Letters to the Editor for June 25
People should follow the Christian Bible
I have been following the letters in The Outlook from Louis Bowerman and Sue Cowan in regards to gay marriage. Jackie Bennett gave a great observation in the last Outlook that Christians are not the only ones objecting to gay marriage.
I agree totally with Mr. Bowerman and Jackie Bennett, but also I would take the side of the Christians too as the Bible is very definite and clear that homosexuality is an abomination and those practicing it will not go to Heaven. I would not want to take that chance of going to Hell for something that is against the Bible.
Where do people think we get any of our moral rules and values? Why is it against the law to murder, steal, lie, cheat, commit adultery, etc.? They all come originally from the Holy Bible.
City charter should spell out mayor's role
I have enjoyed the recent Outlook editorial opinion on the Troutdale Council and Mayor Jim Kight 'donnybrook.'
One point that needs clarification is that roles and responsibilities are defined in the local City Charter, which specify the form of government and its functions. More than 70 percent of Oregon cities operate under manager/council administrative form. Here the mayor is only as powerful as a majority of council mandates. Neither city councilors nor mayor may interfere with the administration of day-to-day operations. This is the city manager's job!
The city manager is held accountable by a voting majority of the city council. They can maintain or terminate the manager's contract. The media can help keep this clarification up front and visible to the citizen community, which has the final say when they vote to maintain or terminate elected officials.
Those elected officials who are skilled at teambuilding and control city council are the most powerful. I think Mayor Kight has finally figured that out. This discussion has not only been helpful to Troutdale, but also to the surrounding jurisdictions, which also operate under a manager/council form of government. By the way, don't city councilors and mayors take an Oath of Office to uphold and support their city charters?
Principles vs. principals
Many of us have bosses. Humans respond swiftly to chains of command. In the absence of leadership, systems often produce chaos.
West Gresham Grade School just announced its sixth new principal in the last five years. One lasted only a few weeks and was replaced just before the school year started.
If you work at West Gresham, this means you've had six different command changes since 2006. Every year, you must re-orient to a new boss. How does that impact your professional development?
More importantly, how does this frequency of change affect the development of our children? I'll let you answer that by remembering your elementary school principal. You probably remember him/her because you only had one, not six.
A principle is a fundamental truth that serves as the foundation for a system of belief or behavior. We all have different principles, but we often find common ground when it comes to the value of education.
I have met the last five principals of West Gresham Grade School. They are fine humans, and from all that I've experienced, they are devoted leaders in education.
So here's my challenge to our newest principal and especially to the Gresham-Barlow School Board: will you commit to leading West Gresham for more than one year?
You can point at budget constraints. You can point at politics. But when all the excuses run dry and you stand before this Scylla, your only weapon left will be your principles. Please don't recycle them like you have your principals.
SummerFest committee may change criteria
The SummerFest committee is pleased again this year as we partner with the city of Troutdale and the West Columbia Gorge Chamber of Commerce to coordinate this much-anticipated event.
We appreciate the community's input about the selection process for the Troutdale Citizen of the Year. With your suggestions in mind, the SummerFest Committee will re-evaluate the criteria for next year's event.
SummerFest emerges form years of rich community traditions. Its roots began 39 years ago as a city-of-Troutdale employee picnic. Today, it begins with a parade of 600 participants (who toss candy to eager onlookers) and continues into the late afternoon with family entertainment, vendor booths and our first ever Ducky Derby! So, 'Try Your Luck, Buy a Duck; Make a Wish, Save a Fish!' and come spend the day with us! (It is never too late to become a sponsor.)
event chairman for SummerFest
president of the West Columbia Gorge Chamber of Commerce.