More Letters From Readers: My vote is for Anna Williams writes Mark Thomas of Hood River.

FILE PHOTO - Fairview City Council.Once again the Fairview City Council voted to enrich local businesses and developers at the expense of Fairview citizens.

The city has chosen to waive valuable System Development fee revenue that supports the future cities infrastructure for what appears to be 550 more apartments in a city already busting at the seams in apartments.

They have traded one-time system development fees for a meager increase in the tax base. In this all or nothing support for the business owners, the Fairview Mayor and majority of city councilors turned their back on the community limiting public comments on how the community would like their money spent.  

Meanwhile, the city has a deteriorating water infrastructure, failing sewers and storm water systems.

The citizens of Fairview value taking care of the infrastructure far more than giving millions of taxpayer dollars to people who do not need it.

As a valuable revenue stream is cut and the city expenses continue to climb, this burden ultimately falls to the citizens. This will result in higher utility rates, unnecessary bonds and delayed repairs in our future.    

The one thing that is universally treasured by the Fairview community is its parks. Currently, parks are being funded by the general fund, as one-time system development charges are rare and too little (to cover the expense).  The system development charges waived for parks would have fully funded the next three parks projects. This would provide better play equipment, more trails, restroom facilities and an off-leash dog park. These expanded services will all have to find funding elsewhere.  

The citizens opposed the waiver program since its inception to the deaf ears of the Fairview City Council. The program came with a sunset date for a reason.  Now the council has voted 6-1 to extend the program through the end of the year. The local business owners and developers failed to take advantage of the program in the last two years.

Six members of the Fairview City Council voted in favor of extending the system development charges giveaway despite utility rate forecasts that are grim and disturbing to the citizens of Fairview. 

This lopsided business-before-citizens approach council has taken is a direct reflection of the level of lobbying done by the local business community. The business community has the time and the money to ask for the moon and without the watchful eyes of an engaged citizenry, they give away everything without fear of being held accountable to those who elected them into office to represent their interest.   

I call on all Fairview residents to become more engaged at the local level, stop allowing developers to pillage the public's money. The political season is fast approaching. Find representatives who will represent you and not just give you lip service and political doubletalk.

Steve Owen

Fairview Citizen  

My vote is for Anna Williams

When I first met Anna Williams, she shared with me her recipe for a good life: "Find a place you really love," said Anna, "and then do everything in your power to make it better."

As we worked together over the next several years, I saw just how much horsepower Anna brings to that philosophy. Anna's candidacy for Oregon's House District 52 is one more way Anna aims to serve, and boy are we lucky she's wired this way.

Anna is smart, competent and compassionate. She's super-engaged and experienced in working professionally with veterans, seniors, students, trauma survivors, health care, public safety, tourism, housing and more.

She knows just how to rally people, and she takes to heart the importance of truly considering perspectives different from her own, and is able to synthesize the wisdom of different ideas.

Anna's eyes are open to see those who sit on the margins of our community and our society, and she is all about giving everyone a seat at the table, believing that we are truly better together.

Let's send Anna to Salem to bring all this capacity and heart to the Oregon House of Representatives. Join me in voting for Anna Williams in the May Democratic Primary.

Mark Thomas

Hood River

Contract Publishing

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