Letters to the Editor: March 11, 2022

Lacking in character

As one who is adamantly opposed to the Yamhelas Westsider Trail, as it is presently planned, you might think I would be supporting Commissioner Berschauer in the recall election. But as strongly as I feel about the trail, I cannot morally support her.

As a county commissioner, her leadership and her treatment of those she does not agree with have been deplorable. Turns out she is a political animal with no limits on what she will do or say to solicit support and get her way.

She is divisive. She does not work well with others, and labels and demonizes fine people who oppose her. It is not humane or healthy for the county.

As you can imagine, there are many who do not share my view of the trail. I think they are wrong, of course, but I’ve never doubted they are good people who love Yamhill County as much as I do.

I respect them. And I think they respect me, in spite of my trail opposition.

They have not sent anyone to my home to intimidate me or tried to discredit me personally, as Lindsay does to those she comes into conflict with. That kind of behavior is totally unacceptable from anyone, much less someone in her position.

I do not fit the attributes Lindsay has assigned to those wanting her recalled.

I’m not a trail supporter, a Democrat or a member of Save Yamhill County. In fact, I don’t know any members of that group. And I believe in responsible gun ownership.

The recall is not about issues. It is about the person — her character and conduct, which are not what we need or expect from our elected leadership.

Please vote yes to recall Lindsay Berschauer!

Connie Hutchison


Not a giveaway

The progressives attempting to recall County Commissioner Lindsay Berschauer claim she gave away $2.5 million to Waste Management Inc., the corporation that handles Yamhill County garbage disposal through its Riverbend Landfill. They also claim she never provided an explanation for this purported giveaway.

Both claims are incorrect.

The Waste Management contract was fully discussed during public commission meetings, and the reasons for a restructured payment schedule were part of that discussion.

Commissioner Mary Starrett chaired both meetings, held on July 22 and Aug. 12. You can watch the proceedings on YouTube beginning at times 27:23 and 5:50, respectively.

Riverbend’s original fee payments were based on a fully operational high-volume facility.

When state land use and judicial authorities rejected expansion of Riverbend as it reached capacity, it had to stop accepting municipal waste. Annual revenue plummeted and the workforce was reduced from 25 to five.

With revenues and employees down 80%, Riverbend asked the county to reduce fees commensurate with the reduced operations.

The base fee paid by Riverbend had been $240,000 a year. The new contract reduced that in steps over four years to a new base of $50,000 a year.

Commissioner Casey Kulla wanted the fee to stay at $240,000. He also wanted the contract term reduced to one year versus the proposed 15.

He voted against the new contract. Starrett and Berschauer voted in favor.

The supposed $2.5 million giveaway is derived from the difference between the old fee amount, projected out over 15 years, and the new one. But it is highly unlikely Riverbend will maintain operations for another 15 years, so the claim is very misleading.

Also, keep in mind that Kulla was asking for the contract to be reduced from 15 years to one. That would certainly have affected fee payments.
Vote no on the recall.

Jim Talt


No one paid

Why am I voting yes to recall Commissioner Lindsay Berschauer? One of the many reasons is because I’m utterly exhausted with Lindsay Berschauer’s lies.
The latest appalling lie? She posted on her official social media that Save Yamhill County paid individuals to deliver door hangers.

As one of the people who worked diligently to recruit these people, I can assure you that no one was paid to distribute door hangers. And no one was paid to collect petition signatures that resulted in this election, either.

More than 200 recall drive volunteers have done this work for the love of their communities and Yamhill County.

Don’t delay. Vote yes for honesty and recall Lindsay Berschauer.

Kristen Gabrielsen


County transition facts

Like many of us, I want to know what happens when the recall Berschauer vote is successful. How will it change the business of the county?

There have been some inaccurate rumors passed around. So here’s what is true:

With a successful recall, the last day of office for the recalled commissioner would probably be April 18.

The law says a recalled commissioner must step down “immediately.” However, the county clerk must first verify the results and there are a number of steps to that.

