Letters to the Editor for Oct. 13, 2016

Wyman committed to improving elections system

Washington voters will be best served by a Secretary of State with experience registering voters and administering elections. Our current Secretary of State, Kim Wyman, has been working in elections for more than 23 years, eight as Thurston County’s elections manager, 12 as Thurston County’s auditor and almost four as our state’s chief elections official.

Wyman’s opponent has never worked in elections. She demonstrated her lack of understanding of our election laws, and of the Secretary of State’s responsibilities, when she called on Secretary Wyman to cancel this year’s presidential primary. This request was made four weeks before the primary, after ballots had been printed and mailed to military and overseas voters. Moreover, canceling the primary would have violated state law. A candidate for Secretary of State should have known this. A Seattle Times editorial described the request as “silly and disturbing.”

Nearly 60 current and former county auditors and elections directors (Republicans, Democrats and non-partisans) from each of Washington’s 39 counties have endorsed Kim Wyman. No county elections official has endorsed her opponent. Our past three Secretaries of State have endorsed her, as have groups across the political spectrum, including the Washington Education Association and the Association of Washington Business. Seven daily newspaper editorial boards, including The Columbian’s, have endorsed a Secretary of State candidate. Each has endorsed Wyman.

Secretary Wyman is committed to continuing to improving access to the elections system while also maintaining accuracy, transparency and accountability.

I hope you will join me in voting to retain Kim Wyman as our Secretary of State.

Greg Kimsey, Vancouver

Retired forester supports lid lift Proposition 1

I retired in 2002 after 30 years working as a forester for the United States Forest Service. A good portion of my work was on the Gifford Pinchot National Forest working out of the Wind River Ranger District in Stabler. When the Wind River District was consolidated with the Mt. Adams Ranger District I was reassigned to Trout Lake where I ended my career. Through my work experience I understand first hand the complexity of issues involved in managing natural resources.

For years I have been of the opinion that Skamania County needed to be actively engaged in forest management practices on private, state and federal lands because so much of the county is forested land and has a forest based economy.

Skamania County leaders in the past have failed to see how involvement in forest management issues is in the best interest of the county. Fortunately, our current county commissioners see it differently. They see the benefits of a county natural resource specialist that would track, monitor and engage with private, state and federal forestry entities to assure that the interests of the County are addressed and considered.

For example, is the county receiving full value of the 25 percent monies due from forest product sales on the National forest? Is the US Forest Service meeting their allowable timber sale harvest levels? Does the county have input into how trust lands are administered by the State Department of Natural Resources? Do commercial timber harvests on private lands in the county adhere to required forest practices?

Unfortunately, the county currently does not have the funds to support this important position. That is why a lid lift levy is being proposed to fund this position for a five-year period. At the end of five years the position could be rolled over or eliminated at the discretion of the commissioners.

I think this is a good deal for our county with a high potential of return on our investment. A dedicated specialist for the cost of roughly $8 per year for every $100,000 of your assessed property value. For this citizen, that is a very worthwhile investment in our future. Please join me in supporting this position by voting in favor of the levy lift.

John Forsberg, Stevenson

Vote for Holt

It’s time to start sending people to Olympia that really represent our community, not some alien ideology that is the latest fad.

It’s time to start looking at the character of people and what they have accomplished in their personal lives, not just go along with people who say things that polls show that they want to hear, no matter how disconnected it is from any reality.

Please join me in voting for Eric K. Holt for Senate. Eric is an experienced professional. He will work with anyone willing to have a conversation. That’s leadership that we need in Olympia.

Thomas Gibson, Camas