West Linn desperately needs change
Yes, West Linn, I think we have had enough for all of the reasons listed in last week's editorial in the Tidings, and more.
Enough of opaque "transparency" from Councilors Sakelik, Cummings, and Relyea. One example: they feigned transparency with citizen involvement only to ignore the actual input given on City Manager candidates. The final recommendation from citizens: they voted 2 to 1 in favor of one candidate. However, the 3 councilors chose the lower scoring candidate (this preliminary decision was also argued by Councilor Walters and Mayor to no avail). Why did they do this?
Enough of spending time and money and not getting anything done for our city. There are so many examples of this but in brief: I am referring to the most recent council vote, lead by Sakelik, Cummings, and Relyea, to scrap the Old City Hall agreement with the Willamette Falls and Landings Heritage Area Coalition. They pulled this out of their hats at the end of an 8-hour meeting, which they made Coalition representatives sit through. They scrapped a several year long process, hundreds of volunteer hours, city staff hours, and planning funds to "start over with a new committee." Why? Did they think the city could make bank on this building ... without parking in the middle of the worst intersection this side of the river? Did they think that we have enough city budget and staff to oversee the programing and scheduling in this building, while they fritter away money for residents who want recognition (see below)? Because they think they can get ... what? The real take away here is that Sakelik, Cummings, and Relyea keep changing their minds at our expense. They did this, by-the-way, with the city attorney's meter running at over $300 per hour the whole time (don't get me started on that issue). Long meetings are the norm with this group, it is abnormal, dysfunctional and expensive.
We've have had enough of Sakelik, Cummings and Relyea bypassing the governing process and voting to spend shrinking city dollars on ridiculously frivolous things. An example here: Sakelik at a July 2020 meeting, added an item proposing that funds be allocated for a White Oak Savanna Park plaque honoring ... yup, you guessed it, Ed and Roberta Schwarz. Recognition signage is generally considered after a person's death. Well, we know Ed is not dead because these same councilors appointed him to the new advisory committee for the Old City Hall ... but I digress. The take away is that Sakelik continued to push for the sign the majority council voted in favor of allocating up to $5,000 for the sign! This is wrong on so many levels.
While Sakelik, Cummings and Relyea are pushing their preferences, supporting their supporters, destroying West Linn's fragile reputation with area governments and agencies, tolling on 205 is coming down hard on West Linn and the only one engaged in speaking out for us about this is, Councilor Walters. Walters is paying attention to the bigger picture and we need to be supporting that. Otherwise, we can plan to admire the plaque for the Schwarzs as we pay to get on 205. If that isn't a slap in the face, I don't know what is. Snap out of it West Linn and vote for change in the fall.
Elizabeth Smolens is a West Linn resident.
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