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Letters to the editor: Aug. 23, 2019

Not my leader

Agents of ICE are completely out of control.

They question people without demonstrating probable cause, producing a warrant or even identifying themselves as agents of the federal government. When they determine they are wrong, they don’t apologize.

Recently, they held a young man who was a citizen in jail in Texas for a month, then claimed it was a case of “mistaken identity.” No, it was racial profiling.

Everyone in our country should be concerned about this. We are just one step away from a German Gestapo or Soviet NKVD. The legal protections of due process must apply to all of us, or soon they will apply to none of us.

The tone has been set by the current occupant of the White House.

There’s no need to mince words: He hates immigrants, people who aren’t white and everyone who challenges his belief system.

Every word out of his mouth is a lie, including a, and and the. He fuels the fires of bigotry, thus enabling ICE agents to ignore basic human and civil rights.

Is this what we want for a leader? Not me.

David Pauli

Forest Grove

 

Loss of local control

It’s frustrating for residents of cities when they perceive they are not being listened to at city council hearings. The citizens believe they have a reasonable right to input at land use hearings, and the city council will respect that input.

But city councils have been restricted by the state law controlling land use procedures. Bit by bit, the Legislature has passed bills further defining those land use laws, thus taking planning away from the cities and their citizens.

Ever since SB 100 of the Tom McCall era, the growth industry — especially as personified by the Oregon Building Industries Association — has successfully lobbied in Salem to gain control over planning.

First, the OBIA sponsored mandatory expansion of urban growth boundaries to accommodate a 20-year supply of land for building. That means cities must continuously supply land for growth until all that land is used up. Other than that, there is no real plan.

Next, the OBIA succeeded in getting the Legislature to pass SB 1573, voiding cities’ charter rights to vote on annexations and adding new rules for the annexation process. That should have upset every newspaper, city council and person in Oregon.

Just read the Oregon Constitution, Article XI, Section 2. Only the right to vote on annexations kept runaway growth from occurring in McMinnville and 32 other Oregon cities.

Now the citizens and city councils are close to just being puppets of the growth industry, and we can see the results of that.

The city council should be able to freely represent the wishes of its constituents. Citizens should have input unto the future of their communities.

John Englebrecht

McMinnville

 

Costco revisited

Reading the recommendations for McMinnville to prosper, I was struck by a finding that the town could support two Big Box stores.

As I recall, a few years ago, our city fathers, in their wisdom, refused Costco’s application to build here. What is the disconnect?

I travel to Salem or Wilsonville to shop Costco at least once a month. I would much prefer to have a store here so I could shop locally.

If Costco still owns property here, I recommend the city contact the company and see if it could still be interested in us after all.

Suzanna Moore

McMinnville

 

Comments

Don Dix

John Englebrecht wants you to believe only the right to vote on annexations is what kept Oregon cities from runaway growth. To a small degree, he is correct.

However, Mr. Englebrecht seems to discount that McMinnville has a housing shortage. With the supposed free reign to expand (SB 1573), Mac should easily have a 20 year supply of available land.

The question is why that is not the case. Simple answer -- Mr. Englebrecht and others fought to deny any annexations to occur for the last 25 years. Shadden Claim was the poster child for that resistance, even though the development was touted as one of the best plans ever submitted. The argument of resistance was the size and number of homes (2500), along with the dire prediction of a 4 or 5 year build-out (Englebrecht's prediction) -- untruthful scare tactics. The reality is Phase 1 took over 10 years to fill, and rising costs scrapped the remainder.

25 years later, Shadden is becoming an ugly, poorly planned layout with little 'curb appeal' and few CCRs controlling quality. One only has to look at Yamhill County's no-growth faction to see what happened and who is responsible.

To pretend cities are 'puppets' of the growth industry and expansion of UGBs is out of control has no foundation, specifically in Mac. Land prices have skyrocketed, effectively pricing many out of home ownership, and Mac has spent millions defending (UGB expansion) against appeal after appeal from you know who.

Funny how none of these facts were mentioned, but ownership of actions and consequences are hard for some!