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Letters to the editor for Sept. 7, 2012

Finally, someone who understands the needs of East Multnomah County

I have lived in Troutdale for 32 years and have known Scott Hansen for more than 20 of those years. I have worked with him professionally and assisted him with some of his volunteer work.

I have seen him tackle difficult problems and devote the time and leadership necessary to create positive solutions.

We have some challenges in East County. Schools are suffering, jobs are diminishing and greater public safety is needed.

Scott Hansen is the right person to attack these and other problems.

He grew up, raised a family and lives in East County. He has had a business here for more than 20 years. He has served for many years on a variety of local boards and committees helping to resolve local issues.

For me, the best reason he is the right person for Senate District 25 is not his many qualifications; it is because he really cares about what happens in East County.

My long association with him has allowed me to see his personal attributes. Do you want someone representing us who:

• Is committed to bettering East County?

• Has the highest moral and personal integrity?

• Does the right thing for the right reason?

If so, join me in voting for Scott Hansen for Senate District 25.

Dr. G. DeWin Harris

Troutdale

Smaller government is better government

This year, more than ever before, voters are faced with a stark clash of cultures. No, it's not Republicans vs. Democrats. It's big, bloated government vs. smaller, more efficient government.

Yes, it's really this simple. When I became politically aware, some 55 years or so ago, there were 172 million Americans. Today, the Census Bureau says there are 313 million.

In 1957, it cost about $4,500 (adjusted dollars) per capita to support federal, state and local government. In 2004, the last year for which I have figures, it cost about $12,500 per capita, and there are indications that since President Obama (the last three years), the cost of federal government has doubled. If true, that would put today's per capita figure up to almost $20,000, or just more than four times as much.

We're constantly advised to think globally and act locally, so when thinking about the runaway cost of government, the local solution is to vote for candidates and issues promising to lower that cost, and/or vote for the candidates in opposition to those who are adding to it. Problem, meet solution.

No, this isn't about advocating for either party, or even advocating conservative vs. liberal. This is about advocating for common sense. Just give us cheaper government, less government, or both if possible.

George Schneider

Gresham

Gresham is a strong, close-knit community

In his op-ed of Aug. 31 ("Gresham's voting process could lead to civil rights lawsuit"), John Kilian asks how we would finish the sentence “Gresham is…”

I would like to offer the following answer:

• Gresham is a unified community with strong neighborhood spirit and history of working together to solve common challenges.

• Gresham is the kind of place where anyone who wants to contribute is welcome to participate in city affairs through a variety of channels.

• Gresham is eager to invite anyone with energy and passion for the community and a willingness to give of themselves to become an active voice in the community.

• Gresham is a proud, team-oriented place where the community turned out in droves to raise money for family members of the Gresham Nationals Little League team to go to the World Series.

• Gresham is a roll-up-your-sleeves town where a newly hired police chief shoveled the parking lot at city hall, clearing a pathway for emergency vehicles during an epic snowstorm.

• Gresham is a help-your-neighbor kind of place where one community member literally gave another one of his kidneys to save her life.

• Gresham is a place where Kim Pyung Sook, an abandoned orphan of the Korean War, can be adopted by a loving family and grow up to become Gresham City Councilor Lori Stegmann.

• Gresham is an active place where if you’re walking down the street, you’re likely to run into the mayor or a city councilor, and where, when you meet someone, you might get hugged, definitely not mugged.

• Gresham is honest, hardworking people who are true to our roots, expecting little in return for our efforts other than to play a role in making the community a better place.

• Gresham is an authentic community that doesn’t stand on ceremony; we’re full of smart people who will not stand for being torn apart by arbitrary lines drawn on a map.

• Gresham is a strong community, more closely knit than Mr. Kilian would have you believe. We’re all on the same team, and we’ll continue to be when we work together as one city, one Gresham.

Joan Albertson

2011-12 Charter Review Committee

Gresham



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