Friday, March 14, 2014

Dear friends and neighbors,

It is with great disappointment that we announce there will not be a recall election.  
While we did not get the number of signatures required to hold the recall election, we did succeed in our goal of bringing public awareness to the way the council and city manager circumvented the public process in numerous decisions that both disrespected and conflicted with the best interests of the citizens of West Linn.

A significant number of people said they had lost faith in the current city council but for various reasons were not comfortable actually signing petitions to hold a recall election.

The good news is that two seats are up for election this November, Jody Carson's and Mike Jones'.  West Linn First has already laid the groundwork for change and we intend to continue working towards building a larger and stronger community of well-informed and engaged citizens. 

Great appreciation and thanks goes to all those who volunteered:
  • circulated petitions to thousands of people
  • held two public outreach events
  • organized 16 public petition drive activities
  • attended and offered input at group meetings
  • established the West Linn First web site and Face book
  • contributed donations to our grassroots effort
  • produced literature and petitions, then collected and counted them
  • worked with Richard Marlow to produce; West Linn Recall - You Tube also televised on WFMC public cable. (TVCTV, West Linn's public cable provider refused to broadcast our video.)
  • Submitted numerous articles in the newspapers and got our story on two local radio stations and KOIN TV news. To watch, click on the following;
    Water treatment plant rattles West Linn    and    Did West Linn break code for project
  • prepared arguments for the Jan 13, 2014 LUBA remand hearing of LOT and raised objections when Chris Jordan and the council chose to deny public comments on all three items remanded.
  • organized a protest at City Hall in support of terminating city manager Chris Jordan's contract.
  • testified against the "Cut the Red Tape" fiasco.
We hope you will join the conversation.
Please stay in touch with WestLinnFirst.com and Facebook, attend your Neighborhood Association meetings and reach out to fellow West Linn citizens and help strengthen our grassroots efforts in the November election. 

We deserve leaders who will put;  West Linn First

Friday, February 28, 2014

Journalism takes hold

If you haven't watched the video yet, be sure to take some time to view 
West Linn Recall - YouTube  and please share it with your friends.

We are finally seeing the cracks in the official facade fronting for the LOT project with journalists reporting on problems that we predicted years ago.

We will probably see some significant PR push back next week with our tax dollars being wasted on high priced consultants to help them save face.

Please remember that the overwhelming corruption of our public processes that characterize the LOT project are only the canary in the coal mine, the most obvious symptom of a greater problem.  

If our city hall won't stand up for these citizens, what do they stand for?  
If their need to hold power justifies attacking the character of these citizens and marginalizing these citizens' concerns, what would they do to you? 

KOIN 6 TV News Team reporter Tim Becker came to West Linn twice this week gathering stories about LOT water treatment plant problems and plans to come back for more.  See the stories here:

Did West Linn break code for project


KPAM AM 680 radio host Terry Boyd interviewed recall petitioner Karie Oakes, and Mayor Kovash on Thurs. morning Feb 27 at 10:45 AM, 

KXL FM 101.1 also did a short piece at 8:30 AM quoting WL resident Eric Jones about wrongdoing at West Linn city hall.  

Several well spoken opinions in support of the recalls have appeared in the Tidings each week. Thanks go out to those who have taken the time to explain the issues at hand. Here are a few of the more recent editorials:



Friday, January 24, 2014

Recall Petition for Mayor John Kovash

Breaking his oath of office to uphold the laws of the city and state, Mayor John Kovash violated:
- Public meeting law as cited by the Oregon State Ethics Commission.
-Election law as cited by the Oregon Secretary of State.

Failing to represent the best interests of West Linn citizens, Mayor John Kovash acquiesced to regional interests to the detriment of West Linn citizens.

By ignoring the specific recommendations or city advisory boards and commissions and repeatedly dismissing concerns of individual citizens, Mayor John Kovash's actions have compromised the physical safety of some citizens and the financial security of every citizen.

By failing to assert proper control and direction over the City Manager and City Attorney, Mayor John Kovash has put our City at risk both in terms of finances and public trust.


Note: The Recall Petitions for Carson, Jones and Tan have the same wording, except that  Jones and Tan were not on the council during the election violations.

Monday, January 20, 2014

WHO RUNS WEST LINN?
LAKE OSWEGO and TIGARD DO!

West Linn City Manager CHRIS JORDAN

Lives in Lake Oswego. 
Previously Lake Oswego's Assistant City Manager. 
Violated Oregon Election law in 2010.
Wife Andrea helped run the campaigns of LO City Councilors. 
Almost every employee that Jordan hired since 2005 came from either LO or Tigard.

West Linn Assistant City Manager KIRSTEN WYATT

Hired by, promoted to current position by and reports to Chris Jordan.
Violated Oregon Election law in 2010.
Husband Kent Wyatt is City of Tigard's Senior Management Analyst. 
Wyatt's co-founded Emerging Local Government Leaders (ELGL)
to further relationships between bureaucrats and key politicians. 
Operates city propaganda via press releases, facebook and twitter.

