I have lived in our beautiful city for more than 18 years now, and have met many wonderful people here. I have enjoyed our parks, activities, the river and our city facilities. And I have given back: to the food bank and other needs, but mostly with my time.

I started out as vice chair of my neighborhood organization, Bolton, and served two years as chair of that group before getting appointed to the planning commission. I later was appointed to the police advisory committee, where I served as chair for several years. Currently I serve as chair of the public safety advisory board. I feel I’m in a position to know what the city needs.

I cannot sit and read the negative preaching from Bob Thomas without responding. Two weeks ago a fire hydrant across the street from my home was opened and let flow on full force for about 45 minutes. When the city worker returned to test the water and turn it off, I learned that the old pipes in lower West Linn Bolton, Robinwood and Willamette especially, are sloughing off asbestos and metals (lead) and need flushing to maintain safe drinking water.

Much of our water system is very old, and we have pipe breaks too frequently. Fixing these is costly, and certainly inconvenient for the homes without water. And our storage system needs fixing and expanding — none of it would stand up to even a medium sized earthquake.

Now Mr. Thomas claims the 2004 water plan that the past city mayor David Dodds put forth is adequate and less expensive. Dodds, however, never attempted to initiate this plan. He only wanted to cut back the existing plan to stop city growth.

Now here comes the good stuff. While in office Dodds not only cut back the water plan, he turned down (without letting the council even vote on it) a grant from Metro for sidewalks around our elementary schools. He and the-then anti-growth chair of Bolton N.A. refused the money for an engineering study to improve traffic backup on Highway 43 around the 205 freeway. Isn’t that intersection a dream?

Then Mayor Dodds fired the accountant who did our state required audits, and refused to hire anyone else to have it done, dropping our city’s bond rating.

We tossed him and most of his cronies out of office, only Councilor Terry Cummings remains. We elected Norm King as mayor, who found our financial director was using city money for her weekend gambling sprees at the casino, and our new library director (hired by Dodds) was using a city credit card for many personal purchases. Thanks to Norm the dark days were over.

An election is coming up soon. Let’s keep West Linn strong — and positive.

Dennis Richey is a resident of West Linn.

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