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Sollman is best choice for school board

This is a trying time for our schools, and the upcoming Hillsboro School Board election on May 21 is pivotal. We need the right leadership to guide our district and make sure all of our students have access to a quality public education.

Janeen Sollman, the current chair of the Hillsboro School District Board of Directors, is the best choice for Position 1. She has worked tirelessly to engage our community in public education and ensure we do what is best for our students. Janeen has demonstrated that she is passionate and fair-minded, and understands that being on the school board is a non-partisan position.

Her challenger, Richard Vial, shows no such qualities. During this difficult time, it is vital that we have fair and balanced leadership. It seems to the informed observer that Vial is running for the school board for two reasons: to push his own agenda regarding the South Cooper Mountain neighborhood’s desire to secede from the district, and to further his own political career — evidenced by the fact that he unsuccessfully attempted to run for the open state representative position for House District 26 in the last election.

We need a proven, goal-oriented leader, not someone focused on a single issue and using our students as a political steppingstone. Make the right choice. Vote Janeen Sollman for schools by May 21.

Lisa Allen

Hillsboro

Oregon’s businesses need skilled workers

Key to the success of Oregon businesses and the state’s economy is an important bill winding its way through the Oregon Senate — Senate Bill 498. This bill provides increased funding for eligible school districts committed to including career and technical education (CTE) programs such as engineering and agricultural sciences into their school curricula.

SB 498 would also strengthen Oregon businesses by developing a highly-skilled work force that has the skills to compete and succeed in the global marketplace. Currently, too many Oregon students are not graduating from high school on time with skills that make them ready to work.

CTE programs provide students with technical skills and real-world learning opportunities. They also help make education relevant for our students, to encourage them to graduate on time and ready for college and a career.

Let us invest in a bill that works for our students: SB 498.

Katie Riley

Chairwoman, Children’s Opportunity Fund Initiative of Washington County

Fair board trying to improve grounds, event

The April 19 letter, “Boosters will not be silenced,” illustrates why it was necessary for the Washington County Fair Board to pass a resolution explaining that the Washington County Fairground Boosters do not represent the fair or fair board.

In 2009 and 2010, Washington County held a public forum and invited all to attend and help us decide the future of our fairgrounds. Since that time, the fair board has steadily moved forward to implement the fairgrounds master plan. The actions taken include keeping the fair admission free, modernizing and repairing some facilities and removing others, improving attractions as well as animal displays and safety. Most of these actions have brought nothing but criticism from the boosters, although the attendance of over 100,000 guests annually speaks to the success of the improvements.

Boosters have even gone so far as to use the fair event as a forum to disparage the fair board, and have attempted to harass these volunteer fair board members in their places of business — all the while hiding behind a veil of inclusiveness.

In the booster letter, the fair board is once again disparaged for allowing an air show on the date of the annual fair. This is an event that is separate from the fair, and neither the county nor the fair board have any control over it. Instead of complaining about what is, the boosters should be working cooperatively to help create a safe fair for both livestock and attendees. The fair board welcomes constructive participation from anyone.

The action of the fair board does not silence anyone, nor does it change the structure of the boosters. It is only an acknowledgment of the action already taken by the boosters themselves when they changed their name from “Fair Boosters” to “Fairground Boosters,” thereby showing that they do not support the fair event or the fair board.

It seems that if the resolution of the fair board stating that the boosters do not represent them was a final divorce, then the actions of the boosters to change their name was the filing of the initial divorce papers!

I am a volunteer appointed to the fair board by the commissioners of this county, and find it appalling to have Lyle Spiesschaert continually attack myself and this board for putting in our time to make this community and our fair a better place for our children.

Scott Nelson

Washington County Fair Board Member

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