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Letters to the editor

Police need our support

The community must come together now to maintain a quality, but still understaffed, St. Helens Police presence.

Over the years the department has shrunk as budgets tightened, and it is now slightly past the “tipping point.” If we have any hope of continuing the type of response to crucial situations that we have been receiving, money must be allocated for the officers.

The lack of progressive taxation which we had in the past was eliminated several years ago, and the city budget can no longer support the staff required to do an acceptable job.

Many of us have had rapid responses to situations which we could not control: accidents, intruders, domestic violence, welfare checks, etc. The rapid responses cannot continue without police officers to perform them. I know some think, “Great, fewer officers, less chance of me getting a ticket for a traffic offense!”

But think about it: this is very minor when other issues do require rapid responses.

We are a society that takes a lot of our privileges for granted. One we always assume a police officer will be there when protection is required. But, these services are not free. They come with a cost.

Do your job and vote for the upcoming police levy.

Jim Huff, St. Helens

Maygra takes a strong stance on coal

Tammy Maygra will receive my vote for County Commissioner. The number one reason is her opponent, Mr. Tony Hyde, has been in this office for 16 years. I believe few, if any, political positions are well served once an individual makes it his or her career.

Second, Mr. Hyde has refused to make his position regarding the coal issue known. His canned response has been to say “bring me five smiling mayors.” He is alluding that if the five mayors come to an agreement then he will back them. Well, those five mayors serve in unpaid positions and, I assume, have jobs outside the capacity of mayor. On the other hand, Mr. Hyde holds one of the highest paying jobs in this county. We pay him to study issues and then let his constituents know what he believes is in our best interest. He is shirking his duty on the coal issue.

I assume he is remaining silent because he doesn’t want to discourage anyone on either side of the issue from voting for him.

Having no opinion is safe ... and cowardly. Alternatively, we have Ms. Maygra, whose style is amazingly open — sometimes to her detriment.

For example, she says she is a democrat even though the position is non-political and she needn’t say anything. She says she is against coal even though saying so may cost her the pro-coal vote. She also is running to insure the $6 million hospital debacle that took place during Mr. Hyde’s reign will result in the only remaining asset (land) being sold and the proceeds returned to the taxpayer.

Voters, regardless of party affiliation, say they want transparency in government. In order for that to become a reality we must support and elect candidates who walk the talk.

Nancy Ward, Scappoose

Labor’s folly to align with Hyde

I have to wonder if the North West Labor Council has buyer’s remorse over its support of Tony Hyde? After 16 years of his failed Republican policies in Columbia County, Tony Hyde has come begging organized labor for an endorsement over Tammy Maygra and because Tammy differs with labor over LNG and coal, they gave Tony that endorsement.

So, they decide to endorse Tony, who is anti-worker, anti-union, anti-prevailing wage and Pro-Right To Work For Less in Oregon because Tammy is only with labor 98 percent of the time.

Looks to me like labor would cut off their nose to spite their face.

If you look at Bruce Starr’s web page, you will see that Tony Hyde has endorsed Bruce Starr who is running for labor commissioner against Brad Avakian. Bruce Starr told the Lars Larsen Radio Show that he fully supports Right to Work legislation that will continue the Republicans race to the bottom.

Jamie L. Maygra, Deer Island

Carlson for Position 4 in St. Helens

Virginia “Ginny” Carlson is running for St. Helens City Council, position 4. Ginny and her family have lived in the St. Helens area since 1997. She works at Riverside Training Center with adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities to help them live their lives as fully as possible. She and her husband, Kevin, own and operate a small business in this area, Kevin’s Auto Body.

She has completed training with the Ford Family Foundation and continues as a community ambassador for that entity. She believes in small business development and is proud to be a part of the hard working people in St. Helens. She wants to help direct the future of the city. She is opposed to coal trains and river barges shipping coal through our cities and county to be loaded on ships for foreign export.

Ginny, in connection with her Ford Foundation work, is one of the people responsible for the splash pool located at Gazebo Park in St. Helens. Please consider this contribution when you are also considering the fact that her opponent, Warren “Skip” Baker, is the person who gave you the $15,000 fake volcano in the middle of Columbia Boulevard.

Judy Preheim, St. Helens

Hyde earns peer approval

I have known Tony Hyde for more years than I care to count. I first met him when he was the mayor of Vernonia. At that time I was a state representative and Vernonia was in my legislative district. Tony would visit with me in Salem or Vernonia and talk about the issues important to his community.

Then Tony became a county commissioner and his advocacy expanded to include all of Columbia County. Two years later I became a commissioner in Tillamook County and now we work together on issues important to our counties. I know Tony very well and consider him to be one of the best commissioners in Oregon. I say this as a Democrat.

Look what Tony did to bring the people of Vernonia together in their effort to build a new school. That effort was remarkable. Look around and you will find Tony has been very active in his efforts to improve the economy of Columbia County. The governor recognized his effectiveness and appointed him to the State Economic Development Commission.

A vote for Tony Hyde should be one of the easier decisions you will make this election season.

Tim Josi, Tillamook County Commissioner

Fisher has my support for commissioner

I believe Earl Fisher should be elected Columbia County Commissioner this year. I support him in this election. During the past four years I have personally watched how he has been as our county commissioner.

He has been and is:

Willing to listen to you and work hard for you.

