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Don't tolerate attacks on public servants

“Those who plead their cause in the absence of an opponent can invent to their heart’s content, can pontificate without taking into account the opposite point of view and keep the best arguments for themselves, for aggressors are always quick to attack those who have no means of defence.” (Source: Christine de Pizan, “Der Sendbrief vom Liebesgott,” translated, “The Letter of the God of Love.”)

Recently, activist attorney J. Kevin Hunt unleashed a vicious attack against two of our finest city leaders—Mayor Doug Neeley and City Manager David Frasher “Oregon City petition: It’s time to fight City Hall,” Aug 15). These attacks were shameful and should not be tolerated by the citizens of Oregon City—much less printed in our local newspapers.

So, why did Kevin Hunt start swinging so wildly at Neeley and Frasher? Because they believe this ballot measure is poorly constructed and potentially misleading to Oregon City voters. For this, Hunt launched his barrage of vitreous verbiage against these two public servants. In one subsequent press release, Hunt brought up election-violation charges that had been filed against Frasher while he was city manager in Grants Pass. But, what Hunt irresponsibly neglected to include in his report was that Frasher was fully exonerated in the matter.

Furthermore, just like our mayor and city manger, many other respected leaders in our community have serious concerns about this measure. For example, the Oregon City Chamber of Commerce and the Oregon City Business Alliance both oppose this measure. If passed, it will have serious and long-lasting negative implications for economic growth and jobs in Oregon City.

This measure is being pitched by proponents as our “right to vote,” but in reality, it is an attempt by Hunt and his activist friends (which may include recalled former City Commissioner Jim Nicita) to leverage public controversy to thwart future (and, perhaps, current) urban-renewal projects, to circumvent our trusted elected leaders, and to close the door on potential investments in Oregon City.

Mr. Hunt was recently invited to attend a public business meeting to explain his rationale for this measure, but he declined to attend. Strangely, none of the other co-petitioners would attend either. More strangely, neither Hunt nor any of the other co-petitioners were able to recommend any other person from their group to attend the meeting. But, strangest of all, J. Kevin Hunt had no problem at all taking wild potshots at our mayor and city manager from behind the pages of our local newspaper. This is weak and reflects poorly on the group and the intent of this measure.

Let’s send a strong message to Hunt and the rest of his activist lawyers to stop agitating and causing disharmony and dysfunction in Oregon City. Vote no on Measure 3-407.

Robb Crocker is a downtown business owner in Oregon City.



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