Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites


Letters to the editor

Mayors urge re-election of Duyck and Terry

Four years ago, we were in the height of the recession with an unemployment rate over 10 percent. Businesses were closing their doors for good and families were going out of work; it felt as if we were in a free-fall. Washington County and its cities began looking for solutions that would resuscitate our local economy. Under the leadership of Chairman Andy Duyck and Commissioner Bob Terry, Washington County streamlined its permitting departments to make it easier for businesses to endure the winds of recession, creating opportunities for our local employers to retain and even create jobs.

It worked. Today, the unemployment rate in Washington County stands at 5.9 percent, nearly half of what it was four years ago. 

Without a robust economic climate, all of our efforts to improve our vital services, such as public safety, water and sewage, and our transportation system, would not be possible. Our county leadership led us through the recovery and we have emerged stronger than ever.

In his “State of the County” address, Duyck underscored the importance of partnerships in our community. Washington County’s success stories are the direct byproduct of the county’s willingness to work with local businesses, nonprofits and other governments. Duyck has been at the epicenter of it all. Since he was elected to serve as chair, he has met with each of the county’s mayors on a monthly basis to discuss the needs of their respective communities and identify ways the county government could support our cities.

Terry has also played an instrumental role in the successes of our county. When constituents in his district were disturbed by the odors at a food composting facility in North Plains, for example, his leadership helped find a solution that best served the local residents. This is the kind of advocacy we should expect from our county officials, and Terry has proven himself to be a true leader for our communities.

In a time when dysfunction has led to government paralysis, Washington County is working together better than ever. The Oregonian’s editorial board couldn’t have said it better when, in their endorsement of Duyck and Terry, they wrote: “Washington County isn’t broken and there’s no reason for voters to try to fix it.”

We, the mayors of Washington County, encourage you to support the direction our community is heading by voting to re-elect Andy Duyck and Bob Terry to the Washington County Board of Commissioners.

Mayor Pete Edison, Banks

Mayor Denny Doyle, Beaverton

Mayor Jeffery Dalin, Cornelius

Mayor Gery Schirado, Durham

Mayor Peter Truax, Forest Grove

Mayor Jerry Willey, Hillsboro

Mayor Ron Shay, King City

Mayor Bill Middleton, Sherwood

Mayor John Cook, Tigard

Mayor Lou Ogden, Tualatin

Duyck has strong record of success

I have lived in Washington County all of my life. I have seen Chairman Andy Duyck serve this county and my community on the Washington County Board of Commissioners since the very beginning, in 1994.

Over the last 20 years, Andy has proven to be a vital asset to the people of this county.

During the recession, our county recovered faster than most other counties in the Portland metropolitan area because of Andy’s commitment to economic growth and fiscal responsibility. In fact, under Chairman Duyck’s leadership, the unemployment rate in Washington County was cut almost in half, an exceptional feat knowing that the statewide unemployment rate still ranks in the top 15 highest states in the country.

Andy Duyck has the skills and the crucial relationships that are integral to bringing everyone together to get things done for Washington County. Vote for Andy Duyck to keep Washington County working.

Benjamin Stadelman

Hillsboro

Amabisca, Furse will govern with fairness, vision

Most of us will be relieved when this current county commission election is behind us. However, we do live in a country that allows for and requires this level of participation to protect our voice. In this election, there is a real reason why so many citizens have been donating their savings and using their spare time to advocate for change.

We expect to have a say in the future of Washington County. Will it continue with even faster development, paving over most of our farmland, creating unbelievable traffic congestion, increasing taxes, and leaving us with just another urbanized area? Or can we listen to others and maintain a sustainable environment that will balance development and natural areas and keep our county a place we can be proud of?

After witnessing recent attempts by specific commissioners to silence organizations and individuals that may not support their agenda, I became concerned. Removing citizens from boards and commissions that do not carry out the letter of their orders is troubling.

I want to give Elizabeth Furse and Allen Amabisca the opportunity to do what they have pledged, and then to hold them accountable to transparency and fairness in shaping our future.

However, no matter the outcome of this election, my expectation is that whoever is elected will govern with fairness and vision. My hope is that the new commission will begin a healing process to represent all citizens and create an environment that allows for involvement and participation.

By continuing the current trend of attempting to silence citizens who may have a different view from those in power, we not only betray our past but we seriously threaten our future.

