Calling Out Clark Community College President, Bob Knight

by lewwaters

I’m not too sure just how Bob Knight can speak in support of another tax on us in Clark College for a project to benefit Clark Community College, the very school he is president of and say he isn’t speaking as the President, but he did. After viewing his testimony at the November 29, 2011 County Commissioners hearing on the admissions tax, I’ll explain why I am calling him out.

There are a couple points that I take exception with on Knight’s words as he spoke yesterday, one in particular that I personally do not appreciate.

First off, several of us who opposed the tax and spoke against it brought up how the Town Toyota Center in Wenatchee is already seeking a $42 Million bail-out from the legislature after only being open 3 years.

Knight’s claim of an apples and oranges comparison based upon the population of Wenatchee only having a population of 30,000 is off base as the arena was promoted and covered under a Public Facilities District consisting of Chelan and Douglas Counties, the Cities of Wenatchee, East Wenatchee, Chelan, Cashmere, Entiat, Rock Island, and the Town of Waterville.

That is 2 counties and 7 cities, far more than just the mere 30,000 claimed by Knight.

Second and what I take a strong personal exception to is his claim of those who said adding 50 cents to a movie ticket would hurt and his statement of he is not too sure those who say that know what a big sacrifice is. I take strong exception as I am the only one I recall who made that particular statement yesterday in testimony.

Bob Knight is a West Point graduate who served 21 years active duty in the US Army. It is said he was an Infantry Officer with secondary training as a Comptroller. I have no idea and have not come across where he served during his service and have no qualms whatsoever over his service as I am sure he served honorably.

As president of Clark Community College, he makes a base salary of a little over $166,000 a year with a $7,000 tax-deferred annuity payment. I can only imagine how much his Military pension is as he retired as a Lieutenant Colonel, also quite a feat for an officer to attain.

I have nothing personal against him for his success and certainly hold no grudges that he has done well in his life.

But, for him to sit before the County Commissioners and state that someone trying to survive on a small monthly Social Security Check after being forced into early retirement due to the Auto Manufacturers bail-out, someone who served a little over 8 years active duty in the same US Army as he did and as an enlisted man then junior NCO, who served 18 months boots on the ground in Vietnam and who raised 2 daughters through their teen years as a single dad has no idea what a big sacrifice is, is just more than I can bear.

I do not fault Knight for supporting the project, no matter how misguided I felt it was. But, his claim of others not knowing what a big sacrifice is was a cheap shot far beneath him or anyone of his stature.

I imagine Knight sensed the tax was going to be defeated and tried to save it, but such cheap shots are not how it should be done.

I will gladly sit down with Bob Knight anytime at his choosing to compare notes on just who knows what a big sacrifice really is.

In an email sent out after the tax was defeated and expressing his disappointment in the defeat, Knight said, “Beyond the discussions about the facility itself, this process sparked deep, wide-ranging conversations about the kind of community we are – and hope to be. That may be its most lasting legacy.”

Taking cheap shots at people Knight has no idea about adds nothing to that “deep, wide-ranging conversation about the kind of community we are – and hope to be.”

12 Comments to “Calling Out Clark Community College President, Bob Knight”

  1. Elitists live in their own little “world”, Lew. They see very little of the outside world.

  2. I bet he was a real joy to serve under.

  3. Funny thing is, Kelly, my first DD 214 was signed by Robert Knight.

    Major Robert C. Knight ;-)

    As far as I know, Robert K. Knight wasn’t barely in high school yet, much less the Army.

  4. Jack, I have no idea whether he voted D or R and personally don’t care.

    His slap was a cheap shot that was unneeded and inaccurate.

    Hell, any parent there yesterday whether in support or in opposition of the tax knows what sacrifice is.

  5. He obviously doesn’t live in a world of “sacrifice”, Lew.

  6. I’m calling you out Lew Waters!

    Here’s a quick Quz for you Lew: What 2 things do You, Me, Bill Turlay, Larry Patella, Larry Smith and the late Tom Koenninger all have in common??

    Give up?? First, we are all former military members.

    Second, we are all the same rank now…Civilians.

    I do not use my former Military service to try and make my comments sound like they are worth more than any other Citizen’s words do, but here you are using your “18 months boots on the ground in Vietnam” as justification to rake Bob Knight over the coals for a statement he made. It certainly isn’t the first time you’ve done this and it won’t be the last. Same goes with Larry Patella who signs all of his blusters (Cdr. USN) and holds a discussion like he’s in Command of East Vancouver.

    Hot News Flash Lew: You are not the only Veteran in Clark County, and there are one hell of a lot of Veterans around who are a lot more Conservative than you are. I suggest this thread is beneath you and I urge you to stop using your former resume as a crutch to prop up your commentary, and start using sound arguments. That indeed would be a switch.

    And since I brought it up, here is my resume, in short.

    ABECS (AW), USN (Ret.)

    Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Launch and Recovery Equipmentman)
    Air Warfare Qualified

    Enlisted June 1974
    Transferred to the Fleet Reserve in May 1995
    Retired in May 2005

    Active Duty Tours included:

    USS Ranger, CVA-61
    USS John F. Kennedy, CV-67
    USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, CVN-69
    USS Theodore Roosevelt, CVN-71
    USS George Washington, CVN-73
    Naval Air Test Facility, Lakehurst New Jersey
    Naval Air Engineering Center, Lakehurst New Jersey
    Landing Signal Officer’s School, Staff Instructor, NAS Oceana, Virginia

    I spent the better part of 16 years deployed to the South China Sea, the Mediterranean, and all over the Eastern Seaboard of the United States qualifying young Junior Officers to be pilots with my own boots on 3″ of HY-100 steel flight deck, letting guys like a young Bill Turlay aim their airplanes at me while they learned how to land on a pitching flight deck. I conservatively estimate that I have at least 100,000 arrested landings, most of them at night, under may belt after a 20 Naval year career.

    Most people don’t know all of that because I don’t brag about it nonstop, and I sure don’t use any of it as an excuse to take exception with anything, much less a comment as tenuous as this one.

    I am thankful for your Service to your Country Lew as are most people. Just like I am proud of every other one of the thousands of Veterans here in Clark County including Larry Smith, Bill Turlay. With the exception of Larry Patella, they aren’t out making comments like this Lew, and I really wish you would stop doing it too. It has become tedious Lew, and nothing makes you special above any other Veteran around, and nothing Bob Knight said denigrated you, your military service or your skill as a single parent in any way whatsoever.

    This thread does more to damage your credibility than anything Bob Knight said.

  7. Hot news for you, Bob, for anyone to get up and say that someone else has no idea what a big sacrifice is, ignoring that the person just might have spent most of his life sacrificing for others is what this all about.

    Bob Knight could not have served in Vietnam as he was born in 1957. I have no idea whether he ever served in a hot area or not and frankly, that isn’t the point. I stated I believe his service was honorable and stand by that.

    But, I was not who spoke to the world (Clark County at least) saying he does not know what a sacrifice is. He is who pulled that.

    The post isn’t about who served where or when, Bob, but about his cheap shot of others no knowing what a big sacrifice is without knowing a thing about those he made that statement against.

  8. What bothered me the most about that whole hearing was Mark Boldt’s comments about straw polling the Vancouver City Council to gauge how he was going to vote. Its that kind of back door dealing that makes people sour on government. Private phone conversations to set policy is a poor standard to adhere to. Why don’t these groups have the courage to stand up publicly at a meeting and debate these things? That was a cowards move.

    Second was the poor job the staff did putting the proposal together. If the lynch pin of the financing was to be based on an inter-local agreement with the Vancouver City Council why didn’t they have that in their packet of information?

    Seems like these folks took the long way to jerk around the pro-baseballs peoples time. If Mr. Boldt had just been honest 11 months ago he would have saved a lot of money, time and effort.

  9. Alex, my personal thoughts are that the pro-baseball people felt that Boldt was in the bag for the tax and they didn’t need to improve their presentation.

    But, that does not excuse Knight coming in towards the end, (he had not signed in to speak but answered when Mielke asked if anyone else not signed in wanted to say anything) and taking cheap shots against people he doesn’t know.

    All presentation for and against the tax aside, Bob Knight was out of line with that remark.

  10. Sorry, Bob, but I’m supporting Lew on this one.

    I have been rabidly opposed to this scam that I believe Knight was involved in from, essentially, the beginning.

    It’s his kind of “the unwashed masses who pay the bills don’t know what they’re talking about/have no right to oppose us” attitude that has made this entire thing one of the more sickening chapters of local politics.

    As a “conservative,” Boldt should never have been on board. This entire idea should have been stuck in a bag, tied at the top, and tossed off the I-5 Bridge months ago. For whatever the reason, Boldt drew out the agony and allowed the waste of thousands of dollars in staff time to continue when there never was enough lip stick to slap on this pig to make it fly….. or something.

    That said, Knight is a symptom of the problem. In it’s own way, it was as moronic as Brian Baird referring to those wise enough to oppose his slavish devotion to obamacare as “Brown Shirts.”

    When you lead the operation that stands to make the most off screwing the taxpayers (second only to the Yakima Millionaires) then you need to chose your words carefully.

    Knight, for whatever the reason, decided to Rule 5 the opponents to his little empire-building gambit, so he was “inartful” in his choice of comments, painting with a far-too-broad brush and insulting those he NEEDED to hear… and chose to ignore.

  11. Alex, my personal thoughts are that the pro-baseball people felt that Boldt was in the bag for the tax and they didn’t need to improve their presentation.>>>

    The county staff did a terrible job with the presentation. If I were making a finance proposal that depended on an inter-local agreement, I would have it there for the vote to be considered. Why would any them vote yes without the key pieces being there? Mr. knight could have chosen his words better, I agree there. But the idea of Mark Boldt making as vote based on informal phone calls is troubling. The Mayor of Vancouver was on the signature page in the packet having signed as support, he shouldn’t have done that without a council debate. That’s also poor government. But the county pays staffers a lot of money to get the details straight and they failed miserably on this one. Wasting tax dollars and time that way is never a good thing. The whole process was poorly executed.

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