Roberts Did Good
I went to the Richard Lee Town Hall on Wednesday. There was a collection of supporters and detractors there. There was one person there posing as some sort of a journalist who didn't hide his lack of objectivity, while Joe Gamm and Carrie Bartoldus behaved themselves and scribbled notes quietly in the back of the room through out the meeting and said nothing. It will be interesting to see how their impressions compare. Joe Gamm did find himself at the pointy end of the stick on several occasions when references were made to the slanted reporting by the Daily Astorian, but he did not let himself address any of the accusations.
Richard was bold yet sincere and appeared to have all his ducks in a row and handled questions with a healthy sense of humor. Though most people who were there already had their minds made up and have probably already voted, I can say it was a good forum and maybe a mind or two were changed.
However, an unsung hero there was Patricia Roberts who was sitting quietly in the back of the room. Richard deferred some questions to her being she is the BOCC Chair. Patricia was eloquent and showed she has a great understanding of County business and the challenges of the things placed before the BOCC. Her statements were comprehensive to all concerns, and she presented herself as one who deeply studies and understands all sides of matters brought before her.
One of the responsibilities of the BOCC is to vote on issues. Hearing her speak reminded me of how diligently the Commissioners work at the issues brought before them. What the public sees is what is reported from the public meetings, but what they don’t see is the volumes of information that Commissioners slog through and all the meetings and phone calls they are a part of.
Patricia came up with several examples of how this Commission has wisely used their resources for the betterment of the County infrastructure and public safety without asking the tax payers for one additional penny.
It is easy for constituent voters to trust that they are given enough information about the candidates from the editorial pages, but nothing could be further from the truth. Editorials are the opinion of one person on a bully pulpit. Responsible voters owe it to the candidates to actually get out there and meet them and ask questions. With the upcoming election I encourage all to go to at least one candidate forum and actually take time to meet the candidates. Voting for any candidate or issue by using only the information you glean from a news paper is akin to selling your vote to the editor.
I do not live in Patricia’s district, but I have a lot of respect for her and what she does. I do challenge the voters in her district to meet her and the other candidates in the upcoming election. You may be impressed by the knowledge and character of those on the ballot. For me, Patricia raised the bar by what she had to say at the Town Hall.