It's election time again in West Linn. I know most people who live here pay no attention to local politics or our city government, but that doesn't stop you from voting does it?

So, you vote based on the pictures and the sales pitch in the voter's pamphlet, or perhaps you are impressed by a shiny piece of paper in your mailbox. Maybe you just vote for the same people who got elected last time since they must know what they're doing and stuff seems OK - your house is still there; the car is in the garage; you still have hot and cold running water; the school bus still picks the kids up. Life is excellent!

There's still time to help your community. Attend or watch a city council meeting. They happen every other Monday at city hall. That's over by Safeway and Starbucks. They are shown repeatedly on cable channel 30, and you can get tapes at the library.

Consider what your instincts tell you about Councilor Scott Burgess. What's your 'gut reaction?' Is he truly a concerned and brilliant public servant, looking out for your best interests? Or is he perhaps just a smarmy politician who will say whatever is necessary to get elected in order to continue to serve a handful of wealthy patrons?

I know a lot of people are new to West Linn. Burgess used to be the city manager, until he couldn't cooperate with a city council that tried to slow down the slash-and-build rapid development of the city. His supporters have deep pockets and hide behind 'political action committees' - try to follow the money.

As someone who has watched West Linn government for about 15 years, since bulldozers and chainsaws took out the forest behind my home one Saturday, I believe the absolute worst thing you can do is elect Scott Burgess to a four-year term on the city council.

There are so many excellent candidates this year; don't miss the opportunity to let them serve. I know Ken Pryor, Mike Hughes and Curt Sommer, and they are all thoughtful people who are concerned with the best interests of all of us, not just the folks with property that need new subdivisions built.

If you value experience, David Tripp and Jody Carson have experience. In West Linn, extensive experience just seems to translate to learning the game and how to keep your intentions under cover. Please take time to think and learn before you cast your ballot.

Dale Blanchard is a resident of West Linn

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