Letters to the Editor: Oct. 2, 2020

National crisis point

Our president has declined to assure us he would accept the results of the Nov. 3 election. It’s the first time in more than 200 years of democracy. His words were, “We’re gonna have to see what happens.”

He’s laying the groundwork for total chaos after the election. He’s using the instruments of power to perpetuate power in an anti-democratic fashion.
This is how democracies come to an end. It’s up to us to stop him.

In The Atlantic, Barton Gellman reports that Trump’s reelection committee is already plotting to nullify ballots in certain states. Step 1 is convincing voters fraud is inherent in vote-by-mail, so the results can’t be trusted. Step 2 is creating  pandemonium immediately after the election about counting delays due to fraudulent ballots.

The plan is to keep states from being able to certify their results in time for the Dec. 8 deadline for appointing electors and getting Republican legislatures in states like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Ohio to nullify their results. This would likely result in a number of court challenges, ultimately reaching the Supreme Court. That’s why Trump is so adamant that a new Supreme Court justice be appointed before the election.

Trump stole the last election. We can’t let it happen again. His autocratic intentions are now clear as a bell, as he doesn’t joke.

We know Congress will not prevent this, nor will the Justice Department. It’s up to us to speak and to act.

We are at the crisis point in our democracy where all good people of conscience, whether Democrat or Republican, must  ask, “What am I willing to do to rescue my country from autocratic rule? What am I willing to do to save government of the people, by the people and for the people?”
Only a landslide will deter him. Do your part!

Marsha Mackie


Dedication unsurpassed

I have been privileged to know and work with Mayor Scott Hill since 1995, when he volunteered to become treasurer of the McMinnville Downtown Association. As an MDA board member at that time, I appreciated Scott’s skills and volunteer ethic.

Over the years, I continued my association with Scott, who went on to serve for many years on the city budget committee, then joined the city council. On each occasion when I have appeared before the committee or council, advocating for a vibrant and healthy downtown, I have observed Scott’s thoughtful questions and clear vision of McMinnville’s current and future needs.

I have watched Scott, as mayor, demonstrate four critical qualities. He treats all that come before the council with the utmost respect. He fosters a positive long-term vision for McMinnville’s future. He encourages and mentors younger citizens and future leaders to serve the city in volunteer functions. And he attends nearly all meetings of the major advisory committees charged with helping carry out council policies.

As current chair of the McMinnville Urban Renewal Advisory Committee, I greatly appreciate Scott’s regular attendance at our monthly meetings, and the importance of his unwavering support for MURAC’s program of property revitalization and business recruitment.

Over the course of my 40 years of interaction and involvement with McMinnville city government, I have not known a mayor more dedicated or hard-working than Scott Hill. I urge my fellow citizens to vote for Scott and for the continuation of his experienced, responsible and forward-looking leadership for our city.

Walt Gowell



Community service test

When local citizens make a decision to run for public office, they need to know and support the community they live in.

When it comes to the two candidates running for Yamhill County treasurer, only one has truly supported and demonstrated a deep commitment to our community via community service. That candidate is Kris Bledsoe.

Kris has volunteered for multiple civic and nonprofit organizations during the last 14 years. The Protection of Grand Island Farms, Willamette Valley Cancer Foundation, Court-Appointed Special Advocates, Greater Yamhill Watershed Council, Yamhill County Improvement District #1, Waste Not, Yamhill County Water Task Force and Willamette Valley Medical Center.

This is Kris’s commitment to the Yamhill County community. What community service has rival candidate Paulette Alexandria engaged in to enrich our citizens’ lives and make Yamhill County a better place to live?

Howie Harkema


New vision needed

As a small business owner in McMinnville, I have become concerned with the increase in the local cost to operate and accompanying decrease in the quality of care for city roads, facilities and safety.

I have seen wonderful progress with new construction projects being funded with taxpayer dollars, but not priority on safety or upgrades to city infrastructure.
I would like to see attention brought to funding and prioritizing the important services of our city first, before we digress into another project that does not address the safety of our city or its buildings and roads.

Based on my meetings with Brittany Ruiz, it’s clear she has this vision to address this. I am excited to not only support her, but also hope other business owners in downtown McMinnville do the same.

