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Citizens should sign the recall petitions

An editorial by Tidings’ staff (“Recall petitions wrongly used”) and a letter by Jim Mattis (“Don’t sign the recall petition”) in Dec. 19 Tidings, both of which, in stark contrast to reality, portrayed the subjects of recall petitions, namely Mayor John Kovash and Councilors Jody Carson, Jenni Tan and Mike Jones as very admirable public servants not deserving recall. The Tidings and Mattis therefore advise citizens not to sign recall petitions.

Another letter by Tom and Lorie Griffith (“Recall is a low in a year of highs for West Linn”) in Dec. 26 Tidings and letters in Jan. 2 Tidings by Kim Lippert (“Jenni Tan is doing a great job”) and Dean Suhr (“Here is a recall alternative”), likewise advise citizens not to sign recall petitions.

The Tidings, Mattis, the Griffiths, Lipert and Suhr are all very wrong. The above council members, based on their numerous injurious and costly pursuits and inactions certainly deserve to be recalled and recall petitions signed.

Jim Mattis is a former non-commendable city councilor succeeded by equally non-commendable Councilor Jenni Tan. The only commendable councilor who served under Mayor Kovash and under former Mayor King was Teri Cummings. She was truly dedicated to serve the best interests of West Linn’s residents but was constantly interrupted, stifled and opposed by an offensive ruling council majority comprised of Kovash, Carson, Tan and Burgess. Both Burgess and Kovash were especially very insidious in continually interrupting and disparaging Cummings. Burgess was replaced by Jones who is also very wrongly oriented.

Kovash, Carson, Tan and Jones have, by far, not served the best interests of West Linn taxpayers and ratepayers but have pursued entirely unwarranted and costly policies, actions and certain inactions that have very negatively impacted West Linn and its residents. They even filed a ballot measure asking voters to approve an 18 percent water rate increase, but then withdrew it. They will surely put it on the ballot again. They claim it’s necessary to fund needed waterline improvements and replacements. That’s utterly false. There has been and remains plenty of money to have funded needed waterline improvements and replacements.

The water fund’s ending fund balance through the first quarter of fiscal year 2014 is $1,994,321. That covers a reserve requirement of $344,000, leaving a remainder of $1,650,321 to fund immediate replacement of deteriorated waterlines.

Large ending fund balances in the water fund have occurred repeatedly for years. They’ve been more than ample to have replaced all deteriorated water system infrastructure, but have been inexcusably used for whatever the city otherwise desired. Also, the water fund’s annual revenue has been averaging over $3 million per year. So it’s obvious there hasn’t been any shortage of money to cover costs of water system operations and costs of improvements and replacements of waterlines. Inexcusably the latter hasn’t been done.

Kovash, Carson, Tan and Jones have sat on the budget committee. Obviously they’ve been derelict by failing to see that the large ending fund balances in the water fund were used properly to fund improvements and replacements of waterlines.

This bunch has further negatively impacted many West Linn residents by outrageously and foolishly overturning the planning commission’s admirable disapproval of enlargement of the Lake Oswego water treatment plant in West Linn.

There isn’t room to describe many other improper actions and pursuits by the above named mayor and councilors. They certainly deserve to be recalled and citizens should sign the recall petitions.

Bob Thomas is a resident of West Linn.



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