I like the word "conundrum." I like the sound as it rolls off my tongue.
I like the meaning of the word; a confusing and difficult problem or question — a riddle.
With the assistance of a very helpful gentleman at the Elections Department at the courthouse, I found the following information: There are 38,842 registered voters in the county. Of those 38,842 registered voters, 67.5 percent, or 26,218, voted in the last general election; 33 percent, or 12,818, voted in the last primary election; and 25.6 percent, or 9,944, voted in the last district election.
And there is the conundrum. Why would anyone not vote in any election which has the possibility of affecting their life?
St. Helens City Councilor Keith Locke moved to Salem over one year ago and yet continues to sit on the City Council — my guess is so he can see that the marijuana growing operation, which he strived to make a part of St. Helens, comes to its full fruition. According to all reports, there is now enough available marijuana to last for many years into the future.
The St. Helens City Council, as a whole, continues to hold behind-door and out-of-state meetings in an attempt to cover their behinds over mistakes made in the past; allowing Boise Inc. to sell the city a piece of property "as-is" with a poisonous lagoon on it; collaborating with Boise Inc. to build a water treatment plant far beyond the size needed and then getting stuck with the upkeep — thus forcing huge water bills onto the public.
And the big one: Actually holding an illegal public meeting at Maul Foster Alongi, the Portland-based consultancy who is attempting to sell the idea to St. Helens that accepting the sludge from the Portland Harbor Superfund will solve all of the city's problems.
So, yes, there just might be a
few reasons to become discouraged with casting your vote, but you cannot make any improvements without replacing those who have failed.
I had a friend suggest to me that it might be a good idea to combine the outstanding leadership in Scappoose with that of St. Helens. After all, we combined the fire departments and that seems to be working out just fine.
Sounds like a good idea to me.
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