Letters to the editor
Mark Gamba for Congress
The Oregon primary deadline of May 19 is looming, with ballots arriving in our mailboxes any day now. As we review our options for local, state and federal elected representatives, please note that we have an excellent option this time around to represent Oregon's Congressional 5th District. Mark Gamba is running as a Democrat for the seat held by Kurt Schrader since 2009. As mayor of Milwaukie, Oregon since 2015, Mark has devoted his time, talent and energy to addressing fundamental issues that affect everyday lives, including the proper role of government and how it can work to provide progressive leadership that is inclusive, and addresses social and environmental justice. Key issues that motivate Mark daily include climate change and related natural resource management issues, universal access to healthcare, affordable housing, a living wage, campaign finance reform, and voter rights. Mark is not accepting any campaign funding from corporate donors. I believe Mark Gamba has the progressive values needed to represent us in Congress. Take a look at his website at www.markgamba.com to see what you think. And please vote in the May 19 primary — your vote matters!
Fred Holzmer, Newport
Why Are Term Limits a Good Thing?
If you haven't already, you will soon receive your ballot for the upcoming election. One issue that Wilsonville has the opportunity to vote on is term limits for our city elected officials. Although many who are opposed would argue, "why not just let the people vote?' term limits have been put in place in many governments to combat the "incumbent advantage." Term limits offer a chance for healthy turnover and allow citizens a chance to step into leadership roles who wouldn't normally run against a city leader who has been in office for OVER TWENTY YEARS. Some of our city electeds would have you believe this is about the airport, or a personal attack against them. I urge you to rather see that putting term limits in place would only put Wilsonville in line with our neighboring cities such as Tualatin, Tigard, Lake Oswego, Sherwood and Oregon City. Many electeds in these cities see the term limits not as a limitation, but an opportunity to grow and develop leaders. Join with me in voting YES on term limits and bring new talent to Wilsonville's leadership!
Kyle Bunch, Wilsonville
Wilsonville's finances are sound
I very much appreciate the civil discourse regarding our different views on how our city is run. Personally I'm very happy with it. As a retired financial planner I look at Wilsonville as I would a company. It's a very complicated company with lots of moving parts. But, when I looked for a company I would recommend for my investors, among the many things I considered, I always looked at the S&P Bond Rating. Wilsonville's bond rating is AAA. The way an organization gets a AAA rating, according to S&P analysis, is (among other factors) its strong budgetary performance and very strong management. Some other factors are an improved local economy, higher income per capita and overall wealth. In 2010 we had 15,000 jobs and a payroll of $800 million. Today we have 21,900 jobs and a payroll of $1.4 billion. That's an improved local economy. A triple A rating allows Wilsonville, if needed, lower interest on debt service and saves us money. The key point here is very strong management. We have it. A CEO doesn't have term limits if they're doing an excellent job. We have elections if you're unhappy. I had a heart valve replacement this last summer. It went well, thank you. But I didn't try to find a new doctor that I wanted to give a chance. I wanted the best and most experience doctor I could find. It's the same with my CPA, my investment manager, my car mechanic, my dentist, etc. Experience matters especially when it's this kind of excellence in action. I hope our Wilsonville leaders serve as long as they want. I don't think it makes sense to cap this kind of success. Vote no on term limits.
Wayne Richards, Wilsonville
Term limits measure needed more consideration
For the first time since 2004, Wilsonville residents are being asked to amend the city charter and impose retroactive term limits on the city's elected offices. Voters should reject this proposed amendment.
I am not against term limits in all circumstances. I support the 22nd Amendment to the Constitution, which limits presidents to two terms. I support gubernatorial term limits, and I would entertain the idea of term limits for state legislators. I could imagine that in some cities, term limits might be a good idea.
Measure 3-356, however, is not right for Wilsonville. Its awkward and complicated mechanics — a councilor (or mayor) may not serve for more than 12 of 20 years — make clear that it is targeted at particular members of the current council. This intent is confirmed by the measure drafters' stated goal that the term limits be retroactive. Retroactive laws are inherently suspect; indeed, in other contexts, the federal and state constitutions prohibit retroactive laws.
If we are going to reform our city government, let's do it the right way. This mayor (or the next) could appoint a charter revision commission to consider term limits along with other proposals for reforming the city's governing structure. For instance, a commission might also consider electing councilors by ward to reflect the city's geographic diversity, as is done in Woodburn and Salem. A commission could take term limits under consideration in a manner that is forward-looking and not targeted at particular officials. These proposals and others could be considered holistically, with broad citizen input, and with the legal advice of the city attorney.
Please join me in voting "no" on Measure 3-356.
Paul Diller, Wilsonville
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