Letters to the editor
Term limits could have negative impacts
These are unprecedented times. Americans are facing severe hardships; record numbers of our people are dying; our economy is fragile and in danger of collapse. Never more than now do we need good governance at all levels of government, including local government.
In Wilsonville, we are being asked to vote on a term-limits ballot measure that prevents future councilors and mayors from acquiring the experience needed for good governance — experience that can only be acquired with involvement and multiple terms on the council. Local government impacts our lives directly. Good local governance can be a beacon for the bigger world.
In these insecure times, we all have to be concerned with the negative impact this measure will have on our local government, not only now but in the future. An election, which does not allow dedicated, experienced, willing public servants on the ballot is neither an improvement to government nor to democracy.
I urge you to vote "no" on Measure 3-556. It is bad for Wilsonville.
Term limits provide fresh perspectives
One thing we all agree on is how much we love our city and the people who have chosen this wonderful place as their home. We also admire those who volunteer in different capacities, which is one of the characteristics of a vibrant town. Term limits does nothing to change that.
Wilsonville has a council-manager form of government, which means our city manager runs the day-to-day operations and the city council is like a board of directors with the city manager as the CEO. We've been blessed with long-term city managers and planners. They are the people that provide the continuity that is needed to keep everything running smoothly in our city.
As members of the city council change with their staggered terms, it's just like bringing on new board members of a corporation. Each one brings a different perspective to the table and those who are "retiring" can mentor those who are taking their place.
This form of government was designed to rid municipalities of the pervasive "political machine" with a politically impartial manager hired to carry out the administration functions in an objective and efficient manner.
As someone who has lived in Wilsonville for over 60 years, I'm in favor of term limits simply because I think it's good policy.
I'm hoping that you will vote with me so that we can add fresh perspective to our council. As written by Corey Buchanan of the Wilsonville Spokesman, in his interview with those outside our city, it was pointed out by Lake Oswego Mayor Kent Studebaker (who will be term-limited out this year), it doesn't take that many years to grow into the role of mayor.
He said: "I don't think it would take a full four-year term to settle in to that. If you pay attention, it doesn't take that long." The measure on the ballot this May is for a 12-year term limit — certainly enough time to learn the ropes, serve and then step aside for the next generation.
Wilsonville doesn't need term limits
The most recent survey of Wilsonville citizens shows they overwhelmingly enjoy Wilsonville. The National Research Center Survey from 2018 shows that 94% of residents rate the quality of life in Wilsonville as "excellent" or "good."
Wilsonville citizens also rated: place to raise children (97%), safe in neighborhood (97%), overall appearance (92%), services provided by the city of Wilsonville (85%), and city parks (94%).
Why do citizens rate Wilsonville so highly? Among several reasons, one would be how well our city government works. The city council provides the guidance that shapes our community. For example, citizens rate "overall appearance" 92%. This is because the council establishes design standards that control how everything that is built meets acceptable appearance standards.
If our council were doing excellent guidance, why would a group of citizens want to remove Mayor Tim Knapp and Councilor Charlotte Lehan through term limits? Knapp and Lehan have been providing a high level of guidance for a very long period of time.
I would like you to vote "no" on the Wilsonville term limits (3-556) measure and retain our excellent leaders. In the future, if you don't believe that they are doing the job correctly, find a candidate that will beat them in an election.
Vote for Peggy Stevens
I am writing to encourage your readers to vote for Republican Peggy Stevens in the May primary. Stevens has deep roots in our community and she and Ken raised their family here.
I appreciate that Stevens has great experience in education. She served on the Sherwood School Board for many years.
Too many politicians simply throw more money at problems. Stevens is the only one I hear talking about focusing on higher education standards and allowing school districts the freedom to empower teachers and help kids as they see fit.
Please vote for Peggy Stevens in the May election!
Say no to term limits
Having lived in Wilsonville for 15 years and voted for numerous representatives, I believe there is no need for term limits. Our election process provides voters with the ability to elect new representatives every election cycle.
If you do not think your representatives are doing a good job, vote them out of office. Why should an effective representative be required to leave office because his/her term is "limited." Equally important, why do some want term limits? Because the elected officials are not doing what THEY want.
But term limits will not give them what they want. It will only limit the terms of those who are doing the people's business. It doesn't make sense to me. Vote "no" on term limits.
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