Letters to the Editor
- Gresham Outlook - Opinion
Minnis can be trusted to not raise taxes
Multnomah County residents pay the highest taxes in the state, and at least one of the two candidates for House District 49 wants to insure that taxes aren't raised anymore. In 2005, Karen Minnis kept her promise of not raising taxes and opposed the Multnomah County I-tax. Does her opponent, Rob Brading, support the I-tax? He has called for other taxes over the last few weeks. It's clear that we cannot trust him with our money once he's in Salem. Rob Brading appears to be the living embodiment of the old adage 'tax-and-spend liberal,' meanwhile Karen Minnis is fighting for us and holding the line on new taxes.
Larry D. Fischer
It's time to invest in Mt. Hood Community College
My first memory of Mt. Hood Community College goes back to the day my father, who was a builder and developer during the 1960s, took me further out Division Street than I'd ever gone before. He told me the area had tremendous potential for growth because of the new community college being constructed just down the road - Mt. Hood Community College.
Recently, I drove through the neighborhood of homes my father built, their ages matching that of the college. Many of these homes must be on the third or fourth roof; modern energy efficient heating equipment has replaced old worn out units and the homes have all received routine maintenance.
In stark contrast is the facility of MHCC. Originally built in the late '60s, the campus and its systems are now in need of replacement and renovation. The proposed bond measure, if approved, would enable the college to correct problems caused by deferred maintenance, leaky roofs and improve safety and security on the campus.
Then there is the matter of the 30-year-old 'temporary' buildings housing the early childhood education program. Isn't it time they had a facility that at least met federal and state regulations?
Many decades ago when MHCC was new, I believe the people of Sandy, Troutdale, Hood River, Gresham and other locations within the district's 950-square miles, seemed to appreciate what many seem to take for granted today.
Imagine what it would be like if the visionary founders of the college never saw the opportunity they found in a berry field. Certainly, Gresham and the surrounding area would not be the community we live in today.
Mike L. Brayson
Mt. Hood Community College
Architectural Engineering Instructor
East County should vote for Metro bond
This letter is to urge you to vote yes on the Metro Parks and Green Spaces bond Measure 26-80. The city of Gresham and East Multnomah County will greatly benefit from the passage of this measure. It is a win/win for all and will contribute to the livability in Gresham and East Multnomah County.
In the 1995 Metro bond measure, more than 8,000 acres of land across the Metro region were purchased and saved as open space, a lot of it in East Multnomah County. The passage of Measure 26-80 will add another 3,500 to 4,500 acres to open space reserves.
The city of Gresham will benefit in three ways from Measure 26-80.
Metro will use the funds to purchase land on hillsides, along rivers and streams and enhance trails and wildlife corridors. Targeted Gresham areas are butte hillsides, land along Johnson and Kelly creeks in Pleasant Valley and land to complete the Gresham Fairview Trail.
In addition, the city of Gresham will receive $2.6 million for our local share. These funds will contribute to the completion of the Gresham Fairview Trail, construction of the Hogan Butte Nature Park, improvement of habitat along Johnson Creek and restoring environmentally sensitive areas in Pleasant Valley, along Butler Creek, Kane Road and Main City Park.
The bond measure also sets aside funds for neighborhoods, non-profit organizations and local governments to apply for grants to support neighborhood projects. Your neighborhood or neighborhood association can apply for the use of these funds.
Please join the Gresham City Council, which unanimously supports the bond measure, and vote yes for Measure 26-80.
Gresham City Councilor
Nielsen-Hood a good leader
I know Carol Nielsen-Hood as an energetic, organized, knowledgeable and intelligent leader. She knows how to forge partnerships to make good things happen. This has been recognized by many different organizations that want her on their committees and boards.
I urge you to keep Carol working for all of us.
Please vote for Carol Nielsen-Hood for Gresham City Council.
McRobert was behind station
I saw the interviews with Mayor Charles Becker and Shane Bemis that aired on KATU news. I was a bit shocked that Mayor Becker took credit for the development of Gresham Station. According to the news piece, it is his 'proudest accomplishment.' I was a member of the steering committee that master planned the entire Gresham Station area. Being deeply involved in the project, I can say without reservation that Mayor Becker had absolutely nothing to do with the Gresham Station project. In fact, he was not even mayor at the time.
Gussie McRobert was mayor and a leading advocate for area to be developed. At the time, she took the heat for what some thought of as a mistake. It is Gussie McRobert who deserves the credit for attracting not just the new development, but for attracting a new type of development in Gresham. By the time Mayor Becker took office, Gresham Station was in fact, basically a 'done deal.' It is true, that from his office window, Mayor Becker has watched as the Gresham Station area has been built. But there is a difference between 'making' something happen and 'watching' something happen.
In all fairness, Mayor Becker has volunteered countless hours to our city, and we can all appreciate that. With the help of a terrific council and city staff, he has kept Gresham moving in the right direction. But now, I believe Gresham is at an important crossroad. There are decisions to made that will affect our city for the next 100 years or more. And, we need engaged and dynamic leadership to thoughtfully plan our future. I believe Shane Bemis has the skills and dedication to lead our city through these important times.
