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Letters to the Editor: Oct. 21, 2016

Carleson puts needs of Hillsboro above her own

As a woman in a professional leadership role, I am disappointed to see the Hillsboro Tribune overlook an extremely qualified candidate in Aron Carleson when they endorsed her opponent in Hillsboro’s mayoral race.

In place of analyzing the candidates’ policy ideas, the Tribune chose to examine each candidate’s background. Even here, they were off the mark. They failed to acknowledge the extent of Carleson’s leadership experience at the Hillsboro Schools Foundation, which extends back to 2003. After establishing both candidates as “more than qualified for the job,” the Tribune opted to back Callaway for his “leadership style” and “sensible, middle-of-the-road ideas,” while failing to find any fault in Carleson’s leadership and ideas.

This opaque decision process left me confused as to what other motivations may be behind the conclusion to endorse Callaway. If the Tribune cannot substantiate their endorsement with anything more than perceived “style” and impressions of a “we before I” approach to governing, then perhaps they should examine their decision to endorse this race at all.

In my experience, Aron Carleson has always put the needs of the Hillsboro community above her own. She is the best choice for mayor.

Annette Campista, Hillsboro

Carleson ‘clear choice for Hillsboro’ mayor

I am a local activist and I write to express my discontent with your endorsement of Mr. Callaway for mayor. I believe you have made a mistake by not considering Aron Carleson’s long track record, which serves to prove that she is the most qualified person to serve our city as mayor.

Aron is the clear choice for Hillsboro because of her ability to work with all types of people and institutions. Her genuine interest for our students and public schools, are just two of many reasons to have endorsed Aron.

Her track record has demonstrated her true interest for our city’s small businesses, and our local economy. Hillsboro is a growing city, and we need a mayor who understands and will ensure our economic prosperity in the future, but mainly we need a mayor who will stand behind our small businesses.

I met Aron when I was a freshman in college. Ever since she has been a true inspiration of civic leadership, and has become a wonderful mentor. For this and many more reasons I believe that Aron is a candidate of the people. She is kind, genuine and an exemplary leader in our community.

Aron is the clear choice for Hillsboro!

Eddie Bolaños, Hillsboro

Future of Hillsboro ‘more than just white men’

I was shocked to read your endorsement for Hillsboro mayor. If you were to spend any reasonable amount of time researching the candidates you would have reached the same conclusion that I have: Aron Carleson is the outstanding best choice for Hillsboro’s future.

The lack of diversity among your endorsed city candidates was also reflective of a time I hoped our city had moved past. We are on the verge of potentially electing our first woman president and the editorial board couldn’t find ONE female candidate worthy of your endorsement? We need a leader that is passionate about our city and its residents. Hillsboro is a vibrant city that serves someone that’s spend their entire life working for us and our children’s future. There is nothing bad to say about the candidate that you endorsed but he is simply more of the same. We need Aron Carleson to bring us out of the past century and into the future. Our future is more than just white men.

Nancy Adamou, Reedville

Carleson has ‘chops’ for city’s mayor job

We wholeheartedly agree with the Tribune’s assessment that it is difficult to choose between the two outstanding candidates running in the Hillsboro mayoral race. The city hasn’t had such a tough choice to make for this office for decades.

After weighing the qualifications, experience, foresightedness and demeanor of both Aron and Steve, we chose to back Aron in the Hillsboro mayoral election. We encourage our fellow Hillsboro voters to do the same. As your editorial staff so correctly stated, “Carleson has the chops for the job, surely, and would be good at it.”

Ralph and Marilynn Helzerman, Hillsboro

Carleson best choice for Hillsboro mayor

I’m writing to voice my support for Aron Carleson for mayor of Hillsboro. As a former Hillsboro city councilor, Aron and I worked closely together.

Accordingly, I was shocked and disappointed with the hasty, ill-researched decision of the Tribune to not endorse her. One needs to just look at Aron’s wide list of bi-partisan endorsements to see how she will be able to successfully partner with other elected leaders and agencies as she leads Hillsboro. Those who have seen her in action know that Aron is the clear choice. I can also personally attest to Aron’s leadership style, in particular when dealing with conflicting opinions on council. Aron and I didn’t always agree, but she was the only councilor to reach out and ask me how we could work together and reach a consensus. She wanted the best solutions for Hillsboro, and recognized that even my dissenting opinion had merit.

