Another election has come and gone. We have had a replacement of two port commissioners. All I can say is times are a change'n. With two new commissioners the direction of the port looks promising. I believe we will have a better chance of attracting clean industry that will not only provide good paying jobs but industry that will fit into our community and the environment better. Hopefully we can say good bye and good riddance to companies which have a track record of poor finances and are close to bankruptcy. Hopefully the new commissioners will be pro-active in reaching out to the many companies which are looking for a place to site their facility which will be a win win for the people of Columbia County.
The decision making of the port will be change as well, now the public can be assured that they will be able to know what is happening at the port and the companies and the port will be following proper procedure and back room deals are through, an issue which has plagued the Port of St. Helens for years.
It is too bad the depletion fee increase failed. The public bus system is in need of funding. The county commissioners has slashed the tax dollars to CC Rider so much that they don't even have the money to go after matching grants, the grants would help support the bus service. The county commissioners seem to dislike the public bus service for some reason. I have been following this issue for years and for the life of me I can't figure out why the county commissioners do not want the people in Columbia County who depend on the buses for doctor appointments in Portland to have the much needed transportation. We have kids who need the bus to get to PCC to continue their education. I guess it is easy for someone who has a car or a job such as the commissioners have where their transportation costs are reimbursed by the taxpayers.
The propaganda at was used by the aggregate companies worked pretty well to defeat the ballot measure but let me say this the people are starting to understand the depletion fee ordinance and the rock companies are getting closer and closer to losing the battle of increasing the fee. The words they used along with the county commissioners stating this is a tax targeting a single industry is frankly crap. There are fees and taxes applied to many other businesses and to the ordinary citizen as well.
I am glad there were some changes in our government this May I was a little disappointed with the voter turnout this May. All I can say is if you don't vote you can't gripe about your elected officials, your special districts or any other issue in your community that you could change if you had voted.
There will be other issues, other candidates, and other initiatives that will come along for all of our consideration. Next time take the time and exercise your right to participate in your government and VOTE.
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