It started as a Halloween decoration but remains in the yard today as a reminder of what this little tiny town lost in the election. Let's be clear, the act was done by Arne Nyberg's wife as he was out of town.

Although it started tongue in cheek it does give the opportunity for the citizens of Rivergrove to ask ourselves some important questions. Why is such a small city, one of the state's smallest, still subjected to trickery, manipulation and lies during the election? Is our democracy so fragile it cannot stand on integrity without special agendas even in cities less than 400 residents? We've become accustom to big politics with its negative campaigns and slurs. But Rivergrove?

Arne Nyberg had served his community for six years as a city councilor in Rivergrove. Presently he represents the city on the MACC executive board. He brought the new play structure to our park; he organized groups to network for donated labor and services.

Arne has a long history of dedication to volunteerism and community service. He currently volunteers on the Coffee Creek Correctional Advisory Board and State Heritage Tree Committee. Years ago he served Tualatin equally well, participating in developing the Commons, the trees in Winoma Cemetery and in the historical society to mention but a few.

He was awarded 'The Man of the Year' for Tualatin at one time. Arne is a wealth of passionate energy in any city he resides and as his father taught him well you 'leave every place or project better than when it started.'

Whether it's cleaning up garbage (remember the couch) or creating a vision and gathering the forces to make it happen, Arne has provided the city a better place to live. Why then was it necessary for a small group of citizens to deliberately trick him and see his name was not on the ballot? Why does a 'special interest' group have to scheme to take control of such a small city by manipulating (who) could run?

Once bumped off the ballot through the malicious scheme, the lies continued, telling citizens he wasn't interested or you couldn't write him in on the ballot.

The city of Rivergrove has lost tremendous experience and knowledge, unending passion and energy to build volunteerism and community service as the soul of a neighborhood and no less important the sense of honor and integrity for a small intimate city. He wasn't not voted in; the citizens had their choice taken from them. Can democracy really continue effectively when even the smallest community fails to protect its citizens? My teenage son and I appreciate having Arne home more but feel very sorry for the loss to the city of Rivergrove.

Colleen Nyberg is a resident of Rivergrove and the wife of Arne Nyberg.

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