Forve: Vote Yes - Berschauer berates, bullies and divides

Phil Forve, chief petitioner in the campaign to recall Yamhill County Commissioner Lindsay Berschauer, devoted 41 years to a career in agriculture and food production with a focus on maintaining quality and instilling best business practices. Though now retired, he continues to consult with executives at Fortune 100 companies in his area of expertise. He maintains an independent orientation politically. He enjoys playing golf, escaping to the coast and visiting local farms and wineries.

Yamhill County Commissioner Lindsay Berschauer is not serving the needs of our community. She is causing unnecessary division, and she is wasting county resources through incompetence and self-service.

Berschauer has berated and bullied our county employees in public forums and tried to damage the reputations of former commissioners.

Without merit or benefit, she interfered with Newberg redevelopment plans. That is costing that city both time and money, and serving to delay renewal promising to bring good jobs back to the city.

She constantly promotes the talking points of special interest groups based inside and outside of Yamhill County over the interests of our citizens. Her actions have cost the taxpayers millions of dollars and lined the pockets of her personal friends and supporters.

There is a solution: Recall Commissioner Berschauer. As the chief petitioner for the recall campaign, I am proud to be among the more than 200 county residents who have stepped up to put this recall on the ballot for you.

Berschauer is new to Yamhill County. She was groomed to run for office here in 2020 by Commissioner Mary Starrett.

In her race, Berschauer defeated long-time county resident and family farmer  Barbara Boyer with a last-minute smear campaign designed to damage Boyer’s reputation.

Though many were hoping Commissioner Berschauer would listen, learn and bring innovative ideas to county governance, it quickly became apparent she and Starrett were planning to team up to bring partisan politics to a commission designed to be non-partisan.

As a registered Independent, I believe leadership begins with listening, not with party politics or extremist agendas.

I have been honored and moved by the efforts of our grassroots campaign organization, Save Yamhill County, which counts members of every age and political stripe. We are Independents, Democrats, Republicans and non-affiliated voters who live here, work here and want to see the county united and thriving.

Things work best in Yamhill County when we are all working together. But Berschauer has attempted to divide and fracture the county, mounting personal attacks on her own constituents or encouraging others to do so, using social media.

She has targeted small businesses, private citizens, former commissioners and other officials for speaking out about their disappointment in the commissioner’s performance — or simply doing their professional jobs.

I had voters ask if the commissioner would see that they had signed the recall petition, because they feared retribution from her. This kind of toxic bullying is not the Yamhill County way. It is, among other things, a distraction from the genuine issues a commissioner should be addressing.

We need leaders who prioritize fiscal conservatism, not just by talking about it or claiming to follow its precepts, but by doing the right thing and spending our taxpayer money wisely, to benefit the greatest number of people. But that’s not what we are getting.

For example:

- Berschauer wasted $2 million in county revenue by needlessly reducing the fees paid by the Riverbend Landfill.

- Berschauer forced delay in implementation of Newberg’s urban redevelopment plan for no good reason, costing the city time and money, and delaying the return of good jobs there.

- Berschauer promised her big money donors she would kill the Yamhelas Westsider Trail. And she came through for them, not for the 66% of county residents who want the trail.

She claimed, erroneously, that the trail project was illegal. And she disparaged county employees and former commissioners who had followed the Oregon land use rules in planning for the project.

- Berschauer tried scoring culture war points with her needless Second Amendment Sanctuary Ordinance and is currently running up the legal costs for the county in a lawsuit with the state.

- Berschauer hurt small businesses and stalled COVID recovery by delaying financial aid and sowing confusion about safety measures.

Taxpayers of Yamhill County are paying for these and other politically motivated choices!

During our recall campaign, Commissioner Berschauer never took the opportunity to reach out to her constituents or modify any of her bad behavior or ill-advised political choices.

A commissioner’s job is to look after the breadth of interests in our county, including farming, timber, hospitality, infrastructure, healthcare and education. It’s a job that requires research, listening, critical thinking and the development of solutions, not slogans or politically convenient positions.

Today I am asking you to join me, and the more than 10,000 of your fellow Yamhill County voters who signed recall petitions, to put people over politics.

Vote yes to recall Commissioner Lindsay Berschauer when you receive your ballot. And make sure it is postmarked no later than March 22.


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