Melissa Pope


A life of service

I am writing in support of Kellie Menke’s candidacy for re-election to the McMinnville City Council from Ward 2.

I spent five years working with her on the budget committee prior to her election to the city council in 2004. I then worked closely with for five years on the council, prior to my retirement from the mayor’s office in 2009.

Kellie’s life is all about service to others and our community. She has been recognized for service as our community’s Woman of the Year in 2011.

While she continues to serve on the council, she is also involved with the St. Barnabas Soup Kitchen, helping the less fortunate in our community. Her life’s work has been to help and serve others.

Kellie’s current role as the council president is critical to the operation of the entity we know as the city of McMinnville. We all want government to be more businesslike, and Kellie’s background as a CPA, combined with her years working on city finance issues, assure us the council will be working hard making the city as business-like as possible.

Our community is facing many challenges. I think the experience Kellie brings to the council is exactly what is needed as we move to address the issues of 2021, including the pandemic.

I encourage voters in Ward 2 to join with me in casting their ballots for Kellie Menke.

Ed Gormley



A great friend

I was taken aback by Susan Tiffany’s letter of Sept. 25.

She compared the Trump regime to the Nazis who persecuted the Roman Catholics and Jews. She said mesmerized Christians were being used as weapons.
As a conservative evangelical Christian, I can assure her my support for Donald Trump is based on proven ability to repair the damage liberals and progressives have caused by their words and actions.

Just look around. There have been more than three months of nightly destruction is Portland, with no real plan to stop the violent protests. Do we really believe the police are the problem?

Our forests are burning, and the liberals’ answer is a 30-year plan to stop global warming. How successful have we ever been in changing the weather?
So-called environmental protections have locked up the forests so we can no longer practice proper management. We can’t clean out the brush, conduct controlled burns or remove dead, dying or fallen trees. Long before the 30-year unproven plan to reduce global warming can bear fruit, the forests and their inhabitants will have burned up.

Donald Trump is gutsy. He is rough around the edges. But he will stand up to the roar of the media, Hollywood and liberals.

He’s a great friend of Christians and Jews, and has shown, not just talked, commitment to protecting our right to worship and the family values we hold dear. He has strong support in the Christian community, and it’s not because we’re fooled.

A weak Joe Biden and combative Kamala Harris are more likely to attack our church institutions, defund our police, take away our guns, force expensive and unproven environmental restrictions, capitulate to world leaders, blindly follow the latest fad in scientific theory, encourage abortion and allow our forests to burn while they play Monopoly with carbon credits.

Steve Wozniak



Going extra mile

Although most local businesses have taken steps to protect the public from COVID-19, I give a round of applause to those that are, in my opinion, going the extra mile.

Thank you, Safeway, for wiping down every single cart every single day. Thank you, Goodwill, for wiping down the counter and credit card machine between every customer.

Thank you, Aquatic Center, for making it safe to return to my much needed arthritis swim class. Thank you, First Baptist Church, for keeping us engaged, both as congregants and helpers of those in need.

I firmly believe that we are all in this together and should behave accordingly. May it be so!

Kathleen Verigin


A vote for independence

Oregon’s motto is, “She flies with her own wings.” It implies, and endorses, that we as Oregonians should endeavor to show up and do what’s right, regardless of the direction of anyone else’s flight pattern.

Lynnette Shaw is someone who embodies the independent spirit our state’s founders intended. Her policy views on accessible and affordable healthcare, support for small businesses, and promoting a system that increases affordable housing while protecting our heritage of family farms, are independent of special interests and of the flock that squawks and follows special interest money.

House District 24 deserves a representative who fills the seat full time, not abandoning the post for partisan stunts. It’s time we take Oregon’s motto to heart and exercise a vote of independence from special interests.

Vote for Lynnette Shaw.

Philip Higgins


Income vital

Yamhill County, like all cities, counties and school districts in Oregon, struggles to pay pensions and health care for retired employees. Thus, assuring income from reserves is now vital to our county’s financial survival.

Paulette Alexandria was a successful wealth manager for 10 years before going into college teaching. She is a non-partisan who knows how to perform as our next county treasurer.

This is not the time for pretenders looking to pad their political résumés. Vote Paulette for treasurer.

