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Kudos to Parrish and compost bill banning site near schools


Though Rep. Julie Parrish (R-West Linn, Tualatin) got slammed recently in Willamette Week as being “blunt” and “outspoken” and rated amongst the worst Portland-area lawmakers, we see Parrish in a different light.

Parrish works hard to serve her community and those who live in it. From veterans, to mental health, to schools, Parrish tackles issues that hit close to home.

Most notably Parrish took up the cause of residents in the Stafford triangle who were opposing a proposed composting facility. S&H Landscape Supplies & Recycling was looking to build a compost facility and land mining close to two public schools.

At the urging of Parrish and state Sen. Richard Devlin, D-Tualatin, a composting bill working through the system was amended to prohibit the construction of any compost disposal site within 1,500 feet of a school.

The proposed S&H facility, at 3036 SW Borland Road, was slated to be constructed near Stafford Primary and Athey Creek Middle schools, and just 400 feet from Athey Creek’s soccer field.

Residents were fearful of noise, dust, odor, traffic, water contamination and potentially harmful health problems stemming from the facility.

On June 26, the governor signed the bill, successfully blocking the compost facility in Stafford — a huge win in the eyes of Stafford residents. Although we hope S&H will find a suitable and profitable use for the site, we agree that composting facilities do not belong next to schools.

The compost bill is not Parrish’s only success this session. Parrish led a celebration proclamation in honor of West Linn’s 100 anniversary and even honored long-time West Linn resident and advocate Alice Richmond for her service to the community.

On the harder side, she helped pass a bill to improve children’s vision screening in public schools; helped pass a bill that allows the Oregon Department of Revenue to go after corporations that have their companies set up in tax shelters countries to avoid paying state taxes; helped pass a bill letting veterans moving to Oregon be immediately considered “in-state” residents, which will bring GI dollars to Oregon; as well as helped with bills introduced on midwife licensure to campaign finance reform.

So though Parrish does not fit the stereotypical politician mold, maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe it’s a good thing she is “outspoken” and “blunt.” We need new voices and new ways of thinking at the Capitol and Rep. Julie Parrish definitely has a different point of view.