I have been trying to keep out of local politics, but I really need to comment about the recall petition of Richard Lee.
If you’ve been reading this blog from back in the early days you will note that I’ve commented on my displeasure with Lee on many occasions. I was displeased because he professed to be on the side of my local community with a challenge we were having with the County. Westbrook wouldn’t let us address our concerns in meetings, it looked grim. When it came up for a BOCC vote, Green voted with us and Lee abstained. You bet we were pissed. We felt lied to.
A lot of readers out there know who I am and they tell me things which I will never divulge or betray their confidence. I have people on both sides of this issue telling me things, disturbing things. So even with all the accusations I am going to address this issue as John Q Public who doesn’t have a blog and doesn’t get tips and input from friends and readers. I will base this article on what is public information and not upon hearsay no matter how reliable my sources are.
I had a recall petitioner approach me last weekend. He started off by saying that we need to recall Lee because he voted for LNG. Wrong, he voted on a land use issue. I asked if Lee voted illegally or if they had proof that Lee was in cahoots with the LNG industry. The petitioner said they had no proof.
He went on to say that Lee’s development at Miles Crossing is in violation of zoning codes and that Lee gets permits after the fact. I asked if Lee has been arrested or fined over the violations. The answer again was, “no.”
He went on to state that Lee and his wife have bullied many people in the community, naming one person in particular who I’m sure wants to remain totally anonymous. I asked if charges have been brought against Lee for this, again the answer was, “no.” I asked if the actions of Lee’s wife or any of Lee’s business representatives were grounds to recall Lee? Again, the answer was “no.”
He went on to say that Lee made questionable appointments to boards and committees. I asked if the boards and committees in questions had other means of electing members other than BOCC appointments, the answer was, “No.”
I asked the petitioner if he or any of the members of his organization ever visit with Lee to ask his opinions. Again the answer was, “no.” I had to enlighten him that Richard Lee is very accessible and that I have swung by the Area Center on occasion and asked him questions. Richard lee always explains his rationale if you ask him. He seems pretty open to me. Believe it or not every time I go there Richard Lee asks my opinion on other topics. A couple weeks ago he asked me what I thought of a plan to move the EOC (Emergency Operation Center) to Camp Rilea. I told him that it is a bad idea because one possible disaster is a tsunami that could potentially wipe Rilea off the map. I still think the Fair Grounds would be better, but would need a lot more infrastructure to make that possible.
I asked if Josh and Cindy were behind this campaign. The petitioner wouldn’t confirm or deny that they are the “Generating Force.” He did admit that many of the people involved in the recall campaign were involved with 4-123.
This recall was in the works long before 4-123 even went to the voters. If you read the forums you will see those recall threats were being made before last November. This recall is nothing more than a continuance of Josh and Cindy revenge tactics with a coat-tail gathering of LNG opponents, which are all cut from the same cloth.
I will agree that Lee can come off as arrogant and bold. I personally haven't seen his arrogance, but I have seen his sense of humor and believe it or not, compassion. He is used to getting his way by using leverage. I don’t always agree with his vision, but he is the elected Commissioner for District 3 and should not be challenged for every decision he makes. We as voters democratically elected him to make decisions. We saw him as being more fit for that office than his opposition. So the opponents need to suck it up until the democratic process happens again in District 3 for his seat on the Board of County Commissioners.
As of the moment I write this, Lee has not been charged with any criminal activity to my knowledge. If something comes up I will reconsider his fitness for office, but for now he is the District #3 Commissioner. He is asked to vote on issues and he casts his one vote among the four votes of the other Commissioners. He does not have a monopolistic advantage on voting. Lee got elected because more people voted for him than for is opponent (Cindy Price) and now is entrusted to vote in what he believes to be the best interest of his constituents no matter what CCFOG or the Daily Astorian has to say about it.
I repeat, this recall effort is nothing more than a revenge campaign. You may sincerely believe it is all about an LNG vote, but in reality you are being used and your strings are being pulled by two puppet masters with a big revenge scheme that is nearly as big as their egos. It's been going on for a long, long time. My advice, don't drink the CCFOG Kool-Aid, it's poison.