Councilmember Bob Thompson appeared as a name on a Zoom black square at the Richland City Council workshop meeting Tuesday night. During the two hours Thompson’s name appeared, he said nothing.

Mayor Ryan Lukson directed a question to Thompson. Still nothing. Was this REALLY Bob Thompson or someone masquerading as the man who never misses an opportunity to lecture on any topic.

Lukson explained, “Bob is under the weather.” Lukson was also a black square, but a talking black square.

Thompson missed the Feb. 16 meeting without making a courtesy call to Lukson. The council excused him anyway.

During the discussion about police deadly force incident investigations, Police Chief John Bruce assured the council that police officers have been well trained to consider people in the background when they start shooting.

Bruce lived in Texas when three Pasco police officers fired 17 times, gunning down a rock thrower in the town’s busiest intersection at rush hour. Investigators plucked bullets out of a convenience store, and a storefront, not to mention the victim, before giving up on ever finding all of them.

The police shooting discussion lasted for about 20 minutes with few questions from anybody. Then it was on to matters that the council really wanted to talk about – small four-wheel vehicles on city roads and speed limits for electric bicycles and scooters.

Apparently, residents in Lukson’s Meadow Springs neighborhood would like to use golf carts in their community. Kennewick and West Richland have already adopted regulations for their use.

The councilmembers had plenty of opinions on this, everybody except Thompson who said nothing.

Councilmember Phil Lemley recalled how he once accidently flipped a golf cart. Thompson did not even have a comment about that.

Next up, speed limits for electric bikes and scooters and regulations for shared scooters. Lots of spirited discussion on the pros and cons of these. Not one word from Thompson.

The council decided to request input from the public before proceeding with these changes. Thompson did not weigh in.

Richland City View’s official video of the workshop shows no black. Thompson has vanished, whoosh, gone. Check for yourself.

Thompson did not respond to a request for comment.

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