Letters to the Editor for Oct. 31, 2019

Property taxes too high to support community center

We DO NOT support the $78 million pool.

Our property taxes are way too high. We just cannot afford anymore.

Thank you.

Malia Nelson,

Camas

News article downplayed Marshall’s accomplishments

I read the coverage of the Camas-Washougal port commission race from the League of Women Voters forum in Camas last week with surprise. The headline, “Engineers Face Off” was perfect, but I and several others felt the comparison between the candidates minimized Cassi Marshall’s qualifications, an unfortunately common occurrence for women in politics.

Here are some clarifying notes: Marshall did not just “study engineering at MIT,” then “receive” an engineering degree. Like Ward, she “earned” the degree, but hers was specifically in aero/astroengineering from a top national university (MIT). Marshall’s identification as “working as a structural engineer for a research and development center” before transitioning into a career in education downplays that she worked at NASA JPL as a project leader in zero G testing. This is no small feat.

Marshall is identified as leaving the Washougal School District to “help” run her “husband’s business,” while Ward is noted for owning and operating an engineering and consulting firm for 40 years. The Marshalls are co-owners of their business, and she has partnered in running the residential contracting and consulting firm for energy efficient homes since its inception. She is a small business owner, not a helper.

These seemingly slight and unintentional distinctions liken Cassi Marshall’s interest in the Port to a 19th century female moving from the domestic sphere into the public world, a “nice lady” interested in parks. Yes, working on the parks commission drew Marshall to the Port, but she is a professional and an engineer, a small business owner and advocate for parks and trails. She cares about jobs, economic sustainability and recreation. Marshall also has the community connections, skills, professional and board experience to marry economics with community sustainability. Most importantly, like most women in politics, Marshall does her homework. She is already prepared.

Donna Sinclair,

Washougal

 

Ward leads Port in ‘open, honest, deliberate and informed manner’

Spoiler Alert:  I endorse Bill Ward for Port of Camas-Washougal Commissioner.  That is the heart of this letter, in case the reader wants to stop here.

Now as to why I endorse incumbent Commissioner Bill Ward, it is simple: He has, from day one, represented the citizens in an open, honest, deliberate and informed manner. And day one started in 2008, right at the tail end of the River Walk debacle. For those who don’t recall that history, I would be happy to sit and have coffee with you, since that was a turning point in our Port’s culture. 

We all want our local officials to do their job well, be open to public input and make a positive difference for our precious communities. That’s pretty much a given. It is refreshing to see someone who does this, without any apparent self-interests or agenda. That is Bill Ward.

Now as to how I know all of this. I have known Bill for many years, having worked with him as part of a citizens’ group before he was elected to serve as a port commissioner. That group worked to change the culture of the Port and protect valuable park and waterfront land, and it was successful. The Commission went from open hostility toward the public, to embracing public concerns and making changes that were in the best interest of our communities.  Commissioner Ward stepped into office fearlessly and gracefully, becoming the first commissioner to lead that charge for change.

The result?  We now have a Commission that listens to its citizens. The Port’s regular commission meetings are welcoming as opposed to past hostility, where people can come, ask questions and receive respect. Commissioner Ward makes himself available to speak to all citizens, no matter the concern. He consistently mentions the need for the public to “be at the table.” To him, all citizens means just that — all. He does not discriminate.

And now? We have a Port that is doing its job and doing it very well. The new waterfront development is moving forward, with public input and participation front and center, as Commissioner Ward intended. 

I have no doubt that Commissioner Bill Ward will continue to serve all Port citizens in the way that they deserve — with respect, diligence and honesty. 

So, if you continued to read this far, you will agree: Vote to retain Commissioner Bill Ward to lead the Port of Camas-Washougal.

 

Martha Martin,

Washougal

 

Port needs Bill Ward’s experience, focus and wisdom

It is a busy and exciting time for the Port of Camas-Washougal. And it is time to reelect Commissioner Bill Ward.

The Port is working on a master plan for development of the Columbia River waterfront on the former Hambleton Lumber property. Important decisions are being made at a rapid pace. This project will have a greater and longer lasting impact on the Camas-Washougal area than anything the Port has ever attempted. The Port intends to use this limited waterfront resource to benefit the entire community.

Along with this, the Port is maintaining the existing industrial park, expanding the Steigerwald Commerce Center, maintaining a marina and airport, maintaining the levee and trail, providing several public parks and supporting the Steigerwald Lake Wildlife Refuge floodplain restoration project. It’s a lot to do.

Port Commissioner Bill Ward’s pioneering leadership allowed us to get here. When he was first elected, the Port was struggling. A waterfront development agreement, entered into without public knowledge, was going bad. Their legal costs were high, their accomplishments few and public confidence low. 

Bill’s first couple of years as commissioner were pretty rough. But then the voters gave him commissioners Mark Lampton and Bill Macrae-Smith to round out the team. The Port is a very different place now. Their accomplishments are many and public confidence is high. The current waterfront development effort is the result of a very deliberative and public process.

While serving as a Port of Camas-Washougal Commissioner, Bill Ward has served with six individuals as fellow commissioners. At every point, Bill has been the commissioner most focused on listening to the public, most focused on ensuring the taxpayer’s money is carefully spent.

