Bainbridge City Manager Doug Schultze, no doubt pandering to the collective 12th Man, has issued Executive Order 121212 (what a coincidence!) that calls for a ban on cheese at City Hall on Friday. Schultze really laid down the law: No one can bring it, and no one can eat it, and, furthermore, no “cheese-flavored products” are allowed. Yep, no Cheetos. The island’s city manager also ruled that Packers fans, or “Cheeseheads,” as they are known throughout the Land, are unwelcome on the premises.
Schultze’s dictatorial move, coming just days before the NFC Championship game, has deeply offended the Packers faithful, none more so than well-known Bainbridge attorney and school board member Mike Spence. This is a man who’s been bleeding green and gold since the days of Bart Starr, Boyd Dowler and Paul Hornung. His home on the island is practically a shrine to his beloved Packers.
The ink on Schultze’s order yesterday was barely dry when Spence, tongue firmly in cheek, dispatched some sobering legal advice. “As a citizen of Bainbridge Island, and as a part owner of the Green Bay Packers and Ice Bowl I survivor, I question your authority to issue the above-mentioned Executive Order,” Spence wrote in an email to Schulze.
Spence went on to point out that the city’s municipal code bestows the county health district with the power to enforce health regulations.
“As a food item, the regulation of cheese falls clearly within the authority of the Kitsap County Department of Health, rather than the City of Bainbridge Island, a noncharter Code City under RCW 35A.11. I see no authority under that statute granting a noncharter Code City the authority to regulate cheese,” Spence wrote. “In fact, a Boolean search of that chapter shows no results for the word ‘cheese.’”
“Your Executive Order 121212 is therefore beyond your power, known in the law as ‘ultra vires,’” the attorney added.
Spence, still fuming, told Seattle Weekly today that “this is an outrageous intrusion to our constitutional and American right to eat cheese on Friday.” How, asked Spence, “is banning cheese on Bainbridge Island going to help the Seahawks beat the Packers?”
By throwing down the challenge flag, Spence is getting widespread notice in around Packers Nation. He noted that a TV crew from Madison, Wisconsin, came to interview him today.
Meanwhile, a Wisconsin radio station is banning all music and bands from the Seattle area. “Beginning Wednesday morning at 12 a.m. CT, the station’s listeners will hear no Heart, no Nirvana, no Pearl Jam, no songs from any band that calls Seattle home,” radio station 94.5 “The Lake” says in a posting on its website. The station’s ban on Seattle music will continue until after the game. According to the The Lake’s website, the ban is needed to change the bad karma that has dogged the Packers in their previous games with the Seahawks in Seattle.