- Lake Oswego Review - Opinion
Don't make cuts to the police
To the Editor:
I could not help but notice the cover article of the Tidings that was in the display on Thursday.
It said that no one knows what the voters who did not cast their ballots think about the police levy. I would bet dollars to donuts they think as I do. I believe the city should fund the police as a top priority out of the general fund instead of as a voluntary taxation bond. I agree wholeheartedly that the developer's fees should be used to train and hire new police officers. West Linn has the highest developer fees in the state. I love our parks but not without the police to keep them safe. Okay, maybe that is a stretch, how about they keep them annoyance free.
When they are not busy with the silly annoying behavior of neighbors who start construction before dawn and barking dogs, they can track down the dirt bags that are stealing from people's garages, breaking into cars and selling drugs. They could also help serve warrants on our ever-growing population of white-collar criminals (for example: the baseball coach who was indicted recently for embezzlement).
Maybe they could also stop a few of the teens who drive too fast in front of Rosemont Ridge Middle School or the hurried commuter who bypasses stopped traffic by going into the bike lane. Maybe they could go back to routinely parking just off the freeway to let all who enter West Linn know that this is a town not to be messed with. We all know not to speed in Lake Oswego. Now the city knows the thoughts of a person who chose to cast a double negative vote on the police levy bond.
No voters can't be heard by city
To the Editor:
In his recent letter to the editor, Gary McVicker echoed a notion that some West Linn residents have been promoting recently that not voting in recent elections was equivalent to voting 'No' on city funding measures.
These same residents (to judge from Mr. McVicker's comments, as well as some of those posted on the Tidings' online bulletin board system) are now expressing their outrage at proposals to stabilize the city's finances through additional fees.
In my opinion, these disaffected residents have absolutely no right to make such complaints; they steadfastly refused to participate in the electoral process, choosing instead to exploit the double-majority law in an attempt to gain an unfair advantage over those of us who conscientiously participate in our community's affairs. Now, these residents must accept the consequences of their misguided actions.
In American society, there is only one surefire way to have your voice heard by elected officials; speak with your ballot. If you don't vote (whether because of apathy or because of some misguided attempt to game the system), your opinion will not be heard in the political process.
If this comes as a shock or a surprise, these residents might want to consider auditing a grade school civics class.
In the May election, 78 percent of West Linn residents who believe in the American political process voted to maintain the level of service which makes our city such a desirable place to live and expressed their willingness to pay the financial costs necessary to do so. This is an overwhelmingly clear mandate for the city manager and the city council, and they should feel entirely justified in implementing alternate strategies to ensure the city collects sufficient revenues to provide the services voters desire.
Mr. McVicker (and those who share his opinions) had their opportunity to participate in this civic discussion, and they chose not to do so. If they are dissatisfied with the ultimate results of their flawed non-voting strategy, perhaps they'll consider modifying their behavior the next time ballots arrive in their mailboxes.