Letters to the Editor for Aug. 10, 2010

City should have no opinion

While you, or I, may personally have opinions on immigration or on Arizona SB1070, the City, as a municipal corporation, should not.

If you, or I, elected official of Washougal, or not, have an opinion, we should express it personally to our state or federal legislators.

The fact that many won’t is not a reason for the City Council of Washougal to pretend to speak for them.

I believe it is wrong for the elected City Council to speak for the entirety of Washougal on any partisan political issue.

Immigration has a negligible effect on this City’s revenue or expenditures; and, therefore, no relevance to the business of this City.

We have plenty on our plate; we don’t need more.

Individual council members do have a right to mount a soapbox outside of City Hall to hold forth on a partisan issue. (Although officials do have the right, I am convinced that to do so hurts the City. No matter which side you’re on, you will alienate powerful people, who otherwise could have done good things for Washougal.)

However, to make the City a player in partisan politics is wrong, and is inconsistent with the principal, enshrined in Washington Law, that municipal governments are non-partisan.

To put it another way, even if a vast majority support a partisan state or national issue, which has no direct bearing on the business of Washougal, I believe it is wrong for the City Council, as a legislative body, to advance that partisan issue against the opposition of even a small minority.

Those who think our State and U.S. Constitution are about “majority rules” haven’t read it. The founders wrote our Constitutions to protect the rest of us from the “tyranny of the majority!”

Nothing that the City does can, or will, effect a solution to the “immigration problem.”

Once they step out from City Hall, individual council members can say anything they want; but for Council to take a stand on this issue, on either side, is wrong; it only hurts the City.

I hold the conviction that when I accepted a position on City Council, I assumed the duty to subjugate my personal ambition, my public statements, and my personal behavior, to a commitment to the advancement of our City to provide a future for Washougal, that is not only not less, but greater than was given to us.

Paul Greenlee, Washougal City Councilman

Russell is not a lobbyist

As I have followed the candidates and reviewed the facts on those running for Legislative District 18, the choice is clear. I will be casting my ballot for Jon Russell.

As a small business owner, Jon is the candidate who understands how big government and higher taxes create unemployment and recessions, not prosperity and growth.

As a husband and father, Jon understands the importance of standing up for traditional family values, something important to our district and something Jon has been clear to do publicly.

Although his opponent would like us to believe she is not a career politician, Jon has never been a lobbyist. This is something that his opponent clearly is, and he is the only candidate that publicly supports term limits. Hmmm, sounds funny.

Examine the facts and cast your ballot for Jon Russell, the clear choice.

Brian Grant, pastor, Camas Assembly of God Church

Immigration issues are relevant to Washougal

I attended the Aug. 2 Washougal City Council meeting where the immigration resolution was discussed. I was disappointed to hear that two members of the Washougal City Council suggested that the resolution was “outside the scope of city business.” Need I remind them that this is the United States of America, where we are a republic governed for the people, by the people, not a monarchy where power goes from the top down.

The foundations of our country root from individuals (the people) having the power to influence higher levels of government, thus power starts at the bottom. People become involved in their own local community and city government, which in turn can influence state legislatures and on up the chain of representation.

I must contend then, that the discussion was completely relevant to city business. Since when is “supporting the Constitution and Laws of the United States” irrelevant to city business? Need I remind the two council members that they signed an oath to do so? Perhaps they better review their oath of office.

For the record, the oath of office is as follows: “I, council member, do solemnly swear that I am a citizen of the United States and the State of Washington; that I will support the Constitution and laws of the United States and the Constitution and laws of the State of Washington, and will to the best of my judgment, skill, and ability, truly, faithfully, diligently and impartially perform the duties of office of City Council, City of Washougal, in and for Clark County , Washington, such as duties are prescribed by law, so help me God.”

I would like to commend the five members of the council who stood up to uphold their sworn duties. This leads to a strong city, which when combined with strong families and strong communities, provides a foundation for which a strong country can exist. Let us not forget that.

Don Bohlin, Washougal

Parkersville park site will finally be secure

As reported in last week’s Post Record, the Port of Camas-Washougal commissioners are applying to rezone the park at the Parkersville National Historic Site.

This was initiated as the first action of the commission this year, after the seating of two new commissioners.

The current “highway commercial” zoning will be changed to Washougal’s appropriate zone classification for parks. This will offer security for this waterfront park after nearly 40 years of efforts by local citizens to obtain permanent protection for this site, the first American community in what is now Washington State.

The main concern referred to in the news article was that the entire historic site was not included in the latest refinement of the Port’s application for rezoning.

As the City’s deadline for final application approaches, the port commissioners are finding that mapping confusion, accumulated over the long history of this site, makes it difficult to determine the exact boundaries of the historic site. Add to this a recent property line rearrangement that erased the historic property lines, making it impossible to isolate the historic site from the surrounding Port owned property by tax parcel.

Our three port commissioners all have a sincere interest in protecting this park. As time draws short for this action, I am confident they will find the best solution to put the confusion behind us.

This beautiful park, which has been referred to as Camas and Washougal’s living room, will be protected for the enjoyment of future generations.

Everyone who appreciates the rich and important history of our area, or who recognizes the value of parks, is grateful to our port commissioners for moving so quickly on this matter.

For the members of the community that have spent decades working to protect the Parkersville National Historic Site, this is a long overdue reward.

Richard Hamby, Washougal

Washougal firefighters have good kids

We had the privilege of working on the Washougal firefighter’s float and costumes for the Camas Days parade.

We would like everyone to know what a tremendous group of kids the firemen have. They were all-every one of them- polite, considerate, willing and fun.

We have worked on many projects over the years, but we have never enjoyed a group of children more. Hats off to the Washougal firefighter’s offspring !

We will help you out anytime.

Maggie and Richard Pace, Washougal

Stanton brings wisdom and insight

There have been times in history when our direction has veered off course and has required correction.

For many, we hold strong values that we favor “elected officials” over “appointed officials” to provide leadership. We support that choice where the people make their choice through the election process.

Due to a variety of circumstances that have occurred in our local government structure, the office of Skamania County prosecutor has been challenged by three candidates who offer a change in leadership for the next four years.

All three candidates have equal or more “skill sets” that are required by the state of Washington and the American Bar Association to practice law and have demonstrated equal or better success, in and out of the courtroom, both criminal and civil law.

All have demonstrated meritorious family, civic and community interfacing that has created a justifiable following for a variety of values.

However, with that said, Dave Stanton brings to the table an extraordinary background of longevity in the criminal justice system that offers added wisdom and insight; has offered an accountability and consistency strategic plan that will return trust and confidence to the office of prosecuting attorney; has expert criminal justice investigative knowledge and skills surpassed by all candidates; and has the strength, character, and resolve to stand for what’s right and lawful.

We have known Stanton for many years. We are honored to offer to you, in our opinion, the candidate who has the integrity and common sense to get the job done over and above all the others.

Bill Closner, Ray Blaisdell, Retired Skamania County sheriffs

Please review our community guidelines