Tom Hammer


A clear choice

I have known Kris Bledsoe for 14 years. I know she is an even-handed, non-ideologically motivated person, and she also loves to crunch numbers.
Along with being compassionate and caring, and believing in giving back to her community, she has amassed extensive experience in the arcane world of finance and money management. Her degree in economics, and her prudent approach to investing, make her the most qualified candidate for this position.

County treasurer used to be the goal of a nerdy, green-eyeshade kind of person whose only interest was to protect the county’s money while making complicated decisions for how best to invest taxpayer dollars. This year it has become a contest between Kris, who understands this non-political job requires objective, non-political decisionmaking skills and someone who trades on her credentials as a “conservative Republican.”

Kris’s opponent has raised thousands of dollars from a conservative gun rights group and conservative politicians, among others. Kris has no such groups or individuals donating to her campaign.

She did not expect this to be a power-grab kind of campaign. She believed this apolitical and unglamorous job would dictate a low-key kind of race. But apparently certain local and outside interest groups and PACs have other ideas.

Kris’s statement in the May Voters’ Pamphlet gives clear goals for what she wants to do, above and beyond wisely investing tax-payers dollars. They include creating streamlined, easy-to-understand reports and posting those reports on the county website so the public can see what she’s doing.
Yamhill County does not always make it easy to find things out. Kris wants to change that.

For these and many other reasons, I think Kris is the only qualified candidate to be the next Yamhill County treasurer.

Ilse Perse


Litmus test?

As a Christian, I am disgusted and shocked by the smear campaign being waged on social media against McMinnville City Council candidate Brittany Ruiz. Since when does a sitting city councilor get to suggest a religious litmus test for people offering to serve?

Councilor Sal Peralta and his wife, Tanya Tompkins, have savaged Ruiz because they don’t approve of her religious affiliation with the Church of Scientology.
So what religions are approved for candidates? Do Roman Catholics pass muster?

After all, some clergy in that faith have abused children. Why not demonize people who follow that religion because some have committed unspeakable crimes?
Perhaps you’d give Mrs. Ruiz a pass if she were of Muslim or Jewish faith. Shame on you for subjecting this candidate and mother of three to your absurd vetting process.

Jenee Gleason


The character we need

Scott Hill offers the experience, skills and character we need from McMinnville’s mayor.  He has a heart for all of our citizens and a dedication to our community. 
A longtime resident, Scott understands McMinnville and its city government,  thanks to his extensive volunteer experience as a budget committee member, city councilor and mayor.  He has worked tirelessly for us and welcomes input from everyone in our community.

I’m confident that Scott will continue to use his dedication, skills, experience, energy and enthusiasm for the benefit of McMinnville, its people and its businesses. His many years of service to McMinnville demonstrate that he will listen to us and work hard for our community.
Please vote to reelect Scott Hill as McMinnville’s mayor.

Tom Tankersley


Only interest reelection

President Trump seems oblivious to the problems in the country, specifically the Coronavirus. I am not aware of anything the president is doing except talking about a future vaccine.

He should, in my opinion, be comforting the families of those lost to the virus and educating himself to act appropriately on virus containment.
But CNN reports the president’s only interest is the upcoming election.

Janet De With


An early champion

In ways both big and small, the events of 2020 have changed us all. They’ve taught us that life turns on a dime.

We’ve learned the decisions we make collectively have real-world impacts, both on ourselves and others. And we’ve been reminded that our leaders are often faced with weighty decisions. As such, I strongly support re-electing City Councilor Kellie Menke to another term serving Ward 2 in McMinnville.

Over the past 20 years, I’ve worked alongside Kellie in our community.

When I was hired as director of McMinnville’s Habitat for Humanity in 2003, Kellie served as our board treasurer. I quickly realized that Kellie, a CPA by trade, was as strong and passionate as she was fiscally shrewd.

An early champion of the Habitat ReStore, Kellie was willing to take an out-of-the-box approach to creating long-term financial stability for Habitat by embracing social entrepreneurism. Our community continues to reap the dividends of her advocacy for the ReStore, through increased home ownership opportunities for low-income families and the recycling of gently used building materials.

Kellie’s fiscal responsibility and creative problem-solving skills have continued to serve our community well.

