Letters to the editor for April 26, 2019
Avoid likely new school board discord
The upcoming Scappoose School Board election will be the most important election in years concerning future board policy.
Scappoose is a very desirable place to live and raise a family for a number of reasons. One major reason that makes Scappoose desirable is that our schools are excellent under the supervision and direction of our present school board. The majority of our present board are competent, experienced and have close ties to the community.
Scappoose certainly does not need the discord and chaos that a new board structure would bring.
Please join me in voting for Will Kessi, Michelle Graham and Jim Hoag.
Our school board election is important
Even if you don't have children or grandchildren in the Scappoose schools, it's important that you vote in the upcoming Scappoose School Board election for the following reasons:
First, our schools are responsible for educating the next generation of adults who will (or will not) successfully manage our community (and our country) when their time comes. It's in your best interest to see that the generation in charge during your sunset years consists of well-educated, capable, thoughtful people. Michelle Graham, Jim Hoag, and Will Kessi have shown commitment to developing a sound plan for educating our community's children, hiring capable teachers and administrators, and working within a budget.
Second, people willing to serve in a volunteer capacity are extremely precious to a community. They should not be squandered without a good reason. I have heard no such "good reason" to reject the offer of these exemplary incumbent school board members to serve another term. On the contrary, based on their accomplishments during the past decade, we should take this opportunity to thank them for being willing to continue to give so much of their time and thought to this important volunteer job.
Experience needed for complex school issues
All successful businesses have experienced leaders. Our Scappoose School District is a business. It needs successful experienced leaders and we have three excellent board members who are running for reelection to the school board.
Michelle Graham, Jim Hoag and Will Kessi have demonstrated their decision-making skills many times while serving on the board. This was very evident when budget cuts were made in 2008 without sacrificing class sizes. They always stress what is best for all students!
They are committed to providing every child the educational opportunity to reach their full potential. This can also be shown in our school district by the outstanding graduation rates of 95%, with Scappoose ranked eighth in the state. This is also especially true in the area of budget and finances where the effect on our taxpayers is highly considered when making decisions. Just last year the board worked through the refinancing of our building bond and saved taxpayers $1.2 million dollars!
In conclusion, we need experienced school board members to deal with the complex future issues while stressing what is best for all kids. That is why I am supporting Michelle Graham, Jim Hoag and Will Kessi for re-election to our school board.
The right stuff for Scappoose schools
Thanks to the three incumbents on the Scappoose School Board for their service over the last 37 and 12 years. However, anyone within the Scappoose School District who is remotely familiar with the board realizes it is now time for these three to be replaced.
Nikki Tetz, Kevin Freimuth and Steve Kreins are the "new kids on the block" and ready to go! All three are longtime residents of the Scappoose area and are involved in the community. They all have children currently attending schools in the Scappoose School District. Each one has been closely attentive to the work of the Scappoose School Board and is uniquely qualified for the task of serving on the board. Each one brings fresh ideas and an open ear to listen to the concerns and act on behalf of the parents of children in the district.
Over the years we have heard about the location of the schools near the railroad tracks and the danger this poses for the children who must cross to attend school. Steve Kreins is the man to address this issue; his middle name is "Safety!" He currently holds a position in which he deals with public safety on both the state and national levels and will be able to bring a new perspective to our specific situation here in Scappoose. Steve will be an excellent addition to the Scappoose School Board, as will Nikki Tetz and Kevin Freimuth.
Please cast your vote for Steve Kreins, Nikki Tetz and Kevin Freimuth for Scappoose School Board.
Ruth R. Nelson
Thank you from Friends of St. Helens Library
On behalf of the Friends of the St. Helens Public Library, I would like to thank the many people who recently supported our successful book sale. The Friends group is a non-profit whose efforts help to supplement library activities and materials. We are very grateful for the help from the students from the Columbia River Youth Corps who helped to move and unpack boxes of books. Many thanks to our cooperative community.
Ask current port commissioners about successes
In the Columbia County Spotlight letters to the editor published April 19, Jim Lichatowich observed that "sunshine is the best medicine" and stated his opinion that a "dose of political medicine is needed to create transparency." He went on to describe the current Columbia County Port of Columbia County commissioners as "good ole boys" who need to be "dumped" in favor of Chip Bubl.
