Wilsonville Letters to the Editor
Stevens will help us get back to school
I am a newer voter and am excited to exercise this privilege. As I began my research of candidates I was impressed to see that Peggy Stevens has proven her advocacy for me and all kids to go back to school. I'm in my last year of college and am completing courses via distance learning. I have moved back home and see that another family member is having to complete her high school courses in the same manner. While distance learning gives us more freedom with our schedule it's very frustrating to try and build community with other classmates and difficult to engage with the teacher.
After listening to Peggy talk about school choice, it is clear she wants to work with Salem to get us back to school in a safe and efficient manner. She wants to offer school choice for kids and families who acknowledge the value of, and depend on, live person instruction, while offering a comparable plan for students and families who don't feel it's safe to return. Her message resonates with me and my frustration with our current schools. I'm thankful we have a candidate who listens to her community and is determined to help us get back to school. Peggy Stevens has earned my vote for state representative, HD 26, on Nov. 3!
Strong leadership for the Wilsonville City Council
Joann Linville has served in an appointed position on the Wilsonville City Council since September of 2019 and is now running for a full term on the Wilsonville City Council. We are fortunate she is running as she has accomplished much in the past year. She is committed to affordable housing in Wilsonville and supported the Equitable Housing Strategic Plan the city passed in June 2020.
As an African American resident of Wilsonville, I like that she supports Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiatives and supports the idea of forming a listening session to hear the voices of the minority community members in Wilsonville. During my first coffee meeting with her, I could tell she was a genuine and secure person. She listened to what I had to say and responded in a way that said she heard what I was saying.
Joann is a strong leader and is the right choice to continue in her role as a city councilor. If you have not met Joann in person, I urge you to do so. There is still time before the election. You can contact her at linvilleforwilsonville.com. She would welcome your call and endorsement.
Neron brings intelligence, a positive approach
We have been part of the Wilsonville community since 1975 and consider ourselves politically active and informed. Over the years we have carefully followed a number of issues that affect the livability and economic strength of our community.
During the past legislative session, State Rep. Courtney Neron, D-Wilsonville, demonstrated her ability to listen, weigh opposing views, dig deep into facts and science, and work for a positive outcome on issues. Her ability to work with folks with diverse views is critical to getting important work done in Salem. We need Rep. Neron's intelligent and positive approach to issues now more than ever.
Tom and Kit Whittaker,
Linville has business development knowledge
I've been pleased to read the high volume of letters in the Spokesman that point out the leadership and experience Joann Linville brings to her role on our City Council. One topic that hasn't received much attention is Joann's depth of knowledge in business development. Her work as a dean of programs for several community colleges placed her front and center in ensuring academic programs were addressing the changing needs of our workforce. Often, her work involved establishing strategic partnerships between academic departments and large employers in the area — employers representing manufacturing, technology, health services, construction, engineering and more. As our region recovers from COVID-19, our city must work in tandem with educational institutions such as Clackamas Community College and the Oregon Institute of Technology to encourage students to take advantage of the opportunities offered in these career sectors. Joann's knowledge will be an asset to the city's economic development department and our local Chamber as they work together to ensure the city attracts top employers to the Coffee Creek and Basalt Creek business centers and to vacant spaces throughout Wilsonville. For her business expertise and more, let's keep Joann Linville on our City Council!
Wouldn't we rather have Linville?
Who would we rather have on City Council making decisions for us? A nice fellow who has coached youth sports and led boy scout troops? A nice fellow who has no experience with city government? A nice fellow who has accepted significant financial contributions from special interests? A nice fellow who finds it difficult to give a clear and direct answer to questions about matters of importance to the city of Wilsonville?
Or, would we rather have an individual who has served three-years plus on the city of Wilsonville Development Review Board, including a year as chair? A person who has over 30 years as a nursing faculty member and college administrator? A person who was appointed by the governor to the Willamette Falls Locks Commission? Someone who has represented the city on the Metro Community Enhancement Committee? Someone who has served on the Arts, Cultural, and Heritage Task Force, represented the city at the French Prairie Forum, attended every Budget Committee meeting and much more. That would be Joann Linville. She is my candidate. She should be yours. For the sake of Wilsonville, vote for Joann Linville for City Council.
West's website needs fact checking
The Ben West for Wilsonville Mayor website needs fact checking regarding statements about Wilsonville Park & Recreation. He stated that he was the chair of the Park Bond Task Force and that one of its priorities was to increase the number of sports fields in the community.
Until this year I have been a member of and past chair of the Wilsonville Park & Recreation Advisory Board. I was also a member of the Park & Recreation Bond Task Force. Ben West was not the chair of the task force. Jim Barnes, the current chair of the Wilsonville Park & Recreation Advisory Board, was the chair.
The task force unanimously decided not to include additional sports fields in its recommendations to the City Council. There was lots of discussion regarding sports fields. We looked at the cost of developing a city-owned, ten-acre Frog Pond Community Park on Advance Road consisting of two soccer fields with two ballfields overlaying them. Essentially two fields for $14 million! Instead, the task force recommended artificial turf on some of the fields in Memorial Park to increase their usage in wet months.
Ben West is in favor of having more sports fields than the city needs. According to survey information in the 2018 Wilsonville Park and Recreation Comprehensive Masterplan ballfields and courts were last out of 11 in responders' priority items. He wants teams to come here and have tournaments, stay in local hotels and eat at local restaurants — basically a commercial operation that local taxpayers would be footing the bill for — to the tune of millions of dollars per field.
Too much potential for outside pressure
Like many voters, I never paid much attention to local politics. I voted for Ben West in 2018 when he was running for City Council. I am also a registered Republican, as is Ben West.
A local Wilsonville social media group recently posted information from the State of Oregon that detailed Wilsonville campaign finance data, and a link to OPB and Spokesman articles. Today I accessed the State of Oregon site. I'm troubled by continued contributions to Ben's campaign from corporations and PACs. Additional corporate and PAC contributions since the articles continue to flow into Ben West's campaign from outside Wilsonville.
As of today, only close to 4.7% of Ben West's contributions are sourced from local donations of less than $100, compared to over 31% of Julie Fitzgerald's contributions. Moreover, almost half the donors who have contributed over $100 to Ben's campaign list home addresses outside of Wilsonville.
Is this what we want for our city? A mayor whose race is bolstered by PACs, large corporations, and individuals who desire to influence local politics but may not have the best interests of Wilsonville citizens in mind? The optics and potential for outside pressure from these donors are problematic, at best.
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