#18: Lebanon, OR 5/11/16

The auction block was hot at the Lebanon city council meeting! People lined up left and right to annex land for their own kinky purposes, and the council was in charge of moving the merchandise.

Vest-clad, avuncular community development honcho Walt Wendolowski rattled off the three pieces of primo Oregon soil for annexation. Mayor Paul Aziz called out to the back of the room, “Would the applicant like to speak?”

“I just wanna say,” Applicant #1 reported, “I approve of the staff report and enjoy working with the city of Lebanon.” He promptly walked back to his seat.

Applicant #2 didn’t even bother getting out of his chair. “I think Walt covered it all,” he hollered.

Applicant #3 tied him in word economy, sitting down for all of two seconds simply to say: “I concur with Walt’s staff report.”

It was a scene reminiscent of the Lincoln-Douglas debates, when Abraham Lincoln famously retorted, “Yeah, I think Walt has the right idea.”

It is biologically impossible to disagree with Walt.

After approving all three requests, there was another land matter of what to do about a shipping container someone plopped down in a neighborhood. Here to talk about it was–surprise–our man Walt Wendolowski.

“You know, at the Rotary meeting, if you see a person this much, there’d be a fine for it,” he joked, taking out his wallet and pretending to put a dollar into the I’m-Talking-Too-Much bucket. The city could ignore the trailer or try to boot it, but “in the past 15 years we’ve had only two issues,” Walt noted.

“I’m not a big fan of government telling me what I can do with my property,” warned grizzled Councilor Rebecca Grizzle. “If I want to have something hideous in my backyard, that’s subjective. And I’ve had to look at hideous things in other people’s backyards.” Tell me about it! If I have to look out the window and see my neighbor’s butterface kids one more time–

“I agree. The whole aesthetic thing is….we’d start saying ‘can you not paint your house purple?'” Mayor Aziz concurred.

Lebanon will defend your right to make your house look like a hideous purple monstrosity.

Councilor Jason Bolen had a community update from his perch as the local youth baseball coach (go Warriors!).  “We have been able to install turf around all of the home plates and all of the mounds,” he bragged. “The kids just love them. You should see these kids learning how to slide coming into home. Instead of doing it on dirt and kind of doing a skid, hop, and a rollover, these guys are sliding in there when they have to and when they don’t have to!”

“I like the sign,” Councilor Grizzle whispered mischievously.

Councilor Bolen chuckled at the inside joke. “Yeah…I did that one. It says: ‘These are kids. They’re not professionals. Coaches are volunteers. Umpires are human. None of these kids are going to get a pro contract today. Relax.'”

Also, on the back of the sign: “Your dreams are dead. Fun is an illusion. Mediocrity is noble. Vote Bolen for Council.”

Final thoughts: From letting a disgusting trailer sit to making a sign that says your kid isn’t gonna make it, the Lebanon city council is a real “live-and-let-live” crowd. It’s the kind of place where I’d be proud to paint my house magenta. I give this meeting 7 out of 10 stars.