As chair of the city’s Transient Lodging Tax Advisory Committee, she took a thoughtful approach to economic development.

After an inaugural year of a grant program showed few returns, Kellie embraced creation of a destination management organization, which  grew lodging tax support to the City’s general fund by 180% between 2015 and 2019. That created an 80% boost in visitor spending at local businesses. Once again, Kellie’s foresight and leadership helped create huge gains for our community.

This year, our votes seem to matter more than ever. I hope you’ll join me in casting yours for Kellie Menke for city council.

Erin Stephenson


Man of integrity

I strongly support Scott Hill’s re-election as mayor of McMinnville. My reasons are clear.

Scott’s experience in city government is broad and deep. Many other letter writers advocating another term for him as mayor have cited his experience on the city’s budget committee, city council and as mayor. Twenty-six years in public service is an obvious testament to his dedication to and love for McMinnville.
However, I want to talk about my personal experience working alongside Mayor Hill.

I first met Scott many years ago, when he chaired the board of the United Way of Yamhill County. With his advice and support, we worked closely on improving the organization’s financial reporting system.

I had the honor of serving on the McMinnville Urban Renewal Advisory Committee with Scott, and saw first-hand his excellent grasp of the complexities of planning for the future of our beautiful community.

When a group of dedicated citizens worked with the city to form Visit McMinnville, Scott was not only a cheerleader for our efforts, he served on its board as the city’s liaison. His advice and guidance were extremely important as we worked through the formative process.

It is my honor to know Scott.

He is a man of integrity, dignity and professionalism. He is fair, honest and kind.

The depth of his experience, both as a retired banker and a leader in our community, speak volumes about his abilities to lead us into the future. Please join me in voting for Scott Hill to continue serving McMinnville as mayor.

Cassie Sollars


Integrity and intelligence

Every board, commission or council has its own personality, if you will. Individual members of these bodies bring to the group their own sets of skills, strengths and weaknesses.

The most effective groups are ones in which there are complementary strengths and backgrounds, and the individuals respect one another. With this in mind, I’m pleased to endorse City Councilor Kellie Menke for re-election.


-- Is a woman of integrity and intelligence, which she displays with humility and ease.

-- Loves McMinnville, inspiring her to help shepherd it from a small town to one of Oregon’s medium-sized cities.

-- Has a long, successful and thorough background in private and public financial accounting, being a Certified Public Accountant who came to own her own accounting business.

-- Understands the complexities of the city budget, Oregon Budget Law and public auditing better than any other elected official with whom I worked during my 29 years as McMinnville city manager. The city’s financial and public service challenges are only going to grow greater over the next four years. Re-elect Kellie Menke, who has the needed skills and experiences we shall need.

Kent L. Taylor


Respect for all

I have personally known Mayor Scott Hill for nearly 30 years.

While I served the citizens of McMinnville as a department head with the city for 12 years, I had the opportunity to closely observe Scott’s leadership. He has served the city with energy, professionalism and an unselfish commitment to doing the right thing for the right reason.

Over the years, Scott has served the city, numerous youth groups and his church for one reason only — to make a positive difference in people’s lives. He is not beholden to any special interest cabal. His only special interest is the welfare of the citizens of McMinnville.

Scott’s many years of financial and business experience have positively influenced the management and operational budget of the city for many years. He knows that the city has a finite amount of funds and he understands how to balance the needs of each department in a way that will best serve the citizens. He knows how important all aspects of city operations are to the livability of the city and to its citizens.

I have watched Mayor Hill lead meetings where tense issues were being discussed. He led those meetings with professionalism, was courteous to all participants, and sought to bring successful conclusions to those issues.

He consistently treats anyone he meets with care and respect. He is a highly respected leader who represents the city very well throughout the state.

The city of McMinnville needs Scott’s strong, balanced, professional and experienced leadership. I would encourage the voters of McMinnville to re-elect Scott Hill as your mayor.

Murray Paolo


Lack of knowledge

Just what is the definition of nationalism?

According to Webster’s, it’s devotion to national interests, unity and independence. It’s akin to patriotism, marked by love of one’s country. So please help me understand how nationalism divides our country, as alleged in last week’s Readers Forum?

