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The following letters were submitted for publication in The Outlook, Sandy Post and Estacada News.

Ripma misrepresents 'Top Three Voting'

Troutdale City Councilor David Ripma submitted the argument against Measure 26-212 regarding "Top Three Voting" for Troutdale in the Voters' Pamphlet.

He didn't mention that he ran for re-election unopposed in 2018, one of the downsides of the current system that Measure 26-212 is intended to address.

His use of the word "occasional" in referring to the frequency at which candidates run unopposed strikes me as "fuzzy" math on his part.

Since the current practice of elect-by-position went into effect in 1978, 19 Troutdale council candidates have run unopposed, not counting 1996 and 2008, which only had three candidates each.

The 19 unopposed included 11 incumbents and eight non-incumbents, so unopposed aren't only incumbents "doing a good job," as Ripma claims.

In 2018, the majority of Troutdale voters really only chose one councilor, as two of the positions were unopposed.

The fact that in this election cycle all the positions have at least two candidates doesn't begin to offer the level of voter choice available under "Top Three."

If there are only two candidates for a position, the voters are forced to choose one or the other, even if they would prefer neither.

Full disclosure: I wrote the argument in favor of Measure 26-212.

Paul Wilcox


Dyk has a 'heart for our community'

As I have served our community as a city councilor, on the boards of several local nonprofit organizations, and as president of the Gresham Area Chamber of Commerce, I have developed a sense for the qualities that are important when selecting individuals who will serve our city government.

It is important to know the community, to be knowledgeable, even-keeled and to have a heart for service.

That is why as I got to know Dave Dyk, I encouraged him to consider running for City Council and have subsequently volunteered with his campaign.

Dave and I first got to know each other in 2010 when he began serving on the city of Gresham Finance Committee (he is currently the vice-chair).

In recent years we have also served together on the finance committee of Human Solutions, a local nonprofit organization dedicated to helping low-income and homeless families gain self-sufficiency.

I've seen that Dave has a heart for our community, is knowledgeable about the issues Gresham faces, and is committed to serving everyone. I urge voters to select him for City Council position No. 5.

Paul Warr-King


Travis Stovall for Gresham mayor

We are on the foothold of change in Gresham. Former mayor Shane Bemis endorsed Travis Stovall and it clearly shows he has the same beliefs the rest of us do in electing a candidate dedicated to our future.

Stovall — with his opponent's less-than-stellar attendance record, missing 25% of council meetings in his first year, and 11% already this year, and also with his questionable out-of-state political donations — gives us the advantage of having someone who has the conscience and integrity to carry us forward.

A vote for Travis Stovall for Gresham mayor is not only a vote for commitment, but also for representation for everyone.

Alyson Huntting


Metro's tax will slow recovery

We're asking you to vote no on Metro's tax proposal.

As employees of a fueling company, you might think we'd be excited for a permanent, enormous tax that subsidizes gasoline by 30 cents a gallon and will increase the number of drivers on the road, according to independent analysis.

But we're asking you to vote against it because we know it will mean our region's recovery will be weaker and take longer. Taxing every single job means employers won't be able to rehire as quickly. And creating a new permanent tax in the middle of a global pandemic with no end in sight is bizarre.

What good does it do for the government to mandate a higher wage if they are going to allow someone else to come along and take it. If this measure passes, people in our company — truck drivers, mechanics, painters, bookkeepers, payroll clerks, managers, may all take pay cuts.

We want elected officials to help lead us out of the mess we're in, not make things worse.

Please vote no on this outrageous tax proposal.

Leather Fuels Employees:

Linda Leathers

Aaron Randels

Eric Damrill

Eric Steinman

John Czupofski

Katie Conrad

Lila Leathers

Steven Veenhuizen

Vote yes for the children

The League of Women Voters of Clackamas County strongly supports Measure 3-564, the Children's Safety Levy.

