Letters to St. Helens Update
Letters to the Update are the opinions of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Bill Eagle, or that of his wife, children, mother, father, sisters , brothers, domestic pets etc..
See My Standard Disclaimer. Send all letters to firstname.lastname@example.org
From: Russ Moon 5/23/17
As the old saying goes, "Jack of all trades, master of none." This letter is in regards to the City of Rainier's current Administrator employment agreement dated January 1, 2013.
The contract states "The Rainier Mayor and City Council agree to the principle of non-interference in the administration as necessary to orderly and efficient implementation of Council policy."
Question: How can one person with limited certifications effectively manage the following positions: City Administrator, City Personnel Director, City Finance Director, City Recorder, City Election Officers and currently managing the city sewer septage program?
This means that one person is in charge of, and controls basically everything Rainier does with the exception of writing traffic tickets and putting out fires. However, as the Rainier Personnel Director, this one person can hire and fire those who take on those difficult tasks.
You would think the Mayor and or City Council would be actively looking over the City Administrator's shoulder. This unfortunately is not the case. Oversight should be a high priority.
The wording in the employment agreement, stating non-interference by the mayor and council is troubling at best.
So, the question has to be asked, who beside the city administrator is watching the hen house
From Mike Sheehan 5/12/17 (Printed in the South County Spotlight)
I was shocked to see the article (see "Father and son plead guilty to elections violations," A1, May 5) about Dave and Riley Baker being charged with felonies by the state for ... what?
First, Riley was going door to door collecting signatures on a petition to recall Director Craig Melton of the Columbia River People's Utility District. At one house a guy answered the door and agreed to sign the petition and said some of the residents in the house would too. He went off and came back with three more signatures. Riley was charged with a felony because he hadn't actually seen the other three sign the petition.
On the other hand, Dave Baker was collecting the signature sheets from people going to door to door. He received the sheets all close to the filing deadline and noticed that one of his friends collecting the signatures had forgotten to sign the bottom of one of the sheets. So, knowing the deadline was soon and the collector of the signatures was a long-time friend and good and honest person, Dave signed the sheet and turned it in. The state also charged him with a felony because he hadn't actually "seen" the people sign the sheet.
I've known Riley and Dave for a long time and both are hard-working and honest members of the community. Neither did anything intentionally dishonest. And I can imagine myself collecting signatures and having a husband saying his wife is in bed with a cold and would be willing to sign the petition too, and his going to get it and bringing it back. I think in a situation like this the state should have applied for a slap on the hand instead of throwing the book at them with felony charges. I thank Columbia Circuit Judge Ted Grove for being more reasonable.
In sum, this a warning to us all. The state has a mountain of detailed rules out there that any of us might innocently run afoul of in our normal lives. We need to be on guard and very careful because an angry state or a vindictive citizen could ruin our lives in the snap of a finger.
From Stephanie Cox 5/5/17
Parvey-Leskowich for Port Commission
I had the pleasure of meeting Port of St. Helens Commissioner candidate Natasha Parvey-Leskowich at the forum hosted by Envision Columbia County. The first thing I noticed about her was her high energy level -- this is a person who clearly works hard at her own business while simultaneously helping other business owners try to achieve success.
She is the administrator of the keepitlocalcc.com, a website dedicated solely to Columbia County businesses and services. As a former retail business owner, I see the incredible value this site has for our local business to get much needed name recognition.The second thing I no