Once the position is officially vacant, the two remaining commissioners appoint an individual to serve in the vacated position on an interim basis, through the end of the calendar year. A permanent replacement would be elected in November and take office Jan. 1.

Parties interested in the interim appointment would have five days after the vacancy occurs to submit an application.

Parties interested in election to the post in the Nov. 8 general would have an opportunity to file over the summer. The seat would not be contested in the primary.

Prior to the seating of an interim replacement, the two remaining commissioners would form a quorum. It is not true that county business would come to a halt without a third commissioner.

If you have heard or hear something different, please take a minute to check with the official source, County Clerk Brian Van Bergen.

Beth Caster


We can do better

This is an appeal to voters who value the conservative values of fiscal responsibility, professional ethics, accountability and the democratic process.

It is an appeal to voters who agree that state laws take precedence over county laws and there is a legal process already in place if one desires to change a law.

It is an appeal to voters who agree there must be partnership and compromise among the county commissioners, no matter what political affiliation they may variously reflect.

It is an appeal to voters who realize the danger of supporting a member of the non-partisan County Board of Commissioners, regardless of political persuasion, whose main priority is to amass political power.

Please vote yes on the recall. Yamhill County can do better than this.

Stuart Gunness


Expand the board

How much longer are the voters of Yamhill County going to put up with just two county commissioners controlling the board?

In the past, voters experienced the teaming up of Kathy George and Leslie Lewis with their rubber stamp abuse of the public approach on land use matters. Now the voters are at the mercy of Lindsay Berschauer and Mary Starrett calling all  the shots.

It’s time to stop that nonsense and reconsider the makeup of the board. A five-commissioner arrangement would better serve the people of Yamhill County.
The commissioners would be elected from districts, but would serve at large. The idea was first introduced by then county commissioner Dennis Goecks.
One commissioner called that idea “bad government.” But nothing could be worse, or less democratic, than what we have now.

Most city councils and planning commissions consist of five or more members, and they are better at serving their constituents. Those provide good examples for our consideration. Additionally, most meet at night and feature members serving on a volunteer basis.

There are more than enough examples. The board of county commissioners should be upgraded to meet the growth that has occurred in our county.

John Englebrecht


Potholes not priority

Yamhill County is a great place to live. We are not Portland Metro and I hope we are never swallowed up by it.

I enjoy the rural lifestyle, beautiful scenery and relative safety for my family. Neighbors talk to each other and our interactions with the police and government officials have been positive.

I voted for Commissioner Lindsay Berschauer because I trusted her intent to help maintain the core values and livability of our county.

I believe she has done that to the best of anybody’s ability in these difficult times. The challenges of the COVID epidemic and questionable federal and state directives would test anyone.

There have been many attempts by liberal groups to attack our basic constitutional rights. I strongly approve of anyone in our elected government who can stand against these attacks.

Whenever freedom of religion, right to bear arms, free speech and supervision of our children are attacked, the potholes in the road take second place.

I believe Lindsay has been a good commissioner. She has been true to all of her campaign promises.

Please vote no on the recall.

Steve Wozniak



Grassroots campaign

Recall elections were designed to ensure that elected officials act in the best interests of all their constituents.

I disagree with many of Commissioner Berschauer’s political beliefs, but that is not why I’m in favor of recalling her. Instead, I have voted yes in the recall election because she does not prudently and ethically discharge her responsibilities.

Recent letters to the editor and News-Register editorials have detailed the ways in which Commissioner Berschauer has betrayed the public trust. She has cost the taxpayers substantial sums of money, caused the county to be sued by the state, delayed the expenditure of federal COVID relief and recovery funds while taking some for her own business, and publicly berated and intimidated county employees.

For these reasons, and many more, hundreds of citizens from all over the county have volunteered in the Save Yamhill County recall effort.

Contrary to what Berschauer has claimed online, every single person working in this recall campaign — collecting signatures, distributing door hangers, putting up signs and working in the get-out-the-vote effort — is an unpaid volunteer. The campaign is a true grassroots effort of Independents, Republicans, Democrats and unaffiliated voters, all of whom believe they deserve to be represented by a county commissioner who performs her duties in a responsible and non-partisan manner.