We clearly understand the urgent need to increase services for children impacted by violence, abuse, or neglect within our county. Too many children have already fallen through the cracks due to lack of coordinated funding, and the time is now to remedy the situation. We believe the proposal is well-designed to expand the array of services and get funds quickly to established community-based organizations, so many more vulnerable children can be helped. We proudly join the broad coalition of supporters for this measure and urge a "yes" vote on Measure 3-564.

Marge Easley

League of Women Voters of Clackamas County


End Oregon Democrats' supermajority in Salem

In the midst of a contentious and divisive election like this one, it's easy to think that the parties have always been unable to work together and that bipartisanship is a pipe dream. But it hasn't always been this way.

During the 2011-12 legislative sessions, the Oregon House and Senate were nearly evenly divided with an almost equal number of Republicans and Democrats.

In the House it was and even 30-30 split and the Senate had a narrow 16-14 advantage for Democrats. In the evenly split House, it meant that every part of the legislative process was bipartisan.

From the committee hearings to the floor of the House every piece of legislation had to have support from both Democrats and Republicans in order to be considered and passed into law.

There was no place for extremism on the left or the right and moderation ruled. In short, it was a picture of collaboration. The legislative sessions were hailed far and wide as an example of how state government should function.

Fast forward to today: Democrats in Salem now have super-majorities with a huge 38-22 advantage in the House and an 18-12 margin in the Senate. How has this impacted the process? The majority party completely dominates the committee process and can pass any legislation it wants from policy bills to new taxes. The minority party has little to no input. Rather than being known as a model for collaboration, Salem is now known for its division and contention as the majority party imposes its extreme will.

That's why I'm supporting Jeff Helfrich for State Representative. Electing Jeff will help reduce the Democrats' supermajority and restore balance to Salem.

Jeff will stand with us and not vote in lockstep with the Portland crowd as his opponent has done in her first term. Please join me.

Rosemary Brown


Make earth the envy of the universe

I've come to my senses about a human colony on Mars. Why struggle to live on a very cold, 95% CO2, ugly, barren rock? Maybe a little setup on the Moon, just for fun.

We're playing at space travel. We haven't begun to conquer the ravages of weightlessness on the human body, not to mention the constant radiation mutation of our DNA that our fabulous atmosphere protects us from (mostly). We may never develop the materials to "safely go where no human has ever gone before."

Let's stay here and clean up the mess we've made of this gorgeous planet, cool her off and bring her back into balance so the rains come where they're needed and behave where they're not, so people can feed themselves and have a shot at a good life, while we wring a few greedy necks along the way.

We've got around 5 billion years of sun-time left. We'll be at our species' best to maybe survive 100,000 years of that time.

Our human curiosity and creativity compels us to venture forth, but use the marvelous science for Earth-inhabitants' needs and send brilliant machines to explore the impossible depths of space. Maybe "someone" is on their way here to visit us?

Stay put. Make Earth the envy of the universe.

Maggie Vaughn


Elect Jones-Dixon to Gresham council

We are our community. Everyday when I wake up and face whatever the world has to offer, I do so in the context of community. That's why I decided to run for the Gresham City Council.

More than ever, our community needs engaged citizens who have the stamina, ideas, cohesion, and belief to effect impactful and positive change. People who listen. People of action. This is both why I stepped up, and why I stepped down. I care deeply for our families, our neighbors and our futures.

I will run again in 2022, but right now, in this moment, Vince Jones-Dixon is the right candidate for council position No. 3. He has the relevant local experience, communication skills, momentum and leadership we need to solve the challenges we are facing, mend and move forward.

I believe if we are lucky enough to have a team with both him and Dave Dyk on it, we will be doing well.

Remember, your voice counts both at the ballot, and in our community. Please continue to be engaged and expect the best. I look forward to meeting you all again in 2022.

Brianna Harris


DiNucci will listen to everyone

As a Gresham resident for 52 years, I have always found ways to connect with the community and support local efforts. I met Dina DiNucci more than 12 years ago when she owned a small business, Park Place Coffee & Crepes. I soon learned that there is no one in our city who has the love of our citizens and the experience that Dina brings.

