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Letters to the editor

Letters published Oct. 21, 2016

FILE PHOTO - Letters to the editor

Nancy Ward is the right choice

To the people of Scappoose, Columbia River People’s Utility District, Subdivision 1: You have an extremely important decision to make on Nov. 8.

Nancy Ward filed for the seat as director for Subdivision 1 of the PUD, which incorporates the Scappoose area.

Ms. Ward has never before run for public office. I believe she has decided to do so because of the continuing contention on the PUD board.

The PUD has millions of dollar in lawsuits filed against it, for which the ratepayers will most likely end up paying. Special Districts Association of Oregon (SDAO), will no longer insure the PUD nor represent them in lawsuits — thereby forcing the PUD to find other, more expensive insurance and attorneys.

When claims are made by homeowners for destroyed equipment, the father of a PUD director makes the decision on whether or not to pay this claim. I still cannot believe that one. Yet it happened. Ms. Ward is semi-retired and has lived in the Scappoose area for the last 10 years. She is currently the president of Clean Columbia County and secretary of Columbia County Sustainable Action for a Green Environment. I have worked with Nancy Ward for a few years now on different projects. I have always found her quite willing to listen to all sides, make intelligent decisions, and complete everything she sets out to accomplish. She always does her own background work and comes to her own conclusion after much consideration. Nancy Ward would be an excellent director for PUD, Subdivision 1. I truly wish she lived in my voting district. However, Ms. Ward’s opponent, Debbie Reed, is a different story. Reed claims she wants to end lawsuits but is a litigant in a $400,000 personal lawsuit filed against her and her husband, Mark Reed, (candidate for mayor of Scappoose) for making false accusations at a public PUD meeting and throughout the city of Scappoose. A deposition given by a family member appears to substantiate the slander suit. In order to save her political face, Ms. Reed resorted to making further disparaging remarks about this family member.

May I also remind you — Debbie Reed and Mark Reed have hired Craig Marquardo (see “The case for Mark Reed” in this week’s letters) to work on their campaign. Marquardo was convicted of election board fraud in 2006 and “remains notorious throughout Oregon for a variety of reportedly false claims,” a 2013 article published in the Spotlight states.

In a Spotlight article a short time ago, Mark Reed erroneously denied knowing of Marquardo’s background. In actuality, Mr. Reed has been aware of this information since January 2013, when Marquardo applied for an appointment to the Scappoose City Council.

As I stated before, the PUD is not the personal fiefdom of family and friends of some of the board directors. It is the People’s Utility District. It belongs to us. We must get back on track to have a PUD of which we can be proud.

We need calm, honest, intelligent decisions.

We need Nancy Ward. Her honesty and integrity have never been challenged. Please vote for her.

Nancy Whitney

St. Helens

Mayo, Ward are solid choices for south Columbia County

Just a note to recommend Wayne Mayo for county commissioner. After many years of the threat of exploding oil trains on the tracks going through the middle of our communities, with much of what’s being built at Port Westward being paid for by us in Scappoose and St. Helens (see your property tax bill under “CCDA”), we need to choose someone from south county we can rely on to represent our best interests, including the safety of our schools and the livability of our towns.

In passing, I would also recommend Nancy Ward for Dave Baker’s seat on the Columbia River PUD board of directors (Baker’s not running again). As a longtime CRPUD supporter, I was shocked at how the board treated Dave Baker recently for trying to let the public know what was going on at our utility, and all the losses by ongoing lawsuits against the PUD.

Nancy Ward will represent the public interest and we need that.

Mike Sheehan


Supporting Wayne Mayo, a super dad

My father, Wayne Mayo, is the most hard-working and honest man I know. I say this as his youngest son of seven children.

He’s the one that taught us that doing the right thing, even when no one is watching, is what really matters. Before he dropped me off to school every day while growing up, he would tell me, before leaving the car, that I need to stand up to those getting bullied and fight for those who couldn’t fight for themselves.

He would tell me to stand up for the little guys. I did just that growing up, and I hope my boys listen to me when I tell them the same thing.

