Letters to the Editor
Is the editor on vacation?
Two weeks ago I wrote a letter to the editor in which I addressed a citizens concern (actually the mother of a West Linn High School Robotics Team member) about why the citizen members of the City of West Linn Budget Committee voted unanimously to not fund the school's Robotics Team. The City Council in a subsequent meeting also voted not to fund the "after school group." In that letter I also discussed a few examples of which organizations were funded by the Community grants and in my sole reference to "fireworks," I referenced "approximately $1,900 the City used to pay for insurance coverage for the July 4th fireworks in Willamette Park."
Imagine my surprise and disappointment last week in the commentary headlined "The City does not pay for fireworks" in which my character and veracity was questioned numerous times. The fact is that during the Budget Meetings I wanted to increase the funding for the fireworks event organizers; check the tape on the city website.
My wife and I have had dinner at Alice Richmond's house. She has been to my home, and at Christmas asked for holly we have growing. Be that as it may, it seems the Tidings editor was at worse negligent and at best too busy to allow this level of character assassination of myself. My previous relationship with the editor was extremely professional; every letter or commentary I submitted was heavily vetted by the editor. It felt like every fact had to be verified or the sentence modified. I respect veracity and thought the editor did, too. That letter from Ms. Richmond was inaccurate in painting Mike Taylor as some sort of loose with the facts dummy. I am neither loose, nor a dummy.
The true cost of the suit against Councilor Cummings
First off, I wish to thank the current city council for having the wisdom to fight this lawsuit. If they had not done so, we, the taxpayers, would face spending a great deal to have the city recorder collect, file, retrieve, and redact the personal notes of every person who serves on a board or commission, in addition to the actual official city records.
Mr. Rory Bialostosky's lawsuit was frivolous from the beginning, and — as Judge Breithaupt pointed out to him — was based on misreading of the letter of the law. Within the lawsuit and the media frenzy that has followed it, Cummings' personal memory notes are repeatedly called "public records" in contradiction to the actual definition of "public record" in Oregon. Luckily Judge Breithaupt understands that one can't just make up novel definitions and ignore what the law says.
This is not Rory's first attempt to sue the city. But this attempt appears specially designed to denigrate Councilor Cummings' reputation in order to, I believe, pave the way for persons who lack her values to run, and possibly, win a city council majority. His unrelenting media and social media campaign give off the energy of a political campaign, and this very newspaper seems eager to assist him by their open admiration of Rory and David Baker, who made the unreasonable demand for nine years of Cummings personal notes in original form...nine YEARS!
There is another cost to the citizens of West Linn in this, the creation of fear that serves to discourage good people to run for office or to serve on board or commission. This attack needs to be labeled for what it is, which is sleazy political maneuvering. In the next council election voters should remember how the clear meaning of words was twisted to harm a genuine advocate for us all.
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