Letters and comments for February 13, 2012

By Observer Upload February 14, 2012 09:51 pm
Letters and comments for February 13, 2012

Vote no on recall 


To the Editor:

When I heard the news about Dick Shafer, I felt sick, angry, sad, bewildered and helpless. I was not alone.

When Officer Kilpatrick was found justified in his actions, it was human nature for some to pin the blame on someone.

Vengeance never accomplishes what we really desire. Continuing to ruin lives never creates the desired outcome of closure.

Our community could redirect its cause by doing more to help Dick’s family through this difficult experience.

My family has experienced Elgin’s generosity and compassion, and I’ve seen it for other families.

It is part of who we are: tending to those in need.

The driving force behind small communities is volunteers. Recalling a volunteer can set a dangerous precedent.

Should all future volunteers expect to be recalled if everyone doesn’t agree with their decisions?

John Stover and the city council are Elgin citizens who want the best for Elgin.

Although I don’t always agree with them, my opportunity to cause change is best used in the next general election.

I can vote for the candidate of my choice.

If I vote for the recall, I forfeit my right to help select the next mayor, and give it to the city council.

To those of you who want a change in city government, get your name on the next ballot.

Successful candidates will get to step forward to do battle and experience the view under the lights with the audience watching. 

I urge the citizens of Elgin to reach out and do more for the Shafers, become active volunteers and vote no on the recall of Mayor Stover.

Bud Scoubes



Vote yes on recall


To the Editor:

It’s expected that supporters of Mayor Stover will speak out.

What’s not expected is that they would choose to deny the facts.

Open Oregon cited Elgin for Oregon Public Meeting Law violations.

On July 26, 2011, the Elgin City Council held a special meeting to discuss closing the police department.

The media was not notified of the meeting.

Instead, three signs were put out — two in banks and one in the post office.

Open Oregon President Judson Randall says that’s not the way Oregon public meeting laws work.

Randall cited the law that he believes the city violated: “A governing body must give at least 24 hours notice to the members of the governing body, the media that’s requested notices and the general public.”

Randall goes on stating that there is no official enforcement of the laws, however there is recourse “for a private citizen to take the governing body to court ... to reverse the decision that was made at the meeting in question.”

In this instance, no decision was made at the meeting.

The only vote taken was a 3-3 tie.

This violation was reported on 104.7 KCMB on Aug. 2, 2011.

Elgin PAC obtained copies of the three press releases noting the violation directly from the news director at the radio station.

Open Oregon is a freedom of information coalition. They are dedicated to educating Oregonians on their rights to open government.

They state that it is the best way to have a responsible and trusted government. Visit their website at www.open-oregon.com to learn more. 

Mayor Stover does not embrace the spirit of openness favored by Oregon law. Many have watched Stover repeatedly ignore his duty as presiding officer.
He has even called meetings and not given city councilors complete information on locations and times.

Vote for open government. Vote yes, recall Stover.

Polly Parsons



Parent upset over letter


To the Editor:

As a concerned resident of Elgin and also a parent, I am livid after reading the “Vote yes on recall” letter to the editor published Feb. 9.

The “vote yes to recall” campaign has divided this community with deceit and tactics unbecoming of this decent town and the majority of people who live here.

My case in point is the above mentioned letter to the editor that discredits our mayor, elected officials and our teachers.

You have betrayed and tried to dupe The Observer, their readers and the residents of Elgin for writing this letter yourself and having my young, uninformed step-son sign it without understanding its content.

I’d bet this isn’t the first time. Shame on you, Polly Parsons.

Dennis J. Higgins



Famous, not infamous


To the Editor:

I’m writing in response to the letter in the Feb. 6 Observer written by Judith M. Seydel.

I think it is very unfair to label the Blue Mountain Boys as “infamous.”

Famous? Yes.

At all appearances, whether in parades or attending a convention, the Boys were received warmly and certainly did let everyone statewide know there is a
La Grande, Oregon.

When anyone was admitted into the Blue Mountain Boys, they were made to take an oath not to drink any alcohol before or during an appearance, which was contrary to what some people believed.

Each person that was listed in the Observer news article Jan. 30 was a prominent businessman, medical doctor or teacher, each one with the primary motive of being a goodwill ambassador of La Grande.

We were organized and sponsored by the La Grande Chamber of Commerce. However, when making an appearance such as during the Rose Festival in Portland, each member paid all his own travel expenses, hotels and meals.

We have had many positive responses about this piece of history.

Mel Elder

La Grande


Letters From Readers

The Observer welcomes letters to the editor. Letters can be no more than 300 words. All letters must be signed by the author and carry the address of the sender.

The Observer edits letters for brevity, grammar, taste and legal reasons. We will not publish consumer complaints against businesses or personal attacks against private individuals. Thank-you letters are discouraged. 

Include a telephone number and address for verification purposes only. Letter writers are limited to one letter every two weeks. Writers of longer Community Comment columns are limited to one every three months.

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