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The Tuesday, May 15, primary election dominates the newspaper's mailbag this week.

Newspaper wrong on Tigard Levy

I am very disappointed with the Tigard Times. Tigard citizens are facing a massive tax increase on the ballot next month. The Times would be expected to do some research and provide its readers with information from the city on why such a huge increase is required. Instead we got an Our Opinion editorial (April 12 issue) from the editorial board made up of individuals that are not even Tigard citizens.

In the piece they urge us to vote for this 7 percent increase. (It amounts to a $300 hike for the average priced Tigard home.) The first reason they provide is that the city has grown. This makes no sense at all. When the city grows new homeowners and businesses that move in to the city pay taxes and development fees to pay for that growth. Period.

The second reason they give is to maintain parks. In fact, we all voted a few years back for a parks bond to create and maintain new parks. The parks were built but the city still came back for money to maintain them. That cost was added to your water bill last year. It's on there every month.

What the opinion piece did not address is that the cost of taxes for a Tigard homeowner had already risen 35 percent in the last 10 years. I checked my records. That's because homeowners are automatically paying 3 percent more every year regardless that the inflation rate is much lower. Quite simply, why can the city not afford operate with the higher-than-inflation rate taxes it already garners?

Keep in mind Tigard citizens were asked to pay for a large school bond last year that we happily voted for to improve our schools. Then immediately after that we were asked to vote for a measure that deferred taxes on the Tigard Triangle to promote growth there. That measure passed and, despite how it was promoted, funds to provide city services to that area are now being subsidized by your taxes.

Next year you will be asked for another very large increase to pay for a MAX rail extension through Tigard.

I say enough. Give me some facts and explain this increase to me in numbers, not platitudes. What is the real justification for this large increase?

Brian Conroy

Tigard

Terry has served our county well

Bob Terry has ably served Washington County for many years and has earned the opportunity to continue his service as commission chair.

Before being elected to the commission, Bob paid his dues on the Washington County budget committee and has utilized his extensive knowledge as a strong advocate of budget discipline and keeping county taxes low while responding thoughtfully and compassionately to the challenges and opportunities unique to Washington County.

Commissioner Terry has been a big part of the vitality and vibrancy that has made Washington County the state's top economic engine while protecting our quality of life. Bob has been an important part of the Commission team, marshaling resources for easing traffic congestion, managing growth in a thoughtful and effective way while supporting our Sheriff's Department, critical social services and livability. Unlike the other candidates, Bob is not a rubber stamp for Metro's one-size-fits-all programs and policies.

Please join with me to keep Washington County great by marking your ballot in May for Bob Terry for the Washington County Commission chair.

Mike Riley

Cedar Mill

Support Tigard levy on May 15 ballot

My wife and I have lived in Tigard since 1984, and raised our kids in this community. It is great place to live and I want to keep it that way.

I'm supporting Measure 34-283 because it is the fiscally responsible thing to do.

Having served on the City of Tigard Budget Committee the last six years has given me insight into how the council and city staff have managed to provide excellent services to the citizens of Tigard in the face of challenges not well understood by the public. Statewide Measures 5, 47 and 50 created a bottleneck for cities by limiting both the amount that property assessments could grow and the rate at which taxes could be set on a given valuation. Even new construction is assessed at amounts less than the true market value. Revenue generation is essentially capped even if the needs increase. Leaders in the Legislature have told the cities they are their own, with a voter-approved operating levy being the only viable option to make up the gap.

The Tigard library and police departments are barely back to pre-recession.

personnel levels and the city has 8 percent more residents than it did in 2008. Growth has and will continue. The choice going forward is to try to maintain the great quality of our city or begin a long, and not-so-slow reduction in services (police response times, library hours, park maintenance, recreation programs, and more). The levy as proposed is designed to maintain services for the foreseeable future without having to come back to residents again for additional increases.

The local option levy is the choice we need to support now.

Clifford Rone

Tigard

Bob Terry has list of accomplishments

It's easy to state Bob Terry's goal for Washington County, as the elected chair of the commission. He wants to serve the people of our county economically with measurable results. He wants to use good management and wise decision-making to live within our budget and not raise taxes.

Here are just two examples of this able committed public servant's many accomplishments.

Bob has been an active leader in the field of mental health, gathering the heads of every health and human resource, both public and private nonprofit, to come together to form the Hawthorn Farms Walk-in Clinic. Situated directly at the MAX stop, the huge facility has doctors, nurses and support professionals, a full array of medications, and services (shower, clothes, food). There are people to help clients become independent, with a plan for going forward.

The second example of Bob's service to our community is the Family Crisis Center, off 158th Avenue, where an individual suffering from abuse or distress can stay, be protected, and access the full range of county services. All of this thanks to creative partnerships with both county agencies and private nonprofit services providers.

Bob Terry is my choice to continue his service for the county as chair of the commission.

Betty Atteberry

Bethany

Vote for Barton in DA's race

My name is Christy Gladheim and I am a Sherwood resident. I am a mother of four and hold pubic safety, school safety and protection for the vulnerable as my top priorities in a district attorney.

Given these priorities, I see a vote for Kevin Barton for Washington County District Attorney as a clear choice.

Growing up in a family with a father in law enforcement, I value Kevin's endorsement by the sheriff and every chief of police and police officer association in the county as well as an overwhelmingly long list of endorsements by the leaders of our community.

Kevin is committed to seeking justice and has a proven track record of successfully prosecuting crimes against the most vulnerable victims.

