O'Donnell: Lyles Smith is Oregon City's best choice for mayor
Rachel Lyles Smith is simply the best choice for the job. You deserve to know why I say this.
As a current Oregon City commissioner, I have remained silent while I gave each candidate for mayor a fair chance by watching multiple candidate forums put on by those organizations who have been so influential in lifting Oregon City from a difficult time.
First, where were the other candidates when we were trying to protect Oregon City from the violence, economic and reputation harm done to us by a former mayor's comments? Nowhere to be seen or heard. Look at their work (or lack of work) histories and ask yourself if they had the time. They obviously did not have the desire.
Two candidates have no history with Oregon City. They have never participated, in any way, to make this city a better place. They have not served on a committee, given testimony before the City Commission, gone before the Citizen Involvement Committee, any of our neighborhood associations, or even sent a letter or email on any issue. Consider this and look at the Voters' Pamphlet and ask yourself, "What makes these people think they are qualified to lead this city?" They talk about vague and magical solutions to our city's challenges but come forth with no details or real plan. One candidate's answer to everything is, "It's just common sense." Nice answer, but where's the rest — your plan to help this city? When the flowery campaign words disappear in the reality of getting things done, what will we have?
One candidate has served in the past, but the questions that arise now are,"Does he have the continuous energy and available time commitment to fulfill the many demands placed on the mayor?" As one who has been active in the community since the 1996 Water Rate Wars and took the city to task over our "membrane structures" and who is now in his second (and final) term as a city commissioner, the demands are many. Time management, attention to detail and personal attention to the needs of our fellow citizens are a basic requirement. Ask yourself if a candidate who, last election, failed to get in his Voters' Pamphlet statement is ready to do all that. That same candidate would have a city that is $22 million behind in parks maintenance spend hundreds of thousands of dollars, possibly up to a million, in restoring a neighborhood clubhouse of no architectural value and limited historical value at the expense of more pressing needs. If elected, that person would be the "swing vote" in directing your City Commission to spend that money on a project in which he is personally involved.
Rachel Lyles Smith has demonstrated her ability and commitment to serve our city for the past two years in her position as a city commissioner and her leadership role as the commission's president. I don't always agree with her positions or the way she does things, but that's the nature of a committee. She comes prepared; her thought process and logic are solid, and her decisions are based on fact and concern for this community. She has the education and experience to deal with an incredible variety of issues that come before a mayor. She serves on other inter-government committees to make sure Oregon City's voice is heard at the county, Metro and state levels. As the face and primary spokesman for Oregon City, she would represent us well. I believe that Rachel Lyles Smith and this commission have earned your trust.
I humbly ask you to join me in voting for Rachel Lyles Smith for our next mayor.
Oregon City resident Frank O'Donnell was recently elected to his second term as city commissioner.
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