Kitzhaber had no choice.
Facing raging wildfires around the state and yet another special legislative session, Gov. John Kitzhaber didn't need the distraction - not to mention the aggravation - of having to deal with a stubborn Oregon member of the Northwest Power Planning Council who refused to resign when asked to do so by the governor.
So the governor rightly designated a successor to council member John Brogoitti, who will either be fired by Kitzhaber after a one-on-one hearing with the governor or will be replaced by successor-to-be Melinda Eden after her expected confirmation by the Oregon Senate on Sept. 4 or 5.
What brought on all of this unnecessary silliness was Brogoitti's tantrum over Kitzhaber's declining to support him for chairman of the eight-member planning council. Brogoitti's term on the council actually expired in January, but the governor was busy with three special budget-balancing legislative sessions and didn't get around to picking a replacement.
Brogoitti obviously displeased the governor in several respects, and history, courtesy and practicality suggested - strongly - that he should have followed the governor's wishes and stepped aside. But Brogoitti didn't, instead putting out a news release accusing the governor of having some secret agenda to undermine the council. What Kitzhaber actually was trying to undermine was Brogoitti's tenure on the council. If the person who appointed you to a position wants you out, tradition holds that you leave. But that wasn't the way Brogoitti saw it.
In picking Brogoitti's successor, Kitzhaber has chosen well. Eden, a grape grower from Milton-Freewater, has been a member of the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission since 1996 and is currently the commission's chair. She should have a sound grasp of the issues facing the power council.
The council is comprised of two members each from Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Montana. Its mission is to balance the sometimes competing needs of the generation of electricity from federal hydropower dams in the Columbia Basin with the need to preserve salmon runs and other wildlife habitat. This balancing act is often tough, especially when representatives from the four states don't see eye-to-eye. And it's certainly not made easier by egocentrics who don't understand the word, "goodbye."