He has always been a great father and a great leader. I can tell you, without a doubt, that he is not just my hero, but is a hero to all of his children.

A few other things he taught us: Never leaving trash, and pick up trash that shouldn’t be left where it is. It shows his integrity.

He would spend all of his time outside of work hanging with us kids, which shows his love for his family. He always stands for what is right and speaks up for what is right, even if it’s not what is popular, which shows his courage.

He always practices what he preaches and showed his family what it looks like to be a real man and a man of God, which shows his leadership.

He helps people in need and has even started — and helped start — churches, which shows his love for his community.

He will make an outstanding leader for Columbia County.

David Mayo

Charlotte, N.C.

Privileged to carry the ‘Mayo’ name

I’ve had the privilege of carrying the name “Mayo” since I married Wayne Mayo’s oldest son 10 years ago, and I must say, the longer I wear it, the prouder I become.

It really doesn’t take long after you meet Wayne to understand the significance of his license plate that reads “CANDO.”

I love hearing the stories of the adventurous life my husband, Derek, had growing up with his six other siblings. There were four-wheelers and camping and the always questionably working boat. Without a doubt, all of the good stories had to do with adventures occurring as the result of things like the van break-downs on a family road trip.

All seven kids tell stories of having more fun than anyone I know, and this fun was all had in the middle of some seriously hard work. They painted houses, push-started cars and replaced their own clutches. Wayne lived his kids’ childhoods right there with them, teaching them, training them and joining in the fun.

I believe the most remarkable thing Wayne did as a parent was teach his kids — who can now do anything — to do the right thing — the thing that makes a positive difference. He does this consistently, on issues big and small. I’ve seen it over and over. I talk about Wayne’s kids because I also believe they are the most precise reflection of who he is.

If you know Wayne, you will understand his CANDO license plate. And you know that when you see his MiniCooper pulling up something is about to happen, and it’s gonna be good.

Alexis Mayo

Austin, Texas

Wayne Mayo has my vote

My family has known Wayne and his family for the last 18 years. Wayne has been a mentor and dear friend to me and my husband. He is a man of financial integrity, has an incredible work ethic, genuinely cares about people and will stand for what he knows to be right. He has been a valuable asset to this county as a volunteer on local issues; he will prove to be invaluable as a county commissioner. Join me in voting for Wayne Mayo.

Janice Rice


Rob Mathers for CRPUD

I am writing to endorse Rob Mathers for Position 3 on the Columbia River PUD board of directors. I have been a friend of the Mathers for five years, and during that time Rob has proven himself to be one of the hardest working people I know.

He really cares about other people and has a sincere “What can I do to help?” attitude that is always an asset to the people or organization he represents.

I wholeheartedly endorse him for Position 3 on the CRPUD board.

Wanda Reed

St. Helens

Magruder is fit to lead

Margaret Magruder has served Columbia County for many years. Over that time she’s shown that her sincere interest is not to be in a public position for the sake of prestige or power. Her work through numerous public positions has consistently shown her motivating desire to fundamentally be of service to the community.

Magruder has not squandered this county’s strained resources to propose a clearly unconstitutional and polarizing proposition, stigmatizing a hard-working but vulnerable segment of our community, to score political points ... as her opponent has done.

It’s true that

“One who has not served, is not fit to lead,” and as her resume shows, Margaret Magruder has served this community for years, working behind the scenes, quietly and effectively, for the good of all. We’re fortunate to have such a qualified, experienced and selflessly-motivated candidate as Margaret Magruder for Columbia County Commissioner, Pos. 1.

Ann Mathers

St. Helens

Magruder will not disappoint

As a friend of Margaret Magruder and as her campaign treasurer, I can attest that she is not only frugal in her personal life, but also advocates the same for government finances.

She drives a 10-plus-year-old truck, not because she can’t afford a newer model, but because this one still works. As a county budget committee member, she advocated for reducing the county commissioners’ salaries during the recession and has been an advocate of paying down the county debt early.

As a commissioner, she would have much more influence than a budget committee member in how our valuable funds are spent, or not spent, and that would be a very good thing. I would like to respond to Brian Rosenthal’s and Carmen Kulp’s letters in The Spotlight. Mr. Rosenthal said, “We can’t afford Margaret Magruder.” If he really knew Margaret he would have said, “We can’t afford not to elect Margaret Magruder.”