Dina has engaged in efforts to improve the community, co-founded the Rockwood Business Coalition, and has engaged hundreds of neighbors in city improvements. She has managed community projects and coordinated budgets in the nonprofit world. Most importantly, she has always been a connector of people and has built many local efforts through consensus building.

We need a smart person on Gresham City Council who has invested her time to get to know the residents before she speaks on their behalf. She has been connecting residents and coordinating local efforts through volunteer work for more than 17 years. Dina knows the people from all neighborhoods and walks of life, and those connections will guide her decisions in representing all of Gresham.

Everyone in Gresham deserves to be heard, and Dina DiNucci will make sure they are.

Mary Edmeades


Proud to support Dina DiNucci

Hello neighbors! I am asking you to join me in voting for Dina DiNucci as our city Councilor Position No. 1. As a 22-year resident of our city, I care about the future of all citizens and so does Dina.

I have known Dina for over 10 years. As the former owner of Park Place Coffee she sustained much more than a small business. She created a community hub and a gathering place for west Gresham. (Also, a cool little music venue!)

Dina's personality is infectious. She is smart and a very hard worker. With her, "I can do this" attitude I have seen her tear into many DIY auto repair projects. Dina will bring a wealth of experience to the council, as a former city employee, an entrepreneur and a community volunteer.

Dina is passionate about making our city a better place for all. She is dedicated to the idea of public service. Dina will listen to your concerns and value your voice.

I am proud to support Dina DiNucci for City Council.

Doug "Spud" Henderson


Vote for the Democratic slate

If Gresham residents are truly looking for balance in Salem, then they should vote for the entire Democratic slate running to represent our city and region.

We have a public school teacher running for House District 49, Zach Hudson, a community services coordinator running for House District 50, Ricki Ruiz, and a former police officer and current instructor at Mt. Hood Community College running for Senate District 25, Chris Gorsek.

Their diverse professional backgrounds working for individuals and families across East County will inform their work in the Capitol, and we can trust them to serve in the interests of the average person.

If Zach, Ricki or Chris think that any Democrat-led legislation would be bad for our communities, they would stand against it.

Furthermore, while Republicans from our area are running on a veneer of moderation and bipartisanship, the reality is that at every level the GOP have become so extreme right-wing that once elected it's clear that their goal is to consolidate power and enact legislation that seeks to oppress anyone who doesn't look, love, worship or earn as they do. How is that balance?

Republicans won't bring balance to Salem, they'll only bring obstruction against progress, justice, and equality.

Christian Burgess


Metro's bond is irresponsible

We're writing to ask you to vote against Metro's largest-ever tax increase.

During the pandemic, our local, family owned business has watched every penny to keep as many employees on payroll as we possibly can.

That's why Metro's tax proposal is so baffling. It creates a permanent tax on every single one of our employees at the toughest time in the history of our business. Why on earth would Metro slap us with yet another tax that makes it harder to do business?

Not only that, Metro has the power to do whatever it wants with this money. It can change the tax rate at any time, change what the money is funding, and keep the tax on the books so long that today's preschoolers will still be paying for it in a couple of decades.

Please vote against this massive power and money grab.

Drake Snodgrass

Drake's 7 Dees Inc.


Dyk understands the challenges ahead

Gresham has a $13 million budget deficit. City councilors must have a plan for managing this fiscal crisis. Only one candidate running for Gresham council currently serves on the city's finance committee. In fact, he's the vice chair. That's Dave Dyk, a candidate for Gresham City Council Position 5. I've had the pleasure of working with Dave on Our Parks, Our Future, a new grassroots group advocating for stable, long-term funding for East County parks. Dave knows the budget case for why an option like a parks district makes sense, and knows every detail of Gresham's past and current spending on parks, police, fire, environmental services, and more. Dave is also kind, collaborative, and thoughtful. Gresham needs these traits right now in its leadership - and it needs someone who understands how the city raises and spends its money. You can't fix a system you don't understand. And you can't lead if you can't listen. As a city council candidate in Fairview, it would be a pleasure to work with Dave to build a better future for East County. Please vote for Dave Dyk for Gresham city council.