This is why I voted yes and urge you to do the same.

Susan Dirks


Let voice ring out

Vote yes to recall Commissioner Lindsay “Loves Lawyers” Berschauer. Yamhill County deserves so much better.

I am voting yes because LLL had months to learn to be a more effective and inclusive county commissioner. She could have addressed the countless concerns that citizens of this county have brought forward.

Did she? No.

Instead she’s blamed our neighbors and targeted them with legal threats. And it’s not the first time.

She has bombarded her constituents with opinions rather than facts ever since she entered office. Let us not forget all her blathering about masks, vaccines, land use, gun sanctuaries and so forth.

Perhaps the families of citizens who have lost their lives to COVID should hold LLL Berschauer legally accountable, because she inappropriately used her position to spew misinformation.

I am voting yes because she abuses her position to continue to play the victim, while failing to address the real business of the county. I want updates on issues the board is actually taking care of, not on ways she is being wronged by constituents trying to hold her accountable for doing her job.

I am voting yes because LLL cannot resist using her non-partisan governmental role to engage in endless ideological arguments that have nothing to do with the position she was elected to or the job she is getting paid for.

She’s used that platform inappropriately and got the county sued. That’s certainly a good use of county tax dollars.

Now we have to listen to her whine about the waste of county dollars for this special election her constituents have petitioned for as part of the democratic process. Let us compare the cost of the election to the attorney fees the county is assuming because of her leadership in matters having nothing to do with her position.

I am voting yes because citizens deserve better. Our tax dollars should pay our elected officials to do the job they were elected to do. LLL can take her grandstanding on ideological opinions elsewhere.

I encourage you to join me in voting yes. Let your voice be heard loud and clear.

Kristina Sheppard



Tired of bullying

With the recall vote on Lindsay Berschauer looming, I decided to read the job description of a Yamhill County commissioner. What I did not see is where it allows non-medical commissioners to dispense medical advice.

I saw, “The commissioners are responsible to the voters, but their duties are defined and controlled by state constitution and state statues.” Among those duties, I saw, “approve budgets, oversee spending and hire employees.” Nowhere did it say “play to part of your base and decry medical treatments.”

I’m referring to getting the COVID-19 vaccines and wearing masks for the safety of yourself and others.

I volunteered my time at many Yamhill County Public Health vaccine clinics and worked alongside nurses giving of their time, energy and concern for the public, helping the many who truly appreciated being there to get vaccinated. The nurses took the time and answered all questions without prejudice, honestly and to the best of their abilities.

Mary Starrett was ready to blackmail the county health department if it didn’t add risky, unscientific conspiracy theories to the county’s website, and Berschauer pressed for dangerous unethical COVID safety recommendations which could have led to another lawsuit against the county.

I’m personally tired of seeing the bullying, acrimony and divisive state of our country and now county. It’s been playing out across TV screens, national news and newspapers for way too long.

Yamhill County was a safe, livable and friendly community. I don’t feel that way anymore.

My issue is not with Lindsay Berschauer speaking her personal truth. I feel Lindsay Berschauer “represents” HER base and not ALL of Yamhill County.

I’m seeing signs, ads and lawsuits, all of which cost thousands of dollars. Much of that money is coming from outside sources, which begs the question, what is being asked in return?

I’m not waiting around for the answer. Vote yes to recall Lindsay Berschauer.

Dr. John R. & Els Sandberg


Need real leadership

Yamhill County is strong when all of its citizens are recognized and valued by fellow citizens and local leaders.

In the past, we’ve had county commissioners who, while holding opinions different from those of half the community, kept listening. While not agreeing with opposing viewpoints, they were always civil.

I am voting yes on the recall of Lindsay Berschauer because she is not a leader.

A leader does not berate county employees and the county attorney for doing their jobs. A leader does not dox private citizens. A leader does not lean on her elected position to influence a legal case against a family member. A leader does not let her followers threaten local businesses who don’t like her.