Lyle Spiesschaert

Forest Grove

Campaign can bring out the best and worst in folks

Election season can bring out the best and worst in candidates. For those who have a record of accomplishment, there is a lot to talk about. For those with little to offer, there is mud to throw.

The difference between Washington County Chairman Andy Duyck and his opponent is striking. Duyck has successfully led Washington County through the economic storm of the last recession, slashing our unemployment rate nearly in half. He has worked diligently to retain jobs and promote business expansion. He has even addressed local needs that are outside the scope of county government, such as committing $10 million to Washington County schools.

Andy Duyck is a leader who delivers for Washington County — more jobs, increased funding for schools and a great quality of life.

In contrast, Allen Amabisca offers us mudslinging. Instead of spending money on TV ads to outline his qualifications and priorities, Amabisca offers false, unsubstantiated charges. If he will spend his campaign money on mudslinging, how do you think he’ll spend your money?

Join me in saying yes to positive results and no to mudslinging — vote to re-elect Washington County Chairman Andy Duyck.

Stuart Hall

Cedar Mill

County should stay on positive path; vote for Terry

The voters of Washington County are faced with an important decision this month. Do we continue on our current path of progress or do we turn back the clock?

If we are to continue to grow responsibly, providing housing and jobs for our citizens while protecting our rural heritage, we need to re-elect County Commissioner Bob Terry. As a long-time businessman, Bob knows the value of hard work and integrity. He knows how to manage tax dollars to provide needed services but still maintain reserves. And he has demonstrated the ability to establish partnerships and work cooperatively with diverse groups. These characteristics have served us well over the last four years.

It is now time for us to re-elect Bob, so he can continue to represent ALL the citizens of Washington County.

Darell and JoAnn Lumaco

Hillsboro

Amabisca, Furse have better grasp on what county needs

I about fell off my tractor while listening on OPB to a debate between my current county commissioner, Bob Terry, and Elizabeth Furse, the challenger. 

Mr. Terry said his proudest accomplishment as commissioner was the improvement in fast-tracking permits and citizen service by the Washington County Land Use & Transportation Department. I would rather have a root canal then apply for permits from Washington County. At least the dentist gives you pain killers! I don’t know any neighbors who don’t feel the same.

To make matters worse, Terry’s campaign mailers to my business claimed credit for the low unemployment in Washington County. Mr. Terry is seriously out of touch with his constituents and has a delusional opinion of his value to our community. My vote is going to Elizabeth Furse, who has committed to protecting our farm and forest land, getting government out of the business of a county events center, and cutting the backroom deals and lack of transparency in current county operations.

Andy Duyck’s campaign sent me a gun rights mailer, which is political pandering at its worst! Photos of shotguns, hunting dogs and tasty pheasants obscure the simple truth that the county commission has almost no impact on our constitutionally-protected rights.

In contrast, very real liquefied natural gas (LNG) speculators from Texas and Asia threatened to take our private property by government condemnation; Chairman Andy Duyck and Commissioner Bob Terry did virtually nothing to help us. County chairman and commission candidates Allen Amabisca and Elizabeth Furse are strong supporters of the Second Amendment and private property rights of farmers, foresters and rural homeowners in Washington County.

Unlike the incumbents, they have taken public positions against LNG pipelines across farms and forests. My vote is going to Amabisca and Furse because you can’t trust elected officials who pander but don’t perform when things get tough. Time for a change!

Paul Sansone

Gales Creek

Travel and tourism benefits all of us

Last week was National Travel and Tourism Week, and the travel and tourism industry has been celebrating the wonder of travel. Festivities were held around the nation from the main streets of small town America to our big cities. Travel provides great benefits to our local economy and strengthens our social and cultural character.

United States residents and international visitors spent $2.1 trillion across the country, contributing more than $130 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues. Travel is among the top 10 employers in 49 states, directly employing about 8 million people at a payroll of $209 billion.

In Oregon, visitors to the state spent over $9.6 billion and directly supported 93,900 jobs.

In 2013, travelers pumped $519 million into cash registers in Washington County, a 5.3 percent increase over 2012. Travel and tourism supports more than 6,000 jobs, almost $30 million in state tax receipts and $9 million in local taxes.

