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Clark: Looks like I’m qualified for job at City Hall

Thu., Aug. 8, 2013, midnight

I’m spitting nails over the recent City Hall decision to put a guy with virtually no relevant training in charge of Spokane’s engineering division.

And it’s not the specter of ineptitude or cronyism that bugs me about this dubious hire.

Heck, if it weren’t for ineptitude and cronyism, Spokane government would have collapsed ages ago.

What bothers me is that I wasn’t considered for such a cake job.

Politicians are always yakking about how they want better relations with the media. This would have been a terrific opportunity for our leaders to show me the love.

If incompetence or a lack of engineering qualifications weren’t issues, I’m your man.

Besides, sliding me into this $90,000-a-year engineering gig with the city would make a lot of people happy.

Well, my editors, anyway.

So let’s compare my non-qualifications with those of Kyle Twohig, the new hire.

In the end it should be obvious which candidate is least deserving.

TWOHIG – Owns coffee stand.

CLARK – Enjoys coffee on regular basis.

TWOHIG – Sold custom snow skis.

CLARK – Sold custom buttons for charity that read: “Politicians – Same Jerks We Hated in High School.”

TWOHIG – Helped manage construction projects in Seattle.

CLARK – Oversaw construction of playhouse for daughter Emily’s ninth birthday.

TWOHIG – Linked to near-$500,000 estimating error on bridge renovation project.

CLARK – Ignored family’s horrified objections and used chain saw to renovate antique bed frame so it would fit modern mattress.

TWOHIG – Son of Spokane Public Facilities District CEO Kevin Twohig.

CLARK – Related by marriage to historic Native American hero Pocahontas.

TWOHIG – No engineering degree.

CLARK – Has online ministerial diploma.

TWOHIG – Passionate about engineering.

CLARK – Passion? You could make three porn flicks with my passion.

There you have it. Twohig or Clark?

It’s a no-brainer.

I may not know beans about engineering, but I know a railroad when I see one.

The signs that the City Hall fix was in were obvious in our excellent news story about this boondoggle.

The first tipoff was that Jan Quintrall, the city’s director of business and mayoral black ops, was “livid when she heard The Spokesman-Review was asking questions about Twohig’s qualifications.”

Outrage at the press is always a sure giveaway that we’re onto something solid.

The real clincher to me, though, was Quintrall’s claim that Twohig’s lack of engineering experience actually made him a standout from the 12 other job candidates.

“Engineers are engineers,” she said in the story. “They’ll engineer things to death. I have engineers out my eyeballs.”

That’s the most refreshing thing a low-achiever like me has ever heard.

True, I can’t quite hear her using this logic if she was shopping for a brain surgeon.

“Brain surgeons are brain surgeons. They’ll brain surgeon things to death. I’ve got brain surgeons out my eyeballs.”

Doesn’t have the same, um, flair, does it?

But as the Pope said, “Who am I to judge?”

If our leaders insist on rewarding Twohig the 2nd, fine.

I can live with that.

I’ll take some other fat city job that will overlook my inexperience and torpor.

Quintrall’s job, perhaps. That looks simple enough.

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

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