Van Orman will champion children
Every two years our mailboxes are stuffed with pretty pictures and promises from the candidates running for office. Two years ago, I got 12 pieces from Patti Smith with promises of reliable school funding. I expect I'll get another 12 this time. What I won't expect is for her to deliver.
She's had three shots at it, and we still have a feast or famine system based on personal income taxes. To compound a bad situation, she voted for a handful of corporate tax give-aways, shifting more of the tax burden on us working folk.
As the mother of young children, it appalls me that the education offered in this state varies so widely year to year. Sometimes we get music, art and sports, sometimes we don't. Sometimes we have a full school year, sometimes we can't afford 180 days. I will be casting my ballot for Suzanne Van Orman.
Van Orman has a record of supporting education. She also has a sense of fairness and will make corporations foot their share of the bill. But more than that, I trust her with our tax money. She is a fiscal conservative who knows how to make a little go a long way.
From her work at Head Start, Van Orman has firsthand experience at delivering increased services with decreasing budgets. I trust Suzanne Van Orman to deliver for our kids.
Minnis will protect taxpayers
The Outlook was right to endorse House Speaker Karen Minnis for District 49, however, there are other reasons why she deserves to be re-elected that were not given.
During the 2005 legislative session, Karen Minnis promised not to raise taxes and opposed Multnomah County's I-tax. To the dismay of liberals, Karen Minnis kept her word and honored her constituents and people of Oregon by not raising taxes.
The differences between Karen Minnis and Rob Brading couldn't be more profound. Can we count on Rob Brading to stand by us by opposing new taxes? Rob Brading is on record as being supportive of the Multnomah County I-tax and has encouraged more taxes during this campaign. Can we afford to trust him to not raise taxes?
With Karen Minnis we have a representative who has a record of upholding our wishes. Karen Minnis has earned another term in Salem.
Al and Phyllis Hopper
Minnis deserves our votes
We've enjoyed reading the back and forth commentary here in the Letters to the Editor section of The Outlook. We appreciate hearing others views and opinions, especially as the election draws near. That said, we'd like to join the discussion and explain, in part, why we're voting for Karen Minnis.
1. Karen has legislative experience. She's the speaker of the House (one of few women in the country to hold that position), and is in an excellent position to advocate for our interests.
2. She's helped make life in East County better through providing funding for the Gresham Arts Center and increasing funding for Mt. Hood Community College.
3. Karen is committed to crime prevention, and making our neighborhoods safer. She's made the fight against meth a priority, and also provided funding to stop gangs in Rockwood.
4. Karen is a woman of her word, and has voted in ways that are consistent with our values.
These are only a few of the reasons we are voting for Karen Minnis. We hope that you'll add your reasons to the list, and support her as well.
Bob and Irene Ewald
Follow Minnis' money trail
Republican and Speaker of the House Karen Minnis' recent letter to my Gresham home stated 'The Portland political machine has decided to personally attack me and make my re-election race the centerpiece of their East County assault.' To set the record straight, every voter in Oregon should be concerned about Rep. Minnis being re-elected. What she does affects all Oregonians, not just East County.
Instead of complaining about Rob Brading getting support from Portland, Speaker of the House Karen Minnis should check her own campaign accounts. The Secretary of State's office reports thousands of dollars of her contributions from pharmaceutical companies in New York, payday lenders in Texas and credit card companies in New Jersey. What could those big donors possibly want with East County? The answer - to influence legislation.
During her term as speaker of the House, Karen Minnis killed a bill to make prescription drugs more affordable (SB329), forced through a tax loophole that gives our tax dollars to the worst polluters in Oregon (HB3451), and cut funding for the Oregon Health Plan by refusing to reinstate the voter-approved cigarette tax (SB480).
Of the 17 environmental bills before the House, Republican Karen Minnis voted against 15. Rob Brading will do a better job for all Oregonians.
The issue is trust in mayor race
Our mayor, Chuck Becker, has frequently brought up the subject of 'trust' with respect to his campaign for mayor.
I have heard him talk about it in three different debate settings. One can infer that he is implying that he has more of it (trust) than does his opponent, Shane Bemis.
So, let's talk about who trusts who to lead our city as our mayor. Just look at Shane's endorsements. He has all of the area mayors and all but one of his colleagues on the City Council endorsing him.
He has County Commissioner Lonnie Roberts, and he has a cast of hundreds of other citizens, many, many local leaders and longtime residents. Shane Bemis is strongly endorsed by The Gresham Outlook, The Oregonian, and East Metro Association of Realtors as well.
I trust Shane Bemis, as do so many others here in Gresham and East County!
I recognize a real leader when I see one. I have served as Shane's colleague for these past four years on the Gresham City Council.
I have proudly voted for him as Council President three times. Trust is not easily given to anyone in leadership. Shane has earned our trust, over and over again on City Council.
I urge you to consider what is on the table when you cast your ballots and vote for our next mayor.
In keeping with the spirit of Shane's positive campaign for mayor, I simply, strongly, urge you to vote for Shane Bemis for Gresham's mayor!
