couldn’t help but be impressed by SARbot, robot that the Franklin County Sheriff’s office is thinking about acquiring for underwater search and rescue. The $100,000 price tag seems a little steep in this economy but this machine is certain to result in the rescue of would-be drowning victims. What’s the right price tag for that?
Letter writers have turned out in force to support the hunter education teacher who was recently decertified by the state after some parents complained about harsh teaching techniques. We’re less inclined than our readers to take sides in the case, and mostly concerned about the future of this essential program.
Herald writer John Trumbo recently reported on shooters who seem to lack all respect for public and private property. It’s a separate story from the hunter education flap, but we see a clear connection.
We took notice of Alex McGregor’s recent presentation to agriculture students at Columbia Basin College. The president of a large fertilizer and farm supply company encouraged the young adults to expand their view of the ag economy. It’s a message that bears repeating.
The Tri-City Union Gospel Mission was forced to turn away men seeking shelter for the first time in it’s 57-year history. Our community is not as immune from the Great Recession as we hoped it would be. The likelihood is that things will get worse before they get better. Each of us will have to decide how to respond.
The increasing use of roundabouts to move traffic through Tri-City intersections seems to be a topic that’s always ripe for public discourse. Generally, we like them but there may be room for improvement.
Heart of America Northwest Research Center and Thomas Clements of South Carolina have sued Energy Northwest for the release of public records related to a proposal to use mixed oxide fuel containing plutonium in its nuclear reactor. Unless there’s a clear exemption in open records law, the documents ought to be released. And even if there’s a way for Energy Northwest to legally keep the records secret, officials still ought to release them absent an compelling reason not to. Either way, the inquiries shouldn’t slow research into this promising technology. The so-called MOX fuel has the potential to supply much-needed energy and reduce the risk of plutonium falling into the wrong hands.
The owner of a Richland cigar store owner says he the state tax system puts him an unfair disadvantage with competitors in other states. He’s forced to collect state taxes on mail-order shipments beyond Washington’s borders — which means charging more than a counterpart in Oregon, for example. The guy has a point. Benton and Franklin counties weigh raising sales taxes to fund mental health care. We don’t see commissioners from either county raising taxes in this environment, but something must be done to address the issue. We’d be happier if we had any good ideas to offer.