Ms. Kulp said, “But is she really dedicated to working for us? Or for those who paid her to run?”

But it is us. Contrary to Ms. Kulp’s comments, less than 10 percent of Margaret’s contributors are businesses, the rest are Columbia County residents who contribute an average of $150 of their hard-earned money. To suggest Margaret would be beholden to anyone is to not know her. As you read the Voters’ Pamphlet or Margaret’s web page, take note of the vast amount of experience she has on county, state, federal and international boards in leadership roles. As you read that list, keep in mind that we now have the opportunity to gain from such broad experience right here in Columbia County and by one of our own.

To not take advantage of that would truly be foolish.

Please vote for Margaret Magruder for county commissioner and give her the opportunity to serve us. She will not disappoint.

Kathy Engel


Debbie Reed goes to meetings, talks to retirees, employees

As a PUD retiree, I support Debbie Reed for Columbia River PUD director for Subdivision 1. Debbie has attended nearly every meeting this year, unlike her opponent, Nancy Ward, who has only attended a couple of meetings.

Debbie has taken the time to talk with me, other retirees and other employees, to understand what’s been happening at the PUD.

Debbie will stop the controversies and put the focus back on providing safe, reliable service and low rates.

I know Debbie would work well with the other board members to keep the PUD going in the right direction.

Mark Larson


Magruder can balance economic, environmental interests

Voters have the opportunity in November to elect a person ideally suited to serve on the Columbia County Board of Commissioners. That candidate is Margaret Magruder.

A lifelong Columbia County resident and a third-generation farmer, Margaret has proven her ability to balance economic interests with environmental restoration in all areas of the county through her position as coordinator of the Lower Columbia Water Shed Council for the past 20 years. She has been honored as the National Earth Team’s individual volunteer of the year, and her significant environmental and economic contributions to rural Oregon have earned her special recognition by the Oregon Leadership Summit.

An innovative entrepreneur, Margaret is the founder, owner and manager of Oregon Shepherd LLC, an environmentally friendly wool insulation manufacturer in Rainier.

Margaret has the rare ability to appreciate and balance the needs of job-creating businesses while protecting the environment. Having served on the Columbia County Budget Committee for almost 20 years, she understands the county’s financial situation far better than most and was part of that committee when they reduced the salaries of the commissioners during the recent recession.

By temperament, Margaret is a team-player and a consensus-builder, but she has the integrity and courage to take a strong stand for what is right for Columbia County.

Please cast your vote for Margaret Magruder for Columbia County Commissioner.

Beki and Roger Fisher-Jolma


Simpson is honest and qualified for PUD board

This argument about government being run like a business — while doing a clean-flush of incumbents — is counterproductive.

In business, results mean costly training as earnings wane. In government, inexperienced folks learning the job make public expectations suffer. Hiring experienced people always takes precedence over inexperienced.

Aside from corruption or incompetence, there’s no logical reason to vote experienced people out; that’s why I am supporting incumbent Richard Simpson for Columbia River PUD, Position 3. Richard’s folksy style seem old-fashioned? That’s what makes him valuable. Hopefully, voters see honesty and common sense prevailing over trends. Richard Simpson has been my neighbor for the past 21 years. When I needed help, he arrived with tool box, kind words and a smile. Whenever I needed answers for power outages, he’s responded the same way. He still proudly proclaims his phone line open to the public. Born 200 yards from where he still lives, Richard attended Yankton Grade and St. Helens High schools, and also served 10 years in the U.S. Navy and as a firefighter. Richard Simpson can’t be described as fancy or a political unicorn. But “dependable,” “experienced,” “knowledgeable,” “honest” and “kind” are words that fit him like your favorite pair of work gloves. Most importantly, he’s best described as “qualified,” and that works for me. Vote Richard Simpson, PUD Position 3.

