Letters to the Editor for Oct. 28, 2014

It is time to modernize Clark County government

As background, prior to retiring in 2013, I served for 24 years as Camas’ first city administrator, and prior to that for seven years as city manager of an Oregon community. My interest in modernizing the structure of local government led me to be a candidate for Freeholder in the east Clark County, seat number 2 position last fall.

Some 5,100 voters cast their ballots for me for that voluntary position, and I appreciate the trust they showed. Mr. Wilson prevailed in that multi-person race. My abiding interest led me to follow the Freeholder process and results carefully.

The process was civil, businesslike and thoughtful. Nan Henriksen led the Freeholders meetings, and did it with skill and grace. The result is a proposal before the voters, now. Actual reading of the proposal shows the Charter is indeed moderate, cost-effective, and straight forward. It modernizes the structure of the county government.

In my view, the changes will make success and effectiveness of county government more likely. The 1889 Clark County of 10,000 people is a time and place six generations past. Wisdom says: “To everything there is a time and a season.” Now is the time to modernize Clark County government. I encourage a ‘yes’ vote on the Charter.

Lloyd Halverson, Camas

Mock election is about civics, not politics

Our children will someday run this country. In grade school, I remember voting for Kennedy for president. Even then, I knew my vote was important.

So I organized Kids Vote 2014. Via computer, this mock election is meant for every K-12 student in Clark County schools. Our web site is www.KidsVote2014.com. The Fort Vancouver Regional Library branches will participate. Results will be reported by “precinct” (each school).

This mock election is about civics, not politics. Our website has links to letters encouraging student participation from Gov. Inslee, Sen. Cantwell, Clark County commissioners, Mayor Tim Leavitt, and others.

As with the General Election, voting began on Oct. 15 and will end at 8 p.m. on Election Day, Nov. 4. Legislative district and school district boundaries do not match, so we had to choose the candidates that represent the majority of each school district’s area.

A link to our ballot is on the ‘Vote Here’ page at our web site.

My hope is that parents will hear this from their kids: “I voted today, did you?”

Bridget Schwarz, Ridgefield

What is the Charter election about?

Once again voters have to make sense out of a confusing ballot measure this fall. However, what motivates the proponents of the charter has been clear from the beginning. For decades Clark County has been ruled by policies that are based on a big brother, nanny state ideology more similar to Portland than Clark County voters. Recently, local voters have shown the temerity to elect people who represent local values.

The goal is to return Clark County to the previous status where the voters are an ATM and a nuisance that has to be pacified occasionally with ballot measures that have been ignored (CRC). Hopefully, any measure that promises a 2014 version of ‘hope and change’ will allow voters to show their anger at government in general by voting ‘yes.’

What we hear a lot is that two people should not make important decisions for the county. The effect of this charter measure would be to create a county administrator position; in other words allow one person to make those decisions. As long as it is their guy, all is right is the universe.

Richard Thomas, Vancouver

Liz cares

Liz Pike, candidate for State Representative 18th Legislative District, is one the hardest working people I know. No one will out work her.

She believes in doing research and making fact based decisions. She is also a person of impeccable integrity. If Liz says it, you can take it to the bank. Liz is not a typical political type. She will answer questions and tell you what she thinks. There is never any doubt what her positions are — on anything. Having said that, Liz has an open mind and a strong belief in listening to people. Liz cares. Add all this together and you have the perfect representative for our district.

Steve Bang, Camas

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