Letters to the Editor, Oct. 14, 2014

Letters to the Editor, Oct. 14, 2014

Winningham values public education

On Election Day, I’m firing Liz Pike as my representative and I’m voting Maureen Winningham.

Career politicians like Pike are not being effective in Olympia to better public education and champion our public employees.

Pike has voted against every education bill that’s come to the House. Instead, she has focused on sponsoring bills allowing school employees to possess firearms on school grounds as well as promoting a lower “training” minimum wage for younger workers. What a waste of time and our money.

In Southwest Washington, we need a representative that supports public educators and finds solutions to funding public education.

Pike does not value teachers as the professionals they are, but instead has disrespected their profession by voting against cost of living increases and slamming teachers on Facebook saying they should find a different job if they were unhappy with the pay.

Winningham is proudly endorsed by the Washington State Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers and has a child in the public school system. Winningham’s endorsements are far more extensive than Pike’s, proving her ability to build relationships, value public education and the professionals teaching our future leaders.

Join me in voting Maureen Winningham for 18th District Representative.

Erika Cox


the Charter

On Oct. 6, the Camas City Council unanimously passed a resolution in support of the Clark County Charter.

There is a lot a misinformation out there and we urge the citizens to read up on the Charter.

The opponent’s group is stating that the commissioners will not be able to talk to staff. That statement couldn’t be further from the truth.

I will use Camas as an example because the new Charter would be set up and run similar to the City of Camas. We have a mayor and city administrator and seven council members. All are elected, except for the administrator. He is appointed after being thoroughly interviewed and vetted. He can be let go by the majority of the council members.

Now the opponents say this system doesn’t work and puts a wall between the council members and staff. Wrong again. We as council members can and do talk to staff anytime we like and ask questions. What we can’t do is dictate to them what they are to work on or change their schedule or change the wording on a document unless said document is on the agenda of a public meeting. Then it can be changed or discussed.

The administrator’s role is to effectively be one voice. He takes direction from the mayor and sometimes council member’s and works with the appropriate department heads. He keeps staff on track and communicates any issues to the mayor.

It really is a win/win for all. Staff will have some normalcy, the county council members can focus on citizen issues and policy decision making.

Three commissioners worked when the county was less than 50,000. Now that we are over 400,000 five would be perfect.

Please don’t listen to the negative spin attacks and truly read and ask about the Charter. The time to vote is getting close. From my perspective, the county is broken in its current state.

Please vote yes for the new Charter.

Melissa Smith

Camas City Council

Ward 1

Charter will not give the people more influence

Proponents of the new Charter claim it will give you more influence. The opposite is true and my family has personal experience that demonstrates what will happen if this Charter passes.

My son was building a private arena but required to pay exorbitant public-use permit and inspection fees that were specifically for “commercial use” arenas according to the ordinance. The bureaucracy wanted permit fees and would not waiver despite language exempting requirements for private use arenas. It was only because a Commissioner interceded with the department and required them to comply with what Commissioners had passed legislatively that he was spared. This was with the prior Commissioner board so the The current system works and if we don’t get responsive Commissioners we can vote them out. Not so if the Charter passes. Section 2.6 specifically prohibits the help my son received. It states, “Council members shall not interfere in the administration of the executive branch.”

With the proposed Charter, they could not go to the department but could only ask the non-elected county manager for relief. It is then in the hands of a non-elected official to respond. I have heard that some people are not happy with the current commissioners. Remember, this is not a lifetime appointment but an elected position where you get to voice your dissatisfaction every four years. Not so if this Charter passes and a non-elected county manager makes all decisions and your representative elected representative to intercede for you. Vote no on the Charter.

Sharon Long