Reference was also made to climate change. Thanks to bombardment by the controlled media, we fail to heed the thousands of science degree-holders petitioning Congress to disclaim man-caused global warming and the Paris Accords.

Due to fear back at the turn of the century about some pending world calamity, we missed the cause of the current chaos and unrest. The United Nations’ millennium development goals are proceeding at warp speed, under cover of the distracting media hype behind the COVID-19 hysteria.

We the people are busy making a living. I doubt if any individual looked past the curtain of the green movement, political correctness, Agenda 21, ICLEI and so forth.

The full story is not revealed. But, if we dig deeper, we find we’re in great danger of losing our nation as we know it. It’s because we’ve allowed greed, corruption and deceit to take hold, blinding us.

If we love our country, we must work together to keep the freedoms fought for by our founding fathers. Hosea 4:6 warns, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

Mary Novak




I've oft found interesting how the 'Left' projects onto the 'Right' what they are doing or have already done. In this case, per the first letter to the editor this week, not accepting the results of a presidential election.

In 2016, wasn't it the Democrats that demanded recount after recount, did countless protests, harassed electors to the electoral college NOT to cast their vote for Donald Trump per the election results (1st link), said "not my president", and even resorted to a 'soft coup' based upon the Clinton campaign's attempt to distract from her e-mail server scandal by alleging Trump-Russia ties to which even president Obama was briefed (second link); a diversion we now know based on disinformation from a suspected Russian spy in the form of the Steele dossier (3rd link)? I guess sometimes life is stranger than fiction.



RobsNewsRegister: Very interesting point! I think the pendulum swings both ways and that the Republicans are just as guilty as the Democrats in projecting, among other things. To be honest, with the exception of just a few distinctives to separate them from one another, I find it often difficult to tell the difference between a donkey and an elephant these days. There is definitely a lot of "the pot calling the kettle black" going on. Rather than always trying to one-up the other, wouldn't it be nice if they would just work together for a change.

Don Dix

RobsNewsRegister -- Well said. And so for the last 4 years, the entire course of the left has been to somehow remove Trump from office, by any means.

But what really disappointed me was all those 'big-mouthed celebrities' who 'pledged' to leave the US if Trump won -- and then didn't, of course -- contradiction of promised action, failing to live up to a stated course, big talk - no walk (and on and on)... pretty much defines a hypocrite (and most politicians), wouldn't you say?


Hibb - good point - I'm sure both sides are hypocritical but we might see it more from the 'Left' because the chances of getting called by the Main Stream Media is much less so there's a moral hazard. For instance, none of the MSM outlets even covered the rather shocking HRC revelations. Crickets. Remember the non-stop drumbeat of Russia, Russia, Russia stories?


Don - I forgot about those promises and you're sure right about most politicians being hypocrites - say one thing to get elected and then do another or nothing at all.


“Donald Trump is gutsy. He is rough around the edges.”
Thank you Steve Wozniak for reminding us of the valiant courage and bravery of our glorious Commander-in-Chief, Donald J. Trump. If only his excruciatingly painful bone spurs hadn’t kept him out of military service during the Vietnam War, just think of what he could have accomplished! No doubt his extraordinary valor and strategic and tactical military brilliance pcould have single-handedly defeated the Vietnam Cong and shortened that horrific Southeast Asian conflict by many years. And in so doing, he could have saved the world from Democrats, liberals, progressives, and (gasp!) Socialists.


Kellie Menke did do a good job in the Gormly/Taylor administration. But since they retired -- AND Heather Richards became the city planning director, Kellie and the planning department have consistently ignored comprehensive plan goals/policies that would have limited unfair damages to surrounding neighborhoods, unique environments, and traffic congestion/safety. And instead voted in support of maximum density and maximum infill. The city does need more higher density developments and multifamily units, but closer to major highways like the Comprehensive plan recommends, not one mile from the nearest highway on roads that will require multi million dollar improvements to safely handle the increased traffic. we need a planning director and a council who will push to extend the urban growth boundary, not cram density/infill into areas they don't fit. A vote for Kellie is a vote in support of approving the direction the current planning staff is headed - so probably lots more high density in the SW Hill road area. And other currently great neighborhoods.

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