Letters to the editor for Aug. 3, 2010

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Krog for prosecutor

A decision in the race for Skamania County prosecutor faces the voters during this primary election.

There are four candidates running for the position. I cannot recall the last time an incumbent prosecutor faced this much opposition in a primary race.

It may be unprecedented that two former sheriffs have come out in support of a candidate other than the incumbent, and in this race the current sheriff has done the same.

I believe it is important to evaluate the credentials of each of these men and make an informed decision before you cast your ballot.

The relationship between the sheriff and the prosecutor is perhaps the single most important relationship within your county government. This relationship is built on the premise that each person, in their respective position, shares a commitment to hard work and a work ethic that meets the expectation of the victims of crime in Skamania County.

I am extending my support to Randy Krog in this primary race because I have witnessed his commitment to his profession and the diligence with which he practices law.

It is a humbling experience to serve the citizens of Skamania County under a mandate of the voters. When that level of trust and confidence is bestowed upon an individual it demands a level of commitment to the criminal justice system so that all are fairly represented.

I am confident that Mr. Krog understands the responsibility of the office of prosecuting attorney, has prepared himself well and is well suited to serve the citizens of Skamania County as Prosecuting Attorney.

Dave Brown, sheriff, Skamania County

Russell will be strong local voice

As an independent voter I try to identify candidates who might better serve the needs of our community.

Here in Camas-Washougal we have special needs, but I am not convinced that we currently have a strong voice in Olympia who is a champion for us. We need help to bring state dollars to improve transportation and economic development for Camas-Washougal.

Local city planners are considering placing roundabouts on SR14 because they are “cheaper” and other options are not being considered because they are more costly. Why are they considering roundabouts? Because we do not have influence in the legislature to bring more transportation funding to our area.

We also need funding to improve industrial and commercial development to create more local jobs. This may require environmental clean up of former industrial sites and tax incentives for new companies to relocate to our community. But, again, we don’t have a champion in the legislature who places Camas-Washougal as a high priority.

For these reasons I am supporting Jon Russell for the Washington State Legislature. Let’s support a local candidate who will best represent our needs in Olympia.

Roger Daniels, Washougal

Get Washougal back on track

I have spent a lot of time listening to and watching our City Council go about their business of representing the citizens and safeguarding Washougal in the weekly City Council meetings.

From my point of view, entirely too much time and effort is spent by three City Council members on their own personal agendas and not nearly enough time is spent on our time and our tax money with the work of Washougal.

Washougal is a wonderful small city and we have many things we can work on right here. Why do some of our city leaders feel the need to attempt to battle the federal and state government over issues that are so far removed from Washougal and can never be affected by our relatively tiny city government? Why is this?

Councilman Jon Russell is running now for a Washington State Legislative seat; this just after he quit running the race for Congress and Brian Baird’s seat. It is obvious, in my opinion, that his efforts to drag Washougal into Arizona’s immigration problems and now his moves to charge into the I-5 corridor bridge controversy are only a way for him to grab media attention to further his own political ambitions. While I can understand his motives I do not like him spending my tax dollars on his personal and questionable political agenda.

Councilman Michael Delavar is very much involved with his “Campaign for Liberty” ideal, which from my point of view is part and parcel with the local charge of the Tea Party People who are eager to take on the current GOP in Southwest Washington.

His recent comments during City Council sessions about the abuse of the federal census mandate, his constant and tiresome lectures about his skewed interpretation of our Constitution of the United States, are aimed not at Washougal or city business, but rather to draw attention to his own involvement in this ultra conservative national Tea Party movement. I do not like this! I want to see him spend his time working with the other City Council members on ways to fix things here in Washougal- not spend our tax money on promoting a political partisan fight here in our little community.

In my opinion, Councilman Dave Shoemaker likes to become emotionally charged, likes to attack anything with the word “stimulus” attached to it, and likes to verbally attack the State of Washington on many of its efforts to assist Washougal.

I believe a much more prudent approach for Mr. Shoemaker would be to honestly try to work hand-in-hand with the longer-term, more experienced members of our hard working City Council. He should also consider each and every thing that comes Washougal’s way, whether it is a federal stimulus item or something from Olympia, rather than immediately saying “no.”

He has made the statement many times, “I do not support anything with the stimulus funds attached to it and encourage the Council to do the same.” Well, I do not agree. I think every single thing that comes before Washougal’s City Council should be looked over intently to see if any part of it might benefit Washougal and then to intelligently look it over with a team approach rather than a one man, know-it-all, approach.

We have a wonderful community here but it takes all of our elected City Council members, all seven of them, working together as a team in a non-partisan format, to work to get Washougal back on a strong and sensible platform.

We are very fortunate to have a mayor like Sean Guard, who has been instrumental in hiring two outstanding people for our city in David Scott and Jennifer Forsberg, and with a smart and hard working city staff, we can and will do it. But we must demand that the people we elected to serve us here in Washougal do so. They should no longer use their Council seat to manipulate their power for their own apparent ideas and their own apparent agendas.

Mike Briggs, Washougal

Don’t put Russell in office

Jon Russell has gotten paid thousands of dollars to pass tax increases, don’t let him do it again.

Apparently, the small following that Russell has amassed for State Representative has quickly forgotten Russell’s recent history with tax increases, and getting paid several thousand dollars to do it.

Russell was paid to consult for the Port of Vancouver to help them pass the largest property tax increase this county has ever seen. Thankfully it failed.

And thankfully, Jon stepped out of the Congressional race, but now he is running to be our representative and we cannot afford to have an individual who, when motivated by money, will sell out principle and take the money

Russell has proven that he is just looking for the next opportunity to become a career politician and will do anything to get himself there.

Tax increases are not the answer, nor will they ever be the answer. Tax increases are not a fiscally conservative approach to anything. Jon cannot get paid our tax dollars again to just raise taxes whenever he sees fit.

Please do not put someone in office that will vote for tax increases whenever he seems to gain from its passage.

Mary Urban, Vancouver

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