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Failure of recall is extremely disappointing

Those West Linn residents are to be commended who signed petitions to recall the notoriously harmful members of our city council, namely Mayor John Kovash and councilors Jody Carson, Jenni Tan and Mike Jones. However, it was extremely disappointing that not enough West Linn residents would sign recall petitions. Consequently, the recall effort failed.

A very large effort was expended by signature gatherers to try to get enough signatures. At the majority of houses that I contacted, the residents would not sign the petitions. Their most common lame excuse was that they didn’t want to get involved in politics.

Incredibly, most West Linn residents don’t know who is on the city council or even that we have a city council. Most residents are totally ignorant about city government and don’t give the proverbial “tinker’s damn” about it.

Thomas Jefferson, famous for writing The Declaration of Independence and helping formulate our Constitution, was a staunch believer in honest responsible representative government. One of his most famous quotes was: “If once the people become inattentive to public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions.” The only individual exception to this locally in recent years was Councilor Teri Cummings. She always fought for the best interests of West Linn residents, but was obstructed by the rest of the council.

Our city council has indeed become wolves because most West Linn residents are inattentive to our public affairs. This city council exploits that fact to impose injurious actions and policies. The same goes for Chris Jordan, city manager. The council, in violation of the city charter, gives him free rein in setting injurious policies and taking detrimental actions. West Linn is truly run by a bunch having no regard to serve the public interest.

Mayor Kovash warranted being recalled for many reasons. An outstanding reason was that he repeatedly abused his office by disgracefully peddling the same false assertions as he made in the Tidings of Feb. 28, 2013 and June 6, 2013, in the “Update” of July 2013 and recently in his column in the March 6, 2014 Tidings. Kovash claimed in these publications that in the event of a massive earthquake, West Linn, thanks to this council’s approval of an enlarged Lake Oswego water treatment plant in West Linn with its associated new piping, provides West Linn with a seismically secure source of water. That’s extremely and blatantly false. That plant would suffer severe damage (it’s located where the ground would suffer liquefaction) and its associated new piping along with all waterlines throughout West Linn would be ruptured so no water could be delivered to anyone.

In Kovash’s column in the June 6, 2013 Tidings, he considered the consequences of a devastating magnitude 9 earthquake (the same as hit Japan in 2011). In doing so, he made some ridiculous claims. The most blatantly ridiculous one was to assert that West Linn citizens could count on water from the LOT partnership plant even if our system fails during a catastrophic event. What a crazy, ridiculous statement for Kovash to make. Our water system will completely fail during a magnitude 9 earthquake so that no water could be delivered to anyone.

Bob Thomas lives in West Linn.



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