He supervises the county's child abuse and juvenile units, has prosecuted hundreds of child abuse cases and is also the Chair of the Washington Co Child Abuse Multidisciplinary Team.

With school safety a major concern I am encouraged and excited that Kevin has recently announced that he is leading a School Safety Task Force.

Kevin is far more experienced than his opponent and will be receiving my vote for Washington County District Attorney and deserves your vote too.

Christy Gladheim

Sherwood

Kevin Barton right for county DA job

I have lived and worked in Washington County for 20 years and have a vested interest in the safety of our community. As a mother of two elementary school aged children, I am vigilant about their safety and well-being.

Kevin Barton has a strong history of protecting children. As the chair of the Washington County's Multidisciplinary Team, he leads professionals who focus on the safety of children in schools and at home. Additionally, he is spearheading a School Safety Task Force that works towards ensuring the safety of children, staff, and faculty.

Keeping children safe is one of Kevin Barton's top priorities. I support Kevin Barton as Washington County District Attorney and I encourage you to vote for Kevin in the upcoming election.

Our children are worth protecting, and Kevin Barton has the initiative and experience to make that happen.

Donelle O'Loughlin

Sherwood

Opponent's campaign supports Bob Terry

I'm voting for Bob Terry for Washington County Commission chairman. I did look at what one of his opponents, Ryan Deckert, says on his website. Deckert's priorities are six items.

1. Address crushing traffic issues. Terry is on that with sequencing traffic lights and many more things.

2. Create economic opportunities. Terry is doing that with easing processes for employers.

3. Quality of life, livability issues including bike paths. Terry has increased efficiency and safety of bike paths.

4. Affordable housing. Affordable housing has been one of Terry's top priorities since he was first elected. See all the new housing in the county!

5. Inclusiveness. Terry has never turned down an appointment request and he returns every phone call.

6. Improve funding for the public schools. The county commission has no role in school funding. He doesn't know?

Except for the school issue the rest of his website sounds like he's leading the cheering section for Bob Terry.

Roger G. Smith, MD

Cornelius

Integrity is key to support for Barton

As Kevin Barton progresses down the path of seeking election to become the Washington County District Attorney, I craft this message to provide some context around my observations of him over the last few years as a member of the community.

Kevin is a strong leader in our community and continues to demonstrate integrity at the highest level. He is committed to ensuring that all our kids have freedom and safety without compromise. Within the community and throughout my personal interactions with Kevin, it can be clearly observed that he possesses a set of core values that are directly in line with the platform he communicates (www.electkevinbarton.com/platform).

Kevin's interaction and involvement within the education system demonstrates his strong desire to contribute to the overall well-being of all the students and administrators in the environment. He is engaged at a level of detail that provides him perspective to the current community challenges we face. These challenges are relevant for Washington County and enables him to perform his current duties at a high level. As a father who is involved with the children of the community through various activities, I've seen the passion he has for protecting, nurturing and developing our next generation of leaders and believe that he is committed to this challenging task.

I strongly endorse Kevin as a man with strong moral values and the integrity to lead the district attorney's office in a way that will provide a safe and secure community, where justice is delivered according to the law and where proactive measures are taken to resolve the issues of the future by engaging today.

William & Rebecca DeBorde

Sherwood

Vote 'yes' to support Tigard's city services

Beautiful parks and trails are a huge part of what makes Tigard a picturesque place to live. I have seen first-hand that our parks are becoming overgrown, with unsightly areas, and I am often concerned about walking the trails alone — especially at night. The city simply doesn't have funding to maintain our playgrounds, natural areas, and sports fields.

Our growing city deserves places for children, seniors and everyone else to walk, play and enjoy nature so close to home. The trails need to be safe, open and support wildlife habitat at the same time.

I serve as co-chair of the Tigard Levy and Bond Advisory Task Force. After careful consideration, fellow volunteers and I decided that now is the time to keep our city safe and maintain the natural beauty of Tigard. Although we are a diverse group in age, politics, and opinions; our recommendation to put the levy on the ballot was unanimous. We agreed it provided good value to the people of Tigard, and is necessary to keep our city safe and maintain the places that make Tigard a great city to live in.

I hope you will join me in voting "yes" to maintain city services and the safety of our community.

Darlene Dick

Campaign Co-Chair

Tigard

Bob Terry is leader who gets things done

Too often we settle for a leader who tells us what we want to hear, that we can have it all, are entitled to get our way. He or she will talk a good game, but nothing happens.

How valuable is a leader who digs into problems, grasps the numbers, listens, finds consensus and leads?

These are the attributes that defined Bob Terry in the 20-plus years I worked with him and I would expect more of the same from him in the Washington County executive role, particularly in dealing with the really challenging issues like transportation and affordable housing that impact so many lives.

Bob's rare combination of business and government experience blend with leadership qualities that will help Washington County continue its dominant role in the Oregon economy.

If you want a practical, get-things-done leader, Bob is your guy.

Stephen Babcock

West Linn

Experience gives edge to Bob Terry

I wanted to add my endorsement to a growing list of people speaking out for Bob Terry for chair of the Washington County Commission.

Over the last 40 years, the county has made great strides in water quality, transportation, public safety and other quality of life issues. This has been done in co-operation with the cities, the state of Oregon and special districts. Voters in Washington County have an opportunity to ensure continued good government in the future.

There are four Washington County commissioner districts divided by population. Bob Terry has served the Western part of Washington County the last seven and a half years. Those of us who have worked with him then and before urge you to vote for Bob Terry for chair of the Washington County Commission.

Al Young

Former State Representative

Hillsboro

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