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Doug Clark: A little more talk and a lot less action

Thu., April 19, 2012

There has been a lot of finger wagging about the Spokane City Council devoting its Monday night meeting to a public outpouring over the state’s new gay marriage law.

Some of my co-conspirators in the media argue that council members should stick to topics that are within the scope of their control.

That’s one way to look at it.

The wrong way, alas.

Now I won’t argue the logic. I agree it’s a waste of time for the City Council to get bogged down in nonbinding resolutions like gay marriage.

And that’s a bad thing, how?

Look at it this way. For this one glorious Monday evening …

No parking meter rates were raised.

Not one more red light intersection camera was installed.

While citizens wrangled passionately over the definition of marriage, our hamstrung leaders couldn’t come up with any new ways to pick our pockets.

True, we were essentially paying our elected meddlers to do nothing.

But that’s a huge money saver in the long run.

Plus either way the streets still don’t get fixed.

Being so impotent must have been enormously frustrating for council members and the positives don’t end there.

This gathering was livelier than a holy-roller tent revival on healing night.

Some 300 citizens packed into the council chambers where they defended gay nuptials or decried them as satanic.

Tears were shed. Hands were raised.

Testimonials were testified.

Television replays of this City Hall hullaballoo are already pulling better ratings than “Dancing with the Stars.”

So I ask you a simple question: Wouldn’t it be great if all council meetings were this entertaining?

Do I hear an “Amen”?

Call me a dreamer, but I believe such a fairy tale can come true if we can harness the power of the nonbinding resolution.

Every meeting can become a forum focused on large concerns that are, thank God, outside the council’s meddling capabilities.

Next week, for example, I say we urge the City Council to make a nonbinding resolution about the Secret Service prostitution scandal.

I am quite opinionated on this so I’ll definitely be there.

It’s positively shameful that at least one of our elite presidential protectors refused to pay a Colombian call girl the bill she charged him for sex.

Is there no sense of right and wrong in this country any more?

Being in the Secret Service used to be one of most prestigious jobs a person could have.

As Americans, we should expect each and every agent to have the moral decency to not only pay a hooker the going rate, but toss on a 15 percent gratuity, too.

News accounts now tell us that “as many as 20 women had been in hotel rooms with U.S. agents and military personnel just before President Barack Obama arrived for a summit with Latin American leaders.”

That brings up so many questions, like …

How many of these poor Colombians got stiffed?

And when will the “Secret Agents Gone Wild” video be released?

I invite everybody to debate this topic at next Monday night’s ineffectual nonbinding meeting of the Spokane City Council.

See ya there!

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by email at

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