Ed Zumwalt, in his letter printed Dec. 25, may be advocating something, but I am not sure what that is.

He lauds the city managers as, “... good guys, gentlemen,” and then decries the fact that the decisions are in the hands of those same city managers. Does he believe the councilors have no standing? They appoint the city manager, of course. Does he support the city manager or City Council? He takes issue with city planners. He has no standing to do that. He is neither a city manager nor a councilor.

Most importantly, if the present system is flawed, does he propose an alternative? He does not.

So, anyone who might eat Ed Zumwalt’s cookin’, would find it pretty thin gruel — not much to sustain a civic government. I found neither enlightenment nor direction in his communication, only noise.

Lester Garrison


Political agendas obfuscate the obvious

As a regular contributor, I try to avoid submissions that appear to be arguments between readers.

A few weeks ago I made an exception by responding to a letter by Kent Lloyd of Gladstone in which he argued that a billboard on I-205 questioning the healthcare law was “racist.” The sign included photos of President Obama, Gov. John Kitzhaber, Sen. Jeff Merkely and Congressman Kurt Schrader because they all blindly supported the law.

In his letter Mr. Lloyd noted the importance of looking beneath the surface of what one sees, however interpreting those deeper messages isn’t possible if one has preconceived notions or a strongly biased viewpoint. All of us can recall situations when someone has complicated a simple statement or message to fit their own agenda.

As a longtime student of history, it’s troubling for me to see that regardless of an issue, people often fail to objectively reach conclusions. When submitting my letter I expected that Mr. Lloyd would respond the following week with a twisted interpretation of my words, just as he had misinterpreted the billboard. I wasn’t surprised when he responded, or that he failed to provide solid facts when attempting to refute the following statements in my letter: “Given the state of the economy in 2010, passage of the massive program was poorly timed, and promises that it would stimulate the economy were empty rhetoric.”

I followed that by writing, “How many times must society be reminded that good intentions or promises by politicians are often recipes for failure?” Mr. Lloyd’s response also failed to address my main point: His use of the “race card” to discredit the billboard was flawed.

Hopefully many of the readers who saw the billboard are not fooled by his biased interpretation of its simple powerful message.

Les Poole


We welcome submissions from readers on local issues for our Opinion page. Please send your thoughts by noon Friday to Raymond Rendleman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Keep submissions under 400 words; longer submissions will be considered for Community Soapboxes. Submissions may be edited for length, grammar, libel and appropriate taste. Letters must be accompanied by a full name, a telephone number and street address for verification purposes. Readers are also invited to call 503-546-0742 with story ideas and comments.

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