Here in Washington County, travel is not all about tourism. Business travel boosts profits. One study found that every $1 spent on business travel drives nearly $3 in profit — a 300 percent return on investment.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the U.S. travel industry recovered faster than other economic sectors, already restoring 111 percent of the jobs lost to the recession, while the rest of the economy has only recovered 90 percent.

Travel doesn’t just grow our economy and boost our productivity; it connects us as people, keeps us healthy and makes us happy. It introduces us to new friends and brings new ideas to our community.

National Travel and Tourism Week provides an opportunity for us to sit down together and talk about how to responsibly grow this industry that supports so many great things in our lives.

Carolyn E. McCormick

President

Washington County Visitors Association County needs to steer away from ‘economic engine’ approach 

Air is essential to human life. The first breath heralds the beginning of an infant’s life while the last breath marks the end of an individual’s sojourn on this planet. It is now a common medical practice to teach people to focus on their breath to calm anxiety, depression and stress. In short, the air we breathe promotes health and healing.

But what happens when this essential component of life becomes contaminated by chemicals and metals that trigger respiratory problems; when it becomes tainted with carcinogens and other toxic substances; when it becomes polluted with toxins known to lower IQs and contribute to learning and behavioral problems including ADHD, conduct disorder, and antisocial behaviors?

This is the quandary now facing Washington County residents, for recent studies have found air toxics in Hillsboro and the surrounding area to be as much as 120 times above benchmark levels.Washington County takes pride in the “economic engine” approach to development, especially when rationalizing tax breaks to Intel and other corporate global entities.

But what exactly does this phrase mean? The term “engine” brings forth a number of connotations, foremost among them the association with fossil fuel dependent transportation vehicles that are linked with global warming.

And what about the term “economic” — a word associated with money, financial systems, banks, etc.? This combination of words — “economic” and “engine” — evokes the image of a “money making machine.” Sadly, it is this glorification of machines over the greater good that has become one of the highest goals toward which many in Washington County strive.

Those who subscribe to this model often expect to be absolved from environmental responsibility in their misguided belief that job creation and generating profits should take precedence over clean air and water as well as the health and well-being of the community. In the “economic engine” model, the degree to which an individual, business or corporation emulates an inanimate machine has been elevated to the highest good. In the process, aspirations such as promoting educational excellence, environmental sustainability, and caring for vulnerable populations has become secondary to attaining the coveted money making machine status.

In the final analysis, the “economic engine” imagery is bereft of both heart and soul. As such, it represents an archaic, outmoded paradigm — one that poses a threat to the entire community. To remedy this imbalance, it will be necessary to embrace new ideals that promote humane values and a firm commitment to restore and prioritize environmental protection as well as the health and well-being of impacted residents.

Miki Barnes

Banks

Zone change violated the county code

At the Washington County public forum March 24 during a candidate presentation, District 4 County Commissioner Bob Terry said the county does not rezone and redevelop residential property. But this simply isn’t the case.

On Jan. 15, Washington County approved a zone change on two residential lots to general commercial, allowing an expansion of the Mini Cooper sales operation into our residential neighborhood. This is a violation of the County Community Development Code and the comprehensive plan. Yet during the election rhetoric, Bob Terry plays the denial card.

Scores of neighbors testified in the county hearing, and were allowed two minutes each to present testimony. Without reading the submitted written testimony, the county approved the zone change. This is one of the reasons the county process is labeled as a backroom-deal practice, and why I don’t trust that Bob Terry has the community’s interests at heart.

I urge District 4 voters who care about bringing integrity back into our county’s operations to vote for Elizabeth Furse May 20.

David O’Guinn

Portland

Terry has strong history of investing in county and its citizens

I have known and worked with Bob Terry for more than 20 years. Bob is a very unique individual; he is a people person and an astute observer who quickly sizes up the true nature of things. He forms opinions and works with others to find practical solutions. He has tremendous energy and interest in people of all kinds, and has a long history of investing himself in community affairs.

Above all, he is forthright in telling you what he thinks.Washington County is Oregon’s economic leader; the qualities of engagement and leadership that resonate so strongly in Bob are the qualities we need in government. I strongly recommend voters retain Bob as Washington County Commissioner.

Steve Babcock

West Linn



Local Weather

Light Rain

51°F

Forest Grove

Light Rain

Humidity: 96%

Wind: 6 mph

  • 31 Oct 2014

    AM Clouds/PM Sun 57°F 41°F

  • 1 Nov 2014

    Partly Cloudy 59°F 42°F