Jacquenette J. McIntire
Gresham city councilor
Criticism of Jim Kight unfair
I am dismayed at the criticism of Jim Kight by Troutdale Mayor Paul Thalofer, which no doubt was caused by the fact that two years ago then-City Councilor Kight offered himself up as a candidate for mayor.
Now, I like Mayor Thalhofer, who gave me the support to serve on the city's Budget Committee and Planning Commission, but I believe he is wrong not to support Jim Kight. His criticism is petty.
The mayor attacks Jim for 'his two-year hiatus from any form of citizen involvement.' Jim, though, deserved a break after 10 years as a city councilor.
Jim's experience includes: Troutdale City Councilor, Budget Committee, Charter Review Committee, Emergency Management Representative, Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation, Tri-Met Transit Choices for Livability and League of Oregon Cities Transportation Committee.
As a former reporter and editor of The Outlook, I got to see how hard Jim worked for Troutdale and as a budget committee member and a Planning Commission member - serving one year as chairman - I got to work with Jim.
So I know that he was not only one of the best city councilors Troutdale ever had, but is also one whose experience is missed by the city.
We need Jim Kight back on the City Council.
The decision of who is best for that role is not up to the mayor, but the voters who know Jim is the best choice and who want someone with the experience that only Jim can offer.
As a former Planning Commission member I do not discount the experience of Jim's opponent, Marianne Vier, who is currently on the Planning Commission. I know how valuable that service is to the city, but it does not match Jim's experience. Vier no doubt will one day serve on the council, perhaps as Jim's replacement when he serves this city as mayor after Paul retires.
Troutdale needs Jim Kight back in service.
Political seasonis geting to voter
Can't escape the election mess even in sleep. I dreamed about state politics last night.
Three candidates moved into my house.
As I walked through the house, I kept finding pocket change all over the floor in little trails. Another link to real life … just follow the money! But, as in real life, the BIG money was well hidden.
The intrusion into my dream life was parallel with the interference this election has caused in my real life. I can't sit in my home, drive to work, watch television, listen to the radio or read a newspaper without being assaulted by signs, advertisements, phone calls or editorials about the upcoming election.
I can't get my mail without getting at least four fliers. No matter which politician the fliers come from, they all have the same theme. 'Vote for me! My opponent is a jerk who hates children and does mean things to his/her cat with a fork.'
I'm going to be happy when all this is over. No matter who is elected, things won't improve for me, but the absence of the smell of beef by-products will be refreshing.
Becker needs to get his facts right
Mayor Charles Becker and his campaign handlers either don't know the facts about Gresham Station, or they are purposely distorting them.
City officials who worked on the Civic Neighborhood/Gresham Station project say the first staff contact was at Marie Callendar's Restaurant in 1996 about a year before any basic ground preparation began in 1997.
That is one year before the mayor was elected in 1998. The fourth largest city in the state deserves a mayor who has accomplished enough that he/she doesn't have to distort the facts. Please vote for Shane Bemis and take a stand for truth.
It's an easy decision to vote for Smith
Some voting decisions are difficult to make, but whether to vote for Patti Smith to represent District 52 is an easy decision.
Patti Smith is a woman with integrity and outstanding character. She is sincere and deeply cares about the issues that affect her constituents. I appreciate the time she takes to respond to my questions and/or concerns. She has never failed to respond to any of my inquiries personally, and in a timely manner.
Twenty-five associations and four publications endorse Patti. She is hard working and spends many hours conducting our district business. She is an advocate for our schools, children, families, law enforcement, business and veterans, just to mention a few.
For these reasons and many more, I have decided once again to give Patti Smith my support and vote to continue her excellent performance as my representative in District 52. The decision is easy!
Vote for Smith for District 52
I urge you to support Patti Smith for State Representative for District 52.
District 52 is a huge territory of mostly rural inhabitants, and Smith is uniquely qualified to understand the needs of the folks she represents. She is a rancher and can inoculate a herd, pull a calf, drive a tractor, or fight for the abused. She understands land use problems as only someone who has been there can.
Each term makes her more valuable, be it in topics such as education, immigration or economics. Her voice is being heard and respected just as she hears us, respects us and responds to our needs.
She listens to each of us regardless of our political affiliation and works for the wisest course of action. Please help to keep her in Salem.
(Editor's note: This letter was
submitted before the Scott's tragic crash Sunday.)
Library is fine as it is, don't vote for levy
Our library system is one of the finest in the nation - something to be proud of. The latest levy proposal, however, is excessive and greedy.
Past requests for levy increases have warned of dire consequences if not approved.
Branches would be closed for one or two days per week - I could live with that - most businesses are. Instead of operating at a reasonable level, lavish new buildings were constructed and more people hired, creating a bigger, more expensive system.
Why not maintain the status quo, provide adequate services in a time when money is tight throughout the state.
It might be more important to better fund our schools and provide education to our younger children, as well as teens, about the dangers of meth so that they could read and function in order to use the library system.
A NO vote on Measure 26-81 is justified and common sense in an age of budget cutbacks.