A leader does not put the county at financial risk for implementing laws outside the county’s jurisdiction. A leader does not let their followers call those who disagree with her “cockroaches.” A leader does not threaten lawsuits against political opponents.

A leader, simply, leads. A leader is civil, builds relationships, recognizes the county is better for building coalitions, makes prudent and fiscally responsible decisions and holds high standards for their constituents.

Berschauer has had numerous opportunities to lead, but time after time, she has failed. She has shown she cannot grow in her role and continues to put our county at risk.

Her lack of professionalism, her reactivity against perceived slights, her reluctance to hold followers accountable and her inability to follow basic ethics all demonstrate she is an immediate risk. We need a leader who can lead, and she isn’t capable of it.

Vote yes on the recall so we can return to civil, responsible leadership.

Sidonie Winfield


Righting a wrong

We got it wrong. We made a mistake.

But now we can fix it.

Vote yes to recall Yamhill County Commissioner Lindsay Berschauer:

- Before she costs us any more money.

- Before we lose any more county employees.

- Before she gets us into any more lawsuits.

- Before it’s too late.

Patricia McArdle


Rhetoric, misinformation

Eight years ago, my husband and I could have retired to almost anywhere.

We chose McMinnville and love it here. But we are increasingly concerned about the rhetoric and the misinformation that comes from the majority on the Yamhill County Board of Commissioners.

We are particularly troubled by the refusal to accept scientific evidence and promote vaccination against the virus. That has put our lives at risk.

So, this 74-year-old grandmother is voting a resounding “Yes!” on the recall of Lindsay Berschauer. I hope you will join me, along with thousands of others.

Nancy Schick


Time to go

Commissioner Berschauer:

It’s clear you are determined to have the county spend money on a recall election that you could have graciously avoided by tendering your resignation.

Obviously, it was wishful thinking on my part that you would do something fiscally responsible.

Yamhill County can’t afford three more years of your irresponsible actions regarding our tax dollars.

Your supporters can say it wasn’t you who stopped the Yamhelas Westsider trail, but we know it was you, in concert with Commissioner Starrett. You two cast votes that cost Yamhill county taxpayers more than a million dollars of grant money, which must be repaid to the state now that the trail is no longer moving forward.

Yamhill County can’t afford three more years of irresponsible actions that intentionally ignore scientific data and state mandates with regard to COVID-19. I’ve asked you to stop practicing medicine without a license, yet you persist in providing false and misleading information.

How many people have COVID-19 because of the misinformation you’ve given? How many family/friends have COVID-19 because they listened to you about masks somehow being a violation of personal freedom?

Yamhill County can’t afford three more years of unethical behavior because you choose to support extremist ideologies and groups that perpetuate hate. Your support of the Newberg School Board members, to continue to foment hate in the community and in the schools, is deplorable.

It’s also telling that you haven’t denounced supporters who refer to people backing your recall as cockroaches. You forget that you are to represent all residents of  Yamhill County, the cockroaches included.

I’ll keep working to ensure the vote to recall you is a resounding yes. We can’t afford three more years of you as commissioner.

Vote yes to recall Lindsay Berschauer!

Lu Ann Anderson


Deserve honesty

As I have volunteered my time and effort to the question of keeping our newest County Commissioner, I have been told by a few residents that I should “Go back to Portland.” I want to state here that I have lived in Yamhill County for nearly 50 years.

While I am writing, I will also say that the other volunteers have also all been residents of Yamhill County.

No one has been paid to do this work. We have done this for the love of this county and our neighbors.

I would ask where these false rumors start, but a hint of one place is right there on your ballot, where Lindsay Berschauer tries to scare you with the threat of “Portland-style politics,” whatever that means.

Yamhill County deserves honesty from its commissioners. Vote yes on the recall.

Glenna Green


We can’t wait

Last week’s letters to the editor spelled out in detail some of the reasons this recall is necessary.