I thought Lichatowich's prescription for transparency should be taken to heart. With that goal in mind, perhaps the voters of Columbia County should be made aware of the fact that Lichatowich is a Democrat Precinct Committee Person, (PCP) for Precinct 53 — Columbia City. It is noteworthy that Greg Pettit, another local letter writer, is Democrat PCP for Precinct 12—McNulty, and that Chip Bubl is a Democrat PCP for Precinct 20—N. Warren. As this affiliation would be described as the premier Democrat "good ol' boys" club here in Columbia County, I was shocked that Lichatowich and Pettit failed to mention their affiliation in recently published letters.
The Columbia County Democrats, Columbia Riverkeeper and the Progressive Alliance of Columbia County have a clear objective and a well-coordinated game plan to achieve those objectives. If you like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Green New Deal, you are going to love what these groups have in store for us in Columbia County.
If, on the other hand, you prefer the U.S. Constitution, the freedom to go where you want to go, how you want to go, when you want to go there, cheap abundant energy and the economic freedom of having some of your own money left in your bank account after the government takes its taxes out of your paycheck, you are really going to hate it.
Lichatowich also went on to disparage the amount of money spent by our Port Commission "to improve the economic picture in north Columbia County" compared to the number of permanent jobs at Port Westward. First of all, this is a complete disinformation tactic. Port Westward is a Columbia County project, not a port project. Now, understand that both the county and the Port Commission will benefit from this development (if and when it eventually occurs) once the state of Oregon's stringent and substantial environmental restrictions, (which our current port commissioners welcome and support), and the necessary rezoning required is secured — but it is Columbia County that began and oversees the Port Westward Urban Renewal District, not the Port Commission.
And Lichatowich knows this.
The Port Commission has initiated a number of projects that have produced new jobs and support existing businesses. Because of the port commissioners' work, and the 30,000-plus square feet of hanger space they secured, a business is moving from Hillsboro to Scappoose and bringing 40 job openings, along with the tax base this produces. The port partnered with the city of Scappoose to enhance the sewer line, which will allow for the continued $700,000 development of the airpark at the Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center. In mid-county, the Port Commission has initiated projects that enhance existing businesses and are securing new businesses, which will provide both family-wage jobs and a secure tax base for Columbia County.
The current members of the Port Commission are proud of the efforts they have made on behalf of Columbia County residents and are happy to share just what those efforts have produced. My advice: call them and ask them what those successes are.
Columbia County GOP
A chance for someone new on the port
Voters have an opportunity to elect someone who has spent decades working with residents of Columbia County. Chip Bubl will not forget that he works for the benefit of county residents when he is elected to the Port of Columbia County Commission.
As our local Extension Agent, he has experience working with people from all walks of life and is greatly respected in the community and statewide.
With Chip Bubl on the Port Commission, he will bring a new perspective in finding solutions to sound economic growth, more recreation along the river for all, and enhance our quality of life.Vote for Chip Bubl.
Portland commuters bear own transit responsibility
Maybe it's time to think outside the box when considering the operation and financing of CC Rider. County commissioners and the CC Rider administrator agree that 72% of the county commutes to the Portland metro area for work and that CC Rider transports an average of 100 people per day to Portland, but is creating a new tax district the answer?
While CC Rider charges $12 per round trip, less any discounted fares, Portland charges $20 per day for each parking space. In an average month with 22 working days, that's $29,040 fares for CC Rider while Portland deposits $44,000 in parking fees. Umm ... CC Rider is operating at a loss while Portland liberal fat cats are banking profits.
Is that fair?
This money comes from our CC Rider not using Portland parking spaces, so why not share the profits? If the greedy Portland liberals don't want to share the parking profits, how about them building a metro transit center at the Multnomah County border, Means Nursery, and extend the Bus 16 service from Sauvie Island? This would at least lower CC Rider operation cost to a reasonable level.
Supporting low-cost transport for our county's poor and elderly for groceries and doctors appointment is reasonable, but to support low-cost transport for working people who make $15 an hour or more for me is not.
CC Rider may look good for local and state politicians, but not on the back of taxpayers. If you accept a job in Portland, your transportation to work is your responsibility.