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Taking issue with other letter writers

I’m refuting contents of three different citizen submissions published in West Linn Tidings.

Two were letters in the Jan. 23 issue, one by Grant Oakes and the other by L.K. Mays. One was a (Citizen’s View) by Dennis Richey in the Jan. 9 issue.

Oakes’ views present recall efforts as unjustified. By comparison, he falsely claims the Dodds administration made procedural errors of great magnitude.

Mays falsely accuses me of insulting present council members in my Jan. 9 Tidings (Citizen’s View) justifying their recall. I stated facts, which Mays chooses to call insults. I’ve also never boasted of being a professional engineer nor am I a mechanical engineer as he claims. I’m a retired electrical engineer.

Richey ignores reality and preaches fabricated nonsense. He bemoans aged and crumbling water and sewer systems and says our mayor and councilors are addressing these problems with incremental steps. That’s false. They’ve been derelict in not using large amounts of available money, as noted in my Jan. 9 Tidings (Citizen’s View), to have replaced all such deteriorating infrastructure.

Richey fabricated more falsehoods when saying former Mayor Dodds ran the city like his fiefdom. No, he abided by applicable laws, instituted policies that significantly benefited West Linn residents, raised system development charges (SDCs) on developers including imposing for the first time “full cost” SDCs. He stopped previous Mayor Jill Thorn’s and City Manager Scott Burgess’ plans to provide much more water storage to feed urban expansion of West Linn into the Stafford triangle and stopped Mayor Thorn’s allowing use of city facilities to aid developers in planning development of Area 30 outside city boundaries. He also successfully applied to the court of appeals to roll back Metro’s unjustified expansion of West Linn’s urban growth boundary.

Mayor Dodds did not fire the city auditor nor refuse to hire another as falsely alleged by Richey. Dodds asked city manager Sandi Farley to look into hiring a different auditing firm than the longstanding one. Farley had the city finance director, Elma Magkamit, look into that. Magkamit reported back that all firms were much too expensive, and assured Farley that audits were satisfactorily proceeding as usual. Later, after Magkamit’s embezzlement was discovered, Farley regretted having trusted her. The city successfully sued that auditing firm for malpractice in failing to discover Magkamit’s embezzlement.

Magkamit’s embezzlement started during Mayor Thorn’s administration, continued during Mayor Dodds’ administration and was finally discovered during Mayor King’s administration by a newly hired CPA, Kathy Cordero.

Richey also alleges that many good employees were fired and many fled the city. That’s false. The council can only hire and fire the city attorney and city manager. Scott Burgess, still being city manager at the beginning of the Dodds administration, fired city engineer Dave Monson and demoted public works director Dennis Kohlermeier. Burgess was soon let go after that, and then immediately finance director Willie Gin and human resources director Loryn Moore resigned.

Richey also claims audits weren’t done for several years. No, audits weren’t done for two years during a forensic audit investigating Magkamit’s theft. Regular audits were then reinstituted by interim finance director Andy Parks.

Richey also shows his utter ignorance by alleging, like Mayor John Kovash, that the council’s approval of enlarging Lake Oswego’s water treatment plant in West Linn assures us of having water after a major earthquake. That’s absolutely false.

Bob Thomas is a West Linn resident.




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