Enterprise Mayor Susan Roberts can't win for losing.

The illustrious leader of the Enterprise City Council is now taking some heat for her decision to put up a replica of an antique clock in front of the historic Wallowa County courthouse.

Roberts critics are reveling in the mayor's latest faux pas, which stems from placing the clock in a spot previously committed to a California woman, Carole Hammond Ferguson, who paid $3,000 to put up a replica of an antique lamp post as a memorial to her parents.

Roberts and Wendy Hansen, executive director of the Enterprise Hometown Improvement Group, which was happy to accept Ferguson's donation three years ago, hoped to undo the damage by contacting the benefactress to find out whether she would mind if the city moved her lamp post.

It now appears that the only way the city will be able to ascertain Ferguson's opinion is by hiring a clairvoyant because Ferguson has since passed away. Of course this assumes that the city even cares about Ferguson's intentions at this point - what's she going to do, complain? Maybe now city officials can feel free to find another suitable location to memorialize Ferguson's parents ... like out in front of one of the local taverns where an additional lamp post or two might shed new light on important city business.

The clock has been a political liability for the mayor since it was purchased two years ago for $8,000 - in the wake of the city's decision to close the municipal swimming pool because there was not enough money in the budget to bring the facility up to code and run it through the summer. This is the second hot summer in a row that area youngsters, who could care less about an antique clock at the courthouse, have gone without a swimming pool.

Mayor Roberts hoped the clock would be a memorial to all of the people in Wallowa County who have served their country. At least she is half right. It will be a memorial, all right, but not to the people she intended, at least for the foreseeable future.

Let's not be too hard on the mayor, though. After all, she is only trying to improve the appearance of her downtown, which is in dire need of a facelift. There is no question that Roberts is a hard worker and her heart is in the right place - it's her priorities and finesse that sometimes leave us scratching our heads. R.S.

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