Letters to the Editor for May 28
- Gresham Outlook - Opinion
Mayor should have to take down building
So the Troutdale mayor voted to censure himself? If that is not an admission of guilt, I'm not sure what is.
Any other citizen would have been forced to remove this illegal building … remember the Bea house? I think this would send a clear message to others that no matter who you are, you need to respect the laws, codes and ordinances of the municipality you live in.
Troutdale has a large Scout troop. The Boy Scout oath includes the word 'obedient'. This means that you obey the law. If you don't like it, strive to change it, but until you do … obey it.
Are you reading this Jim?
Censure of mayor passes - and fails
I decided to weigh in because of the cruel manner in which Troutdale city councilors attacked the mayor, Jim Kight. Allow me to be the lone voice in the wilderness.
The Troutdale City Councilors, represented by Council President Doug Daoust, brought forward a 22-count resolution for censure of Mayor Jim Kight. From the rambling wording of the document, it is obvious they cannot stand the mayor. Never mind that he was elected by the voters. He doesn't seek approval for his actions from the councilors, and they intend to publicly punish him for it.
All 22 of their 'findings' boil down to two issues: (1) Jim Kight intimidates city employees, and (2) Jim built a structure on his property, a structure that looks way too much like a real house.
On the first major issue, intimidating city employees, the council offered no proof except to say, 'We have emails.' Our city employees are the finest on the planet. The moment any elected official attempts to influence or intimidate them, they have the power to say, 'No' and report the incident.
On the second major issue, Jim's 'structure' or 'house' or 'mansion,' he went right up to the limits of the building code. If he had added a range, it would have been a house. The code says that without a range, the building is an accessory structure to his home next door. Jim holds a signed certificate of completion from the city of Troutdale that says he complied with the code. If the council doesn't like it, then they can always change the code. They say they want a re-inspection. Is the real problem that they didn't get the result they wanted?
As expected, the Troutdale City Councilors voted unanimously to censure Mayor Jim Kight. As expected, Jim Kight refused to resign. He did, however, surprise the councilors when he offered a public apology to any city employee who felt they had been intimidated.
Next year, councilors Doug Daoust, Norm Thomas and David Ripma will run against Jim Kight for mayor of Troutdale. I wonder if they will use Jim's public censure in their campaigns?
We benefit from Jim Kight's energy, enthusiasm and drum-beating for Troutdale. He's the best schmoozer of public officials and developers that we have. The city councilors, by comparison, stay at home in terms of promoting Troutdale. In a perfect world, Jim would be more user-friendly to the council, and the councilors would learn to go out and promote our city. Maybe this year they'll rub off on each other. Meanwhile, stop the attacks and get on with strengthening our city.
Shiiki article needed more context
I recently read your article about Ray Shiiki (Outlook May 14) and his life in Gresham. However, I did not notice that you had any reference to Gresham's specific involvement with anti-Japanese groups that reached all the way into the mayor's office, and even affected recent history. A simple Google check of relevant information will bear out much more about Gresham's organized racist anti-Japanese past.
Gresham, Hood River and other nearby locales were particular hotbeds of anti-Japanese sentiments before, during and after World War II. Appropriate mention of this aspect of Gresham history was absolutely needed for your article. Stating that Mr. Shiiki and others of his generation came 'of age in the midst of such blatant racism and discrimination' is not adequate in any way, shape or form.
Hopefully, you can find the means to amend this critical omission of Gresham's dark past.
Lawrence J. Maushard