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.”