Letters to the Editor
- Forest Grove News-Times - Opinion
Response to school board recall is positive, Sharing the rural road goes both ways, Election is important to city
Response to school board recall is positive
In our efforts over the past two months to attain the 1,616 signatures necessary to recall Anna Tavera-Weller and Terry Howell, we have met well over a thousand people and visited over 2,500 homes.
By the time you read this, we will have collected just over 1,200 signatures, with three weeks of collection time remaining.
Most of those whom we meet are friendly and encouraging, while those who disagree respectfully decline to sign the petitions. We always remain polite and respectful of the opinions of those in opposition.
Occasionally, we meet a citizen who expresses hostility regarding the recall drive. In an effort to understand their positions, we began attempting a respectful dialog, asking why they were so angry. After all, the recall effort is not a personal attack, but an effort to have the voices of the electorate heard.
All of the school board members are volunteers, just like the volunteers collecting petition signatures. To be sure, we have a great respect for anyone who volunteers their valuable time in an attempt to improve our kids' education, even though we may not agree with their choices and the decisions that affect our community.
As it turns out, many of the people we've encountered believe that the Terry Howell whose name is listed on our petition is the owner of a tree farm located northwest of Forest Grove. This is not the case. Terry Howell, the tree-farm owner, actually signed the petition weeks ago, and has graciously given us permission to mention his name in this op-ed.
Once we learned that there may be some confusion, we started informing folks that the two men are indeed not the same person.
Time after time, people were quickly relieved to hear that we were not directing our efforts toward the tree-farm owner, and were happy to sign. Many of us wonder what effect this may have had on the election itself when board member Terry Howell initially took office.
Tree-farmer Terry seems quite popular in our district. He may just have a future in public service!
If you are interested in other ways of helping to improve education in our district, please consider attending the Forest Grove School Citizens Advisory meetings. More information about this group can be found on Facebook.
Sharing the rural road goes both ways
Dear joggers and bicyclists of Forest Grove.
This summer we've heard of a number of incidents of bicyclists being hit by cars, some resulting in the deaths of those riding their bikes.
While these incidents haven't occurred within Forest Grove, I believe that it is only a matter of time before we're faced with the same outcome.
I live in a rural part of town, and regularly drive down Stringtown Road in order to come and go from home.
This road seems to draw an inordinate number of both bicyclists and joggers, and yet I believe that it is one of the least safe roads on which one can participate in these activities in Forest Grove.
Stringtown Road (as well as other nearby roads) has no bike lanes, and in fact has only a few inches of crumbly asphalt before one could easily fall or slip into the deep trenches on the side of the road.
A number of hills on this road make it nearly impossible (even if driving below the speed limit, which very few people do, in my observation) to see a jogger or bicyclist who has reached the top of the hill prior to the car doing the same.
The same theory applies to going around corners, when the sun goes down, and when it comes up. This makes for an incredibly dangerous environment for those who, I recognize, are simply trying to enjoy the beauty that Forest Grove has to offer.
I believe that we all have a responsibility to use caution when driving, but with so many factors being uncontrollable on the rural roads of Forest Grove, I ask that those considering a race, ride or jog on these roads plan carefully and realize that these roads were intended for cars whose drivers may not be expecting an individual or pack of bicyclists/joggers at the top of the next hill.
Please also remember that traffic rules apply to those on two wheels as much as they do to those on four.
I would much prefer to prevent a tragedy than face one.
Election is important to city
The election to recall three members of the Cornelius City Council, Mayor Neal Knight and Councilors Jamie Minshall and Mari Gottwald, is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 27.
Ballots will be mailed out Sept. 12.
The timing is short and hopefully voters will react quickly and return their ballots as soon as possible.
Thanks to all the voters who signed the petitions. The petitioners collected over 600 signatures, which were well over the required 391.
Now the voters need to come forward with their ballots to decide the issue. This election is really important for the city of Cornelius.