Wendy Lawton


Re-elect Hinton to Gresham council

Watching the online City Council debates, several candidates said that they were concerned that Rockwood is not being represented on the Gresham City Council. My experience is very different.

Whenever I had issues of concern in Rockwood, when I testified before the whole City Council, I also received a welcome and response to my testimony. Councilor Jerry Hinton has attended our Rockwood Neighborhood Association general meetings, and board meetings when he was available. He also attended some of the Housing Task Force meetings to get a pulse on the community needs.

Between meetings, Councilor Hinton was always available with a listening ear, and helped with suggestions and advice. Councilor Hinton is the sponsor the annual Gresham Green and Clean. He was the one who started the tradition, and is always looking for ways to serve the Gresham community. He does not like to turn attention to himself because he is very humble.

We need to thank him for a cleaner Gresham and for his servant's heart.

Councilor Hinton will also provide history and background to the council that the other candidates do not have.

Please join me in re-electing Councilor Jerry Hinton to the Gresham City Council on Nov. 3.

Catherine Nicewood


Restore state's legislative balance

My name is Greg Johnson. My wife, Cyndy, and I have three adult children. I have lived in Troutdale since 1997. I took a job transfer to come here working for Boeing.

I have since retired and I have been working as a volunteer to help my community that I have learned to love. I do not know of any other place in the country I would rather live than here in Troutdale. This is a beautiful city to live in.

Decades of one-party rule have put Oregon's government beyond the control of the people. The super majority has led to out of control spending, multiple new fees, tax increases and more and more government control of our lives.

I had not planned on running for a political office until I heard the Republican candidate for House District 49 stepped down. I knew I had to step up to fill that void, which I have done.

I can no longer sit on the sidelines. I need to do whatever I can do to change the difficult situation we are in.

We need average working people in Salem, working for us not full time politicians.

Because I am retired and able to dedicate my full attention to represent my district, I feel I can make a real difference in Salem to help our district.

I need your input and your vote to do this.

Greg Johnson


Sue Piazza is sincere, dedicated

I have lived and done business in Gresham most of my life. I have met very few people who have the heart for people and businesses that Sue Piazza demonstrates on an almost daily basis. Not only does Sue have a heart, Sue has a very great work ethic, as well as a very logical mind.

Sue looks at a problem and reasons out how best to solve that situation; she does not have to create another venue through which the issues will pass prior to their resolution. Sue is very frugal with herself as well as with any funds that are entrusted to her for the help of others.

Sue's allegiance, both heart and head are to Gresham. Sue has no plans to use the Gresham City Council seat as a stepping-stone to another, higher office. Sue plans to serve Gresham and keep serving Gresham as long as we want her to stay.

If you want a committed, sincere, dedicated person to fill Council Position No. 5, vote for Sue Piazza.

Lila Leathers


Elect teachers to the Oregon Legislature

Insufficient funding and the impacts of educating our students during a pandemic has left our educational system on the brink. Teachers have the skill and desire to overcome these obstacles. One way to help them is to elect them to the Oregon Legislature where so many of the decisions that impact students, staff and parents are made. Luckily we have that opportunity in Oregon's House District 49. Zach Hudson is a Reynolds High School teacher working hard for his students every school day. He also has experience creating policy and political solutions as a member of the Troutdale City Council. Zach is studious, thoughtful and empathetic. He is results oriented and passionate about doing the right thing for his community. That is why we need to expand his community by sending him to Salem to represent Troutdale and the Reynolds School District as well as the cities of Wood Village and Fairview. Vote Zach Hudson for House District 49. He can teach us how to overcome our obstacles.

Mayor T. Scott Harden

Wood Village

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