As a former city councilor and South Fork Water Board Member, I encourage voters to watch out for the misinformation and personal attacks that are already starting.
Instead, I hope voters simply look at the facts and the actions of individuals.
It is no secret that I do not support some of the current council. Some members are deeply supported by developer dollars and one should look at what the council has done the last two years.
They aggressively pursued multiple annexations offered on one vote. They arbitrarily waived the normal annexation fees. Why? To make sure these annexations went through. A past development application had been denied on several points. It went to the Land Use Board of Appeals where the denial would probably have been upheld. Rather than risk this, the current council pulled the application back and approved it. This appears to be favoritism to the developer.
They approved the illegal water line in Wilderness Park. This was not about a piece of plumbing, but setting a dangerous precedent.
At the last moment of the budget process, Councilor Burgess submitted a new water master plan when we just finished one which accommodates full build-out. His developer supporters want more water capacity to fuel growth which would be excessive and would extend to the Stafford Triangle. It was then discovered that the scope of work in this study included storage capacity for areas outside our town! If re-elected, I believe he will push this again. Burgess, King and Gates all appeared ready to vote for this.
Look at campaign sign locations. Undeveloped land displays current council members and, once again, Michael Babbitt. The developers want their boys in there and several current council members were put there due to strong support from these developers. We know the direction they will take if re-elected, as we have seen this already, over these past two years.
Regarding other candidates, David Tripp has proven he is honest, and adheres to our rules. I served with him on the council, and he listens. He is a good choice for mayor.
Curt Sommer has proven himself as head of the League of West Linn Neighborhoods.
Julie O'Connell has good business background and a genuine concern for the town she has called home for many years.
Ken Pryor, like me, comes from another area that went downhill from uncontrolled growth. He recognizes this situation and will work hard to keep it under control.
Jody Carson has done her homework on the current council and has served objectively. She deserves a spot there as well.
We need good stewards who will protect our interests, not exploit them. We must ask ourselves this question: Do we want West Linn to be our home or simply someone else's 'business opportunity?'
Hopefully we will vote to maintain our wonderful town rather than sell it out.
Tripp, Sommer, O'Connell, Pryor, and Carson will serve us well.
Bill Wilson is a West Linn resident.