Each of our other two commissioners are in their first elected term. With everything they are working on, the Port — and all of us — need Bill Ward’s wisdom, experience and focus on the best interest of the public.

Vote to retain Port of Camas-Washougal Commissioner Bill Ward.

Richard Hamby, 

Washougal

 

Mayor didn’t think through aquatics center

(Regarding an editorial published in the Oct. 17, 2019 Post-Record discussing anger over the proposed Camas community-aquatics center bond on the Nov. 5 ballot): I think the uproar is the mayor not thinking the issue through. Use Firstenburg, use Lacamas Swim (instead of a community center).

Any bond increase should be used for police, fire, infrastructure, schools, etc.

Matt Pacione,

Camas

 

Readers respond to an editorial published in the Oct. 24, 2019 Post-Record:

 

Hello, My name is Phillip Williams and I’m a resident of Camas, I’ve had to explain this Camas election cycle to neighbors who weren’t following along, as well as friends and family outside of our wonderful town. One of the things I’ve marveled at again and again is how the larger idea of national politics has not entered the conversation about the $78m pool bond. Some of the folks involved in this issue have gone very low in the conversation, but again, as low as they’d go, they wouldn’t cross that line. I’ve been so hopeful that, regardless of national party affiliation, we start the day after this election off fresh with such a strong piece of common ground on the NO side of this argument, to forge long lasting connections beyond larger politics – similar to those that have been through a battle together because unfortunately, that’s what this has been. I’ve met “NO on the Pool Bond” voters from every different band of the rainbow. Many have talked to me as if they understood I was 100% in agreement with their larger political views and that just hasn’t always been true, but again, we identify so strongly on why this pool is a bad idea for Camas and that has been IMPORTANT enough for people to make that leap and connect with another human being on a fundamental level. The only person that did cross that line to date however, and more than once, has been Kelly Moyer, managing editor of the Camas-Washougal Post-Record. Kelly has decided to play fast and loose with our lives here in Camas. I don’t know that Kelly lives in Camas and I don’t care because in or out, she has shown herself to be an unethical journalist and in my opinion from her raw thoughts in these editorials, a person that would not hesitate to incite extreme individuals among us to action in these especially elevated times. It’s my opinion that Kelly Moyer has used the Camas-Washougal Post-Record as her own personal tool to sew hatred and division in a town she has no presence in that I’ve seen – outside of reprinting the city government’s press releases with a little of her own “excitement” thrown in. I’m advising all of my neighbors to consider cancelling your subscriptions unless Scott Campbell, owner and publisher of the paper, can show Camas that this was a mistake and print FRONT PAGE retractions with an apology to the citizens of Camas. Kelly has crossed that line and Camas deserves a better managed newspaper. Thank you.  

 

Phillip Williams, 

Camas

 

I just read your article on the Camas Pool Bond in the Opinion section online. Had this been a Letter to the Editor rather than being written by the Managing Editor it could have been viewed as one citizen’s opinion which every citizen is entitled to express. Since it was written by the Managing Editor it is tragically flawed in its blindness to the facts and its apparent lack of seeking them out. A read of the Next Door posts would have provided some understanding, let alone reaching out to a few citizens for input.

 

The psychological method of “discounting” the legitimate views of residents who oppose the bond measure is disturbing. Rationale citizens who evaluate financial expenditures consciously and practically are rightfully outraged at the lack of due diligence and fiscal responsibility demonstrated in putting forth this ill-conceived bond measure. A public apology is indeed in order, as is an article presenting the legitimate concerns of Camas citizens. 

 

Sincerely,

 

Jeanne McKirchy-Spencer,

Camas 

 

Hello,

My name is Carolyn Kjerting and I’m a resident of Camas.

I write to you today, because I am of the belief that Kelly Moyer, managing editor of the Camas-Washougal Post-Record has shown herself to be an unethical journalist.  Her recent C/W Post Editorial Opinion 10/24/19 – ‘Trumpian Tactics in Community Center Fight’ is simply appalling. This is not journalism! If Kelly were a citizen writing in, and the paper published it, that would be one thing.  But the fact that she would go against all journalistic integrity and write this biased, ignorant piece of propaganda is despicable. Journalists have the obligation to ask questions, investigate, review actual data, look at all sides of an issue, and put forth a researched and factual summary.  None of this is evident in her post. The title itself is a blatant attempt to insight anger and stoke the fire. What does Trump have to do with this first of all, and secondly, I can tell you that the No on Proposition 2 folks represent all sides of the dice. If Kelly had bothered to do one ounce of research at all, she would know that this issue has brought together folks of differing political affiliations, wide ranging socio-economic groups, religious differences, and individuals from varying ethnic backgrounds, to agree on something that will impact us all regardless of our differences.  I am opposed to Proposition 2, have been vocal and organizing to raise awareness and I’m a flipping tree hugging liberal that is as far from Trumpian as you can get! I suspect you will be inundated with folks that are infuriated by Kelly’s bias, her sloppy work and the news outlet for allowing it to go to print and digital distribution channels.

 

I’ll close with this….. Kelly Moyer needs to post a FRONT PAGE retraction ASAP and apologize to the fine Citizens of Camas to whom she has offended and disrespected.  Camas can do better!

 

Carolyn Kjerting, 

Camas

 

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