Should be neutral

Why are the port commissioners choosing Kathy Lindley-Hall to replace Gary Dehlinger after his surprise firing?

An executive director or manager for the port should be politically neutral. A research of the Pilot dated April 7, 2007, shows then-Commissioner Hall was accused of going to an unnamed business outside the port and had told them to remove its political signs, and if they did not, she would change companies and have her friends change companies, too. The business was unnamed because the owner feared repercussions.

Presently, Ms. Hall is employed by a state agency, the Oregon Trawl Commission. ORS 260.432 pages 7 and 8 says: a public employee cannot promote or oppose a political position while they are on the job during working hours while acting in an “official capacity.”

As a candidate for port commissioner, I met more than once with Hall in the Trawl Commission offices. She told me she had met with all the candidates who were running for the commissioner offices. Once when I entered her office, one of the candidates was already talking to her, so I know this happened during the commissioner’s campaign.

The present sitting port commissioners are now suggesting a political partisan person be hired as the interim port manager.

Makes you wonder where this is going.

Sharon Hartung

Brookings

Dead wrong

The Pilot made two serious mistakes in covering the board of commissioners meeting on Jan. 31 regarding the Weyerhaeuser annexation.

First mistake:

The Pilot wrote, “The meeting was held Dec. 6, the vote was 2-1 with Commissioner Court Boice voting against it.” The facts: At the meeting of Dec. 6, Commissioner Gold was absent; Commissioners Huxley and Boice voted for the motion.

Second mistake. The Pilot wrote that Boice said, “Rescind this confusing, complex, ill-advised decision you two made on Dec. 6.” On a citizen’s video of the meeting, I see Boice saying, “The motion is simply asking the board to reverse this confusing, complex, and ill-advised decision the two of us made without proper understanding on December 6. By our own admission. Both of us (Boice gestures toward Huxley).”

The Pilot’s version is dead wrong on these points.

Yes, it’s difficult to follow loosely-run public meetings. And I sympathize with reporters in a hurry taking notes in cramped spaces. Pilot reporters (and the rest of us) would be much helped if the county immediately uploaded videos of BOC meetings. Then, reporters could verify their notions of what happened and they could write it right.

As for the mistakes I mention above, they should not have been made. I regretfully suspect that the real problem is that the Pilot is so entrenched in certain narratives about the commissioners that it can’t accurately report plain facts.

Dana S. Gurnee

Port Orford

Set priorities

Some from the timber industry have contended more logging is the best way to prevent future fires, that “unsalvaged” trees will go to waste, and the U.S. Forest Service is now dallying instead of cutting trees. Their assertions are not the only information to consider.

How to manage the vulnerable burned landscape is more complicated than just demanding more logging.

Studies conducted by OSU in the wake of the Silver and Biscuit fires showed salvage logging after the first fire created conditions for more severe burns in the second one. Considerable research also shows salvage logging has damaging impacts on soils and watersheds (Google: fire risk, salvage logging, and impacts). If anything, logging after fires needs to be done with greater caution, not less.

The Forest Service has the obligation to manage our public lands for a wider range of goals than just short-term timber production. Foremost, it needs to address public safety; it also needs to conserve the wild and scenic Chetco with its clear water, salmon and outstanding recreation.

So far, the forest service has prioritized stabilizing hundreds of miles of roads to prevent damaging erosion during the winter rain season. That’s a good thing that will help protect water quality, salmon habitat and public access.

The timber industry can do what it wants on its private lands but I hope as the forest service plans for post-fire logging, it will put protecting and restoring the cherished public values of the Chetco River watershed at the top of its list.

Ann Vileisis

Port Orford

JUST HOW MANY?

Does anyone actually know what our real population is in Curry County? I’m willing to bet not. There seems to be twice a many vehicles on the streets, Fred Meyer is always packed, and the DMV is full of people every day whom just moved here.

Unfortunately, most of these newcomers are not counted. They are not on our tax rolls, they pay nothing to contribute to our county, cities, schools, etc. I’m talking about full-time RVers who have filled the RV parks and driveways of homes in our area. They use our roads, our public services, take advantage of no sales tax, cheaper gas and on and on.

Should these residents not be counted and have to pay their fair share? I actually own a RV parts and repair business and don’t think this fair. Nearly every day I have someone new come into our business and state they just moved here.

I don’t think it’s fair and if I don’t, I’m sure most who do pay their share wouldn’t either.

Harold Bailey

Brookings

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