As Rick Anderson has noted several times of late, small-town politics can be awfully entertaining. While Anderson has focused on the outpost of Pacific and its elderly and ornery mayor, further south, in the bubbling metropolis of Tenino, the local government also has quite a debacle on its hands.
According to a report from KOMO's Keith Eldridge, Tenino City Councilman Frank Anderson owes the city $140,000, a tally racked up thanks to accruing code enforcement fines on a derelict property he owns, not to mention an outstanding $15,000 water bill.
Because of this, Tenino Mayor Eric Strawn has asked Anderson to step down from the city council seat he holds.
Strawn is attributed in the KOMO story with this gem of a small-town quote:
"The danger is that it's a haven for druggies and transients," said Mayor Eric Strawn. "If a child goes in there and the roof collapses on them, obviously I don't want that on my conscience."
According to KOMO's story, neighbors say Anderson's mother lived in the house until her death in 1998. Since then, the house - which now has its walls collapsing and its roof caving in - has remained vacant, with much of the furnishing still intact.
Naturally, neighbors and the city's code enforcement officers aren't too wild about the situation. Neighbors tell KOMO the house is dragging down property values, and - more importantly - code enforcement has been charging Anderson $250 every day the house remains out of compliance, a running tally that has amounted to a whopping $127,000.
By our math, that's 508 days out of compliance ... and counting.
Given his history of avoiding problems, perhaps it should come as no surprise that Anderson apparently refused comment for the KOMO story.