On a personal note, Aron always impressed me with her knowledge, extensive research and the sheer effort she put into every decision. I hope voters will look past the ill-thought-out decision of the Tribune and decide not to perpetuate the Good Old Boys network visibly at work in Hillsboro leadership, and elect Aron.

Megan Braze, Forest Grove

Tribune demonstrates ‘1950s mentality’

I would like to voice my extreme concerns to the Hillsboro Tribune on the 1950s mentality of only endorsing male candidates in this 2016 race.

As an active community member and resident for over 20 years, I find it offensive that our city’s paper will only endorse men when we have had an abundance of women who have given countless hours, days, months and years of their lives to the service of Hillsboro, these women are those that you have ignored by not supporting in this election. Example: Why choose to endorse a candidate for mayor at all if the Tribune’s editorial board feels that both candidates have such similar credentials? As a voter, this makes me suspicious of the Tribune more than anything else.

Here is what I would like to see instead of watching the Tribune endorse a candidate that they clearly feel is equally qualified to the candidate that they didn’t: a true list of action and accomplishments from our mayoral candidates ... because the factual action is what I am voting for.

The Tribune had no issue with soliciting advertising for your paper from me this summer ... but what if I chose to run for office? Would you support me? I think not based on the Tribune’s choices of late.

Hillsboro is growing in leaps and bounds and with the huge effort on equality and inclusion overall (this includes many corporate supporters for Hillsboro) I do not believe that it is wise to so blatantly ignore such a large percentage of current and future community members.

I urge you to join where Hillsboro’s future is, rather than where it used to be.

Leslee Hansen, Hillsboro

Paper ‘undersold’ Carleson in endorsement

In the recent endorsement of Steve Callaway for mayor of Hillsboro, the Tribune undersold Steve’s opponent, Aron Carleson, as a candidate, community member and a professional. The authors failed to accurately represent Aron’s background as the current Executive Director of the Hillsboro Schools Foundation, a role she has served in since 2007 in addition to her position as President from 2003-2006.

Additionally, they noted that Steve became council president after Aron “left” the city council. In actuality, Aron ended her tenure because she reached her term limit. These errors of omission could lead readers to inaccurately believe that Aron is less involved in Hillsboro’s local government and is subsequently less qualified to be mayor.

Throughout the entire piece, the authors only elaborate upon one policy difference between the two candidates — the would-be annexation of Aloha. This single policy radically oversimplifies all the issues and opportunities Hillsboro faces in its future as a growing and diverse city.

Finally, suggesting that Steve’s ideas are “sensible,” while Aron’s are “commendable,” is incredibly condescending. It also seems inappropriate to endorse a candidate based on “leadership style,” an unquantifiable characteristic that is not substantiated by the evidence provided within the article. The word choice surrounding the candidates differentiates them far more than any of the policy differences discussed.

I’m sure that Steve, too, “has the chops for the job,” but that apparently was implied?

Daniela Lopez, Hillsboro

Sollman best person to fill HD 30 seat

As a former state representative from House District 30, I have to respectfully disagree with your editorial decision to endorse Dan Mason over Janeen Sollman in the race for this seat.

Janeen Sollman is the only candidate with a proven record of leadership in our community. She’s demonstrated her commitment to the greater Hillsboro area time and again as a 24-year resident, an eight-year school board member, a 19-year employee at a local education tech firm and a longtime community volunteer. Her opponent, however well-intentioned, lacks both Janeen’s community roots and demonstrated ability to get things done.

Case in point: the recently released state report cards on our public schools show significant gains in student performance for Hillsboro, especially in English. More than 55 percent of our schools achieved above-average growth for the typical student. These figures attest to Janeen’s ability to make the right decisions when it comes to dealing with declining budgets, technology deficits and other factors that bear on student performance.

I have no doubt Janeen will exercise the same exceptional judgment on education at the state level and on other issues integral to our economic and civic future.

David W. Edwards, Hillsboro