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The Columbia County Spotlight publishes letters from readers before the May 17 election.

Editor's note: Have a letter to share? Email your thoughts to Editor-in-Chief Mark Miller at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Letters should be no more than 400 words. All submissions must include the name and hometown of the author. Commercial solicitations will not be accepted as letters to the editor. Submissions should not include profane or defamatory language. We may lightly edit submissions for style and clarity.

Layda is House District 31's man of action

Drew Layda is the person who gets involved personally with many organizations and causes. He leads by example.

He has been supportive of my organization on election integrity. Him and Kanden have been there helping, volunteering and have been a great support.

Drew will be there for you in Salem. He will speak for the people, because he knows where they are coming from. He does the groundwork and learns and understands the issues.

The only way I know of his opponent Brian Stout is by seeing his signs. That's it. I never see him anywhere. Fighting for no one.

I've seen Drew on the streets waving signs fighting for people's freedoms and rights. I've seen Drew at school board meetings fighting for children's freedoms and rights. He is everywhere, listening and fighting for the people.

Where's Brian Stout? He's on signs. That's about it.

Drew is the best person for the job. He understands the laws and legislation and will not back down when it comes to fighting for our rights and freedoms.

Vote Drew Layda. We need change in Salem and in this state and it's time for the people's voice to be heard!

Michelle Overby, Warren

St. Helens still can't answer reservoir questions

The 2 million reservoir when operating has little monthly operating cost. So beginning upon the liner failure, there begins the extraordinary cost attributed to the continued leaking. The contract called for correction upon 60 days of failure.

May 2, I contacted Matt Brown with the question, does the 2 million gallon failed reservoir have a charge or tracking number for extra costs associated with contracted failures? If not, why? How can these extra costs be accounted for, because of failure of contract W-449?

We don't just want a sum, when asking for an accounting, that just shows as miscellaneous water department cost.

These expense charges should not be listed as miscellaneous charges. These charges should have been items that were tracked and maintained in a separate account so the city could answer the question, what were the extra costs associated with trying to enforce the failed contract?

The cost associated with the prolonged failure of years of leaks is but one of these expenses. There have been years of attorney's fees to enforce the W-449 contract. There is the extra city employee labor, because of the failed reservoir. Then there's the underwater divers hiring costs, associated with exploring and photographing underwater, revealing the condition of reservoir's many liner breaches. Then there is the Walker Consultants March 1 report. Now we also have city employee labor for filling and draining the reservoir and water dechlorination costs.

Whatever the settlement, the city is never going to avoid a percentage of sharing some responsibility. This can be confirmed through delays of three years in accomplishing nothing, only contributing to additional costs.

Someday the reservoir is going to require fixing. I don't see the city recovering the total cost to correct the repair issue. What will also be a factor now is escalating inflation.

Ron Trommlitz, St. Helens


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