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Readers' Letters

Try running for office

After listening to some people and reading articles and letters in the newspaper, I think that I understand where the proponents of the city council recall petition are coming from. They have politically not been able to change the current policies regarding the Lake Oswego pipeline and the upgrade to the existing pump station. In addition, they feel like they have not had a fair hearing in front of the city council.

They also highlight some procedural errors made by the mayor and council and think that those errors should disqualify them from holding office. Because of all of this, they have decided that the only option open to them is to instigate a recall.

I disagree with that action.

During the Dodd’s administration, others and I had serious differences of opinion with many of their policies. They also made procedural errors, some of great magnitude. I do not remember anyone trying to instigate a recall. However, some of us did run for office in hopes that we could make the changes that we felt needed to be done. Eventually new people were elected. Some of those policies were changed or reversed.

I believe that the best way to have changes made is to stand for office and if the majority of voters agree with you, your goals can be met and a disruptive and expensive recall can be avoided. I encourage the proponents of the recall petition to take that route. Please do not sign the recall petition.

Grant W. Oakes

West Linn

‘Council rewrote history’

For any West Linn voters wondering about our city council’s commitment to open government, I point to the Jan. 13 council meeting, which can be watched at the following: westlinnoregon.gov/meetings. Be forewarned: the orchestration of convoluted lawyering and council stonewalling has reached a new low, even for West Linn.

The main item on the agenda was the city’s requirement to address problems the State Land Use Board of Appeals found with the original approval of LOT. One problem was the mayor’s ex parte actions and refusal to provide substantive information when questioned. I watched the proceedings expecting a mayoral mea culpa and a quick rubberstamp of the LOT approval. What I got was a lot more disturbing.The meeting is a bit difficult to follow, so here is the run-down: First, the mayor recuses himself at the direction of the city attorney since it was his statements that provided fodder for the appeal. Then, 223 pages of citizen testimony was expunged from the record, deemed irrelevant by city staff. Further, when people attempted to speak, they were informed that their testimony not required, and thus not allowed. Finally, as a coup de grace Machiavelli would have envied, the council voted that the mayor’s admitted ex parte contact in 2013 was retroactively no longer ex parte since he was removed from the decision process in a year after the fact. The city council rewrote history to protect their own. In fact, it is apparent that the councilors were reading from prepared scripts as they made motion after motion and voted en bloc. Once again, the public was shut out. Was this all legal? Probably. Was it ethical? You can decide. But more importantly, do you want this to be business as usual in West Linn?

Yvonne Davis

West Linn

Writer uses insults

Once again, he (Bob Thomas) has unleashed his mighty pen. His Jan. 9 Citizen’s View article, “Citizens should sign the recall petition,” was full of this traditional use of invective and personal insults. Reading the piece reminded one of the great line from Macbeth: “Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

In past articles Mr. Thomas has boasted of being a professional engineer. That being so, he must have been a mechanical engineer. Because, as the old saying among engineers goes, “Civil engineers build things and mechanical engineers build things to blow them up.”

L.K. Mays

West Linn

Care for those before us

I am a 17-year-old senior at La Salle in Milwaukie. I’m writing to you today because I would like to express ideas on caring for the elderly of our community.

We need to take care of those who took care of us.

The federal government plays a large role in the lives of the elderly as they deal with Social Security, federal assistance, Medicaid, Medicare, etc. Changes should be made within these programs so that the elderly of our nation can easily obtain health care and support.

The Older Americans Act was introduced in 1965 and has been since altered to focus on providing long-term care services for the memory-impaired, disabled or poor elders of America. The act attempts to keep people out of elder care institutions, which can be costly and not always the best care.

This is just one way that our government has helped out and made a difference in the lives of the elderly.The most important place where elders can be helped is right here at the local level. It is way easier to make a difference locally than nationally.

Simply volunteering at an elderly home for a couple hours can make a difference. I had the opportunity of being able to spend time at an elder’s home and perform service and I loved it. I realized that the elders of our community are lonely. Sometimes all they need is someone to sit and talk with them, and that should not be so much to ask for.

Someday we’ll grow old and want someone who will care for us, and that is important to keep in mind.

We are responsible for caring for the generation before us and we must take action now and care for those who cared for us.

Kenna Murphy

Boring

Make county safe for kids

Children’s Center stands in awe of the loyalty of our donors and volunteers who are committed to helping our community’s most vulnerable young citizens. You continue to stand up on behalf of children who have suffered from abuse and neglect — children who cannot stand up for themselves. It is only because of the support of our neighbors and friends that Children’s Center was able to provide nearly 450 medical evaluations in 2013 alone for children who were suspected victims of abuse or neglect. More than a third of the children referred were also seen for concerns of drug exposure — a rising problem in our community.

There will be many resolutions made and broken at the start of a new year. But I want you to know, that because of Clackamas County’s commitment, Children’s Center is resolved to shine the light on child abuse as a first step in keeping kids safe. Hope will continue to live at Children’s Center bolstered by the care and compassion our community shows for vulnerable children.

We are honored to stand beside each of you — friends, advocates, donors and volunteers — as we invest in the safety, healing and justice of our children. As Nelson Mandela stated: “Safety and security don’t just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.”

Please feel free to contact me if you are interested in being part of our 2014 initiatives to make Clackamas County safe for all children. You can also learn more on our website at childrenscenter.cc.

Barbara Peschiera

Children’s Center executive director

Oregon City



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