Randy Sanders


The case for Mark Reed

Mark Reed has been in the service of others his entire life. He was a firefighter with Columbia River Fire and Rescue, then an emergency medical technician and flight paramedic. Now he spends his time teaching EMT classes at Portland Community College. For the last six years he has served this community on the City Council. He is honest and transparent.

Our current mayor has been in office for 10 years. Every election cycle he smiles warmly and promises jobs and growth. Instead ...

He has manipulated policy through back room meetings (firing of the old city Manager), made grave and costly errors in judgment (leading to losing a multi-million dollar lawsuit), and has led by ego.

His own insurance business has done so well he had to start driving for Uber to supplement his income, despite already living in a low-rent apartment (he’s not a homeowner). It has taken him 10 years to even begin the process of a vision and master plan for the city. Most of his economic development ideas were stolen from my own proposals I have been pushing him on for five years — and being executed poorly. The difference: My plan would have taken 6 months, his will take many years.

He has had the luxury of holding a job most people simply don’t want - which is why he has run mostly unopposed in the last several election cycles. But the Mayor has one important job - to direct and drive the agenda for the city. This Mayor has been publicly called out for his many missteps over the years, and has gone undeterred because the voters don’t pay much attention to what happens at City Hall.

I urge you to thank Scott Burge for his long service, and then make room for a mayor that will bring respect to the office. Please vote for Mark Reed when you cast your ballot.

Craig Marquardo


What do you want from your CRPUD board candidates?

I want them to understand the issues by talking with the board, employees and retirees instead of just reading about the PUD in the Spotlight or talking to the leaders of the failed recall. Debbie Reed, a candidate for Seat 1 in Scappoose, has been to 12 board meetings in the past year and has taken the time to learn about the PUD’s operations, goals and challenges.

Nancy Ward has only been to four meetings. Debbie is working to understand why the PUD is on the right track: a balanced budget, big projects completed on time and budget, and high employee morale and commitment according to a recent survey. I worry that Nancy Ward would continue the turmoil at the board level, because she’s campaigning to stand for unity, but one of her main campaign points is that the board isn’t doing its job. That seems like a recipe for more turmoil.

Debbie understands the issues and will work with the board to ensure the PUD is a well-run utility. If unity is what you want to see, vote for Debbie Reed.

Kathleen Hoffman


In defense of Magruder’s budgeting prowess

A recent series of letters to the editor in support of Wayne Mayo for Columbia County commissioner have questioned Margaret Magruder’s volunteer service on the Columbia County Budget Committee and her fitness to govern.

Having worked beside Ms. Magruder for the past seven years in developing the county’s budget, I can attest to her budget acumen and management skills. Between mandatory state or federal match requirements, contractual budget obligations to salary and retirement programs for county workers, paying prevailing wages for contracted work, and federal and state requirements for projects and programs; the true discretionary budget available to the County Commissioners is under 2 percent of the total budget.

I have shared Margaret’s frustration with budget expenditures and have witnessed her take the scalpel to the few budget items that could be parsed. The budget meetings are open to the public.

It is sad the letter writers have not attended these meetings to learn more about the budget process before they took pen to paper.

Paul Langner


Wayne Mayo is honest and trustworthy

This is a letter to tell those who might not know Wayne Mayo — what kind of person he is, and what a great county commissioner he would make.

I have known Wayne since 2001 when our sons played football together. I also have a younger son who was in the same grade at school as one of Wayne’s sons. Needless to say, I have had many occasions to talk with and get to know Wayne.

I have an example of the kind of person Wayne is. I became aware of a person who volunteered where I work. She was having a bad time as her spouse had moved out, her well had broken, and she didn’t have any money to fix it.

I called Wayne, who is in construction, and asked him what it would cost for the repair and where to find what she needed. He asked me if she had someone who could do the work for her, and when I said “no,” he said he would be right over. He showed up with the necessary material and refused to accept reimbursement. In fact, he doesn’t really like me to talk about it.

I know that I trust him to always tell the truth. He is one of the most honest men I have ever known. His word is his bond. I might add he cares deeply for Columbia County, the people in it, regardless of race, religion or economic status.

Wayne is a man we would all appreciate as our county commissioner.

Bert Jepson