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Letter to the editor

Things must change with city leadership

To the editor:

The city council and mayor have voted on items they never read which impact the city for years to come. It is the responsibility of the people we elect to read the information in their packet and search for other information needed to make a sound decision.

In the case of undergrounding the utilities in the I-5/214 project, not one of the six council persons or mayor knew what they approved. We cannot have people with strings attached to them and manipulated by staff making decisions for us (the citizens of Woodburn). They cannot just read the recommendation staff gives and vote accordingly.

The blame doesn’t stop there. Staff is hiding information in reports and not putting all the facts in their reports. In this case, the staff did not say one word about the power lines not being underground as the council, mayor and citizens of Woodburn were led to believe was happening by reports over the years of planning.

When we brought this subject up, staff said we did not have the money to do it. It is not the job of staff to make that type of decision, but it is the job of the elected council.

It’s amazing that staff was able to find more than $1 million to underground the power lines on the west side of the railroad tracks on their screwed up Front Street project. So now, we only look at the power lines on the east side. Good job of spending our money!

We should not have people who make bad decisions and are paid hundreds of thousands of dollars employed in our city. One of them was fired. Maybe the person who fired him should look in the mirror and do the same.

Staff also talked about and is very proud that in the transit center/park and ride area the utilities are going to be underground. However, they failed to say where the money for electric car charging stations is coming from.

This council, mayor, city administrator and staff will be remembered for their mismanagement of the biggest project in the city’s history ($70 million). Think of them every time you drive down 214 and see the moved poles and power lines PLUS the new poles that have been put in.

Things must change. We need people with common sense and guts to question staff who are not manipulated with strings.

Mick DeSantis

Woodburn



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