Since being sworn in, Commissioner Lindsay Berschauer has used her position irresponsibly — attempting to influence private litigation affecting her husband, berating county employees just for doing their jobs, demanding county health post medically unproven home COVID treatments, forcing taxpayers to foot outside attorney legal bills due to her pursuit of a personal agenda outside county purview, and much more.

There are videos, witnesses, transcripts, confirmation. Facts matter.

Berschauer’s term does not end until December 2024. Too much damage has already been done. We can’t wait until then.

Maya Angelou famously said, “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” Vote yes on the recall.

Susan Karp


Poor behavior

I urge all voters to cast a yes ballot on the Lindsay Berschauer recall.

Among examples of her poor behavior, she recently accused recall supporters of paying people to distribute campaign door hangers. And that’s not true.
None of those people are being paid. They are all volunteers.

Her campaign has called recall supporters “cockroaches.” Yes, cockroaches.

She has claimed the opposition is funded by big money. But our big money is from local people who feel strongly enough to give.

Berschauer has also used her office to try and pressure the district attorney to influence litigation against her husband. That’s a clear conflict of interest.
It’s time to have a commissioner who genuinely supports the people of Yamhill County and their interests. Vote yes on the recall.

Tara Patterson


Just say no

In response to service fee proposed by the McMinnville City Council: NO!

Water, sewer and electricity are essential needs. It’s very hard for a household to control their cost.

And then you think, it’s only $12 a month, right? Well, that’s $144.00 a year.

Apply that to lower-income or fixed-income people. That $12 could buy four gallons of milk. If they buy a gallon a week, you are taking away enough to cover the entire supply for a family. Does that mean no cereal for breakfast any longer?

How about this. Potatoes cost about 78 cents a pound, so $12 would buy about 15 pounds of them. That’s a lot of potatoes.

So, city council, if we were to pro-rate this to your income level, which is beyond my math skills at this point in time, what food would you not be able to put on your table?

Just say no. Stop being greedy under the guise of planning.

Gail Craven


No on utility fee

The new fee the city is planning to tack onto our electric bills is unfair. It really amounts to a tax.

We bought our house new in McMinnville 44 years ago. Like the majority of homes at that time, it was all-electric.

Electricity then ran 1 cent a kilowatt-hour. It was truly a bargain, thanks to the foresight of our city fathers.

For many years, 30 or more, the majority of new homes have not been all-electric. They have often had gas ranges, gas water heaters and/or gas furnaces, making their electric bills much lower.

As a result, the older homes in our city are generally going to pay a much higher fee or tax. How long will it be before it starts being increased again and again?
Should the city attempt to fee-tax the gas usage of the newer homes?

I hope not. In fact, I hope the city council will re-think this tax and cancel it.

I appreciate the work of the city council. There are many challenges facing our city.

Please, councilors, go back to the drawing board and determine a fairer way to tax our citizens.

Frank Celentano


Tax aid challenges

In “Why do Americans still Have to File their Own Tax Returns?” Beverly Moran points out how the tax preparation industry has deterred simplification of tax preparation and encouraged higher cost through private firms. But individuals have fought back.

AARP Tax-Aide was started in 1968. It is intended mainly for taxpayers of low to moderate income. It is available to those with simple taxes, which excludes farmers and retailers with business gains, losses and expenses.

I remember my mother-in-law talking about her time as a volunteer in the early days, preparing taxes with paper and pencil. Now the sites are run by volunteers who take the time to be trained electronically, and no fee is charged.

Here in Yamhill County, there are three sites that offer tax help — the McMinnville Public Library and McMinnville Senior Center in person and George Fox University by video.

There used to be a site at the Newberg Senior Center, but COVID and a lack of volunteers forced its closure.

Fortunately, Jenny Berg, library director in McMinnville, was committed to the Tax-Aide program and helping the elderly. She opened space at the library for the program for the 2020, 2021 and 2022 tax seasons.

Unfortunately, a number of volunteers have dropped out, resulting in fewer folks being served. As Ms. Moran emphasized, the demand is high for free tax prep, but more volunteers are needed.

Kathleen Culbert



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