The commissioner who pushed to get the courthouse Columbia County Museum reopened and furnished a wonderful resource for the citizens of our community.

There to work for educational resources by insisting that the Education Service District, Portland Community College and MTC work together to provide better services for the young people of Columbia County.

Wise, calm and courteous in his working with others.

Willing to make the hard decisions in government.

A leader and person that his peers respect. An example of this is he was elected the vice president of the Association of Oregon Counties and serves in that position.

We need someone who is calm, courteous, intelligent, kind, hard working and respected to continue to lead this county through the hard times we have ahead of us. We have no need for a “one issue” candidate.

Agnes Marie Petersen, St. Helens

Fisher needed now more than ever

I am writing this letter in support of Earl Fisher for the upcoming election for County commissioner on Nov. 6.

Columbia County, like many counties across our nation, is facing serious problems. I have known and worked with Earl on various projects and believe he is the one who can help direct us through these serious times. His previous background and education has prepared him to be able to work with people and find solutions to difficult problems. I believe him to be a man of honesty and integrity who will put the interest of our county first.

If you have supported me in past elections please consider joining me and cast your vote for Earl Fisher.

Terry Luttrell, St. Helens

Gedlick delivers the goods

I am writing in support of Donna Gedlick for Scappoose City Council. Gedlick is a strong advocate for the citizens of Scappoose, working to do what is best for the community not her political career. She has an excellent working knowledge of the city’s planning and budgeting process and has worked to save the city’s resources during good times and to make sensible decisions when the budget is shrinking.

Gedlick is dependable, experienced and honest; she will serve our town well.

Cecelia Nunn Haack, Scappoose

Stumping for Maygra and Mayo

Time is getting close to make our political voices heard. For me it will be an easy year to vote in Columbia County and Oregon because there are no incumbents that have acted on what the people have voted for. Our county commissioner’s have not acted on the prior voices of the voters regarding the health district funds or the property they took, on taxation options voted in but not collected, on the raises they gave themselves against the advice of the finance committee, or even bothered to show up for work most of the time. Their meetings to take any action must be taking place in secret because they no longer have work sessions and further refuse to make decisions in their public meetings. There is no other way I can see for them to get anything done that they claim credit for. We need new blood to get our county moving again and that means 2 new commissioner’s in Wayne Mayo and Tammy Maygra.

As for the sheriff, rumor has it he also took a raise and promoted his buddies to also get raises while getting rid of other employees. This from a man originally elected who claimed that money was no issue but is now out not only for re-election but to try again to get a levy passed. It would be interesting to find out if he has not only collected the bed fees for inmates brought in from other cities, counties, and out of state but has gotten that money (if collected) back from the county general fund. I would agree with his original statement throughout his original election that there is already plenty of money, if only it was used wisely. Again, we need new blood and that will mean voting for Dave Fuller for my part.

Remember voters, it is really our money they are all using or trying to get out of our dwindling pocket books. The way I see it I will be voting for Wayne Mayo and Tammy Maygra for the respective commissioner positions they are seeking because both of them have to be elected to make a change. I will also be voting for Dave Fuller, sheriff. Hope you have had enough too and will join the rest of us voting this way.

Georgia Keiper, Scappoose

Unappreciated by Dickerson; friend to Mayo

In 2003 I joined the Columbia County Sheriff’s Posse.

After one year of background checks, physical evaluations and training, I became a Sherrif’s Posse deputy. I was unemployed and looking for training in law enforcement as a correction’s officer. I was called upon to watch a suicidal prisoner overnight at a hospital for eight hours, saving the taxpayers hundreds of dollars. I was the backup deputy on several prisoner transports (transporting a felon requires two deputies). I ran a metal detector at the Columbia County Courthouse during a murder trial. This was all volunteer work.

In January 2009, soon after Sheriff Jeff Dickerson took office, I went to our regular scheduled posse meeting and was met by a regular deputy and was told to go home. Sheriff Dickerson had disbanded the posse. I was told Sheriff Dickerson did not want any unpaid vounteers, he wanted to replace the posse with retired and laid off state policemen. I was told later that the sheriff seemed to only hire ex-state police for deputies.

At that meeting in January 2009 I asked what I was supposed to do with my Sheriff’s Posse badge. I was told to keep it as a souvenir. About one month later I was contacted by another former posse member and was told the sheriff had reconsidered, and decided he needed volunteers for Search and Rescue. After being told to go home by a deputy with not even a “thank you for your service,” I felt like it was a a slap in the face by Sheriff Dickerson.

Also, I have been a friend of Wayne Mayo for about 30 years. The one word to describe Wayne (other than religion) is “jobs.” Wayne has, from the time I knew him, helped people get jobs. Wayne believes in the proverb, “Give a man a fish he will eat for a day, teach him to fish and the man will eat for a lifetime.” Wayne does not agree with the radical, extremist Democrats like President Obama, who push food stamps and government handouts. He may not work in food pantries because he is working on getting and keeping jobs for our county’s poor.

He believes in (like Arizona) enforcing federal laws. Unlike the radical extremist Democrats he pushes for jobs for those who are legally and lawfully able to work. Many a family has gotten off food stamps with a good paying job because of Wayne’s help. We need more elected officials like Wayne as a county commissioner who will push for private sector jobs and not government handouts. Wayne has been quoted in Time magazine for his stand on enforcement federal law at the county level.

Wayne is a good man for county commissioner.

William R. Yauney, Scappoose