West Linn City Attorney TIMOTHY RAMIS

Also serves as City Attorney of Tigard.
Jordan Ramis PC office is in Lake Oswego.
LO City Councilor Donna Jordan is Ramis's partner's wife. 
C. Schrader, Ramis's former partner, left Jordan Ramis PC to work for the company
awarded a multi-million contract for LO/Tigard water plant construction. 

West Linn Assistant City Attorney MEGAN THORNTON

Hired by and reports to Chris Jordan in violation of City Charter.
Now provides legal advice on nearly all city matters to City Council. 
West Linn citizens pay unknown cost for two city attorneys. 

West Linn Community Development Director CHRIS KERR

Hired by, promoted to current position by and reports to Chris Jordan.
Previous planner for LO developers.  
Lives in Lake Oswego. 
Responsible for the deceptive "Red Tape" fiasco, modifying city codes 
to minimize citizen participation in West Linn. 
Actively promoted LO/Tigard water project.

West Linn City Recorder KATHY MOLLUSKY

Hired by and reports to Chris Jordan, despite no prior experience as a City Recorder. 
West Linn taxpayers paid to send her to school to learn her job.  
Only apparent job qualification was working for City of Tigard 
with Kent Wyatt and Tim Ramis. 
Member of Wyatts’ ELGL organization. 
Keeps city public records and determines charges to public to see public records. 
Attends Executive sessions. Processes city elections.

West Linn Chief of Police TERRY TIMEUS

Hired by and reports to Chris Jordan.
Previously worked for Jordan in Lake Oswego.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Preamble



The Oath of Office for the City of West Linn requires sworn City Councilors to support the Constitution of the United States of America, and the Constitutions of the State of Oregon and the laws thereof, and the Charter and Ordinances of the City of West Linn, and faithfully and honorably demean themselves to the office of Councilor to the best of their ability. 

It is with immense disappointment that we are compelled to conclude that, though they may have begun with good intentions, Mayor John Kovash and City Councilors Jody Carson, Mike Jones and Jenni Tan have in fact repeatedly violated their oath of office and hence the trust of our fellow citizens. 

Their violations of the Oregon Public Meetings Law and violations of State election law reveal a pattern of disdain for open honest government and a preference for secrecy and deception.

Their repeated failure to act in the best interests of West Linn has recklessly endangered the physical safety and financial security of our fellow citizens and local businesses. 

Their refusal to hold the city manager and city attorney fully accountable for innumerable legal errors and errors in judgment violate their duties under the City Charter.

Their deliberate and disdainful disregard of the citizens’ reasonable opinions, sensible positions and rights to fair representation have become intolerable.

Their numerous financial and planning missteps waste our limited tax dollars, with costly appeals and mounting legal bills that only serve to magnify the civic burden that we all bear for their arrogance.

These failures to govern West Linn in a fair, open and democratic manner have fully deemed them unfit to serve in public office.

Therefore, to protect the health, safety and security of our city, to rebuild public trust through honest, open governance, we find it necessary to urge Mayor John Kovash and City Councilors Jody Carson, Mike Jones and Jenni Tan to resign or face this recall by petition and vote of the citizens of West Linn.


The Staff Problem



We have a problem.

There is a schism in West Linn between the citizens and the city management staff.

West Linn citizens wish to move forward, to enhance our city in a way that preserves and respects our small town atmosphere, our fine schools, quiet neighborhoods and natural environment.  We have inherited a fine legacy that is worth preserving.

The city manager and department directors who he oversees do not live in our city and do not share our hopes and aspirations.  They harbor a different vision, driven by the mission to increase city government revenue at all costs, regardless of the negative effects on our residents, our homes, our neighborhoods, our businesses and our schools.

Promoting their vision of a Metro mandated high density urban West Linn creates new sources of fees and taxes to fund prosperity and perks for city staff.

Because the city staff does not live here and does not share our vision, the staff constantly picks fights with the citizens, trying to impose their will on us.

Our city hall culture is permeated with philosophy that we, the citizens, are a problem to be managed, to be overcome, with endless tax dollars wasted on attorneys and consultants and focus groups and polls to justify staff duplicity.

Our arrogant top-down city staff continually wastes our scant resources attempting to force through code changes to quash citizen involvement and subvert our neighborhood institutions so that they will have no resistance to rezoning our neighborhoods for high density development and annexing land in Stanford and Borland for more development and city revenue.

This could not happen without the acquiescence of a corrupt council of cronies who refuse to stand up for open government and the rights of citizens.

West Linn is not a petri dish for every hair brained idea emanating from Metro and the Portland State school of urban studies.  West Linn is not a marker, a chit to trade away in someone’s grand game of regional development. 

There is not a single major newsworthy incident here that merits headlines, raises awareness and rallies the citizens for change.  We are being worn down in a slow, systematic and intentional pattern of abuse, of ignoring State regulations, of ignoring our own City Charter, of dispensing with our Codes when money is on the table, of ignoring the will of the citizens and the consent of the governed.

We are honest and caring people and it is time to wake up, 
to stand up to the entrenched regional power brokers and their cronies.
It is time to clean the slate and take back West Linn city hall for all the people.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Citizen Voice



I use water every day.
It is the first thing that I do every morning and the last thing that  I do every night.
Our water system is failing, with leaking pipes and an ancient 1910 vintage reservoir.

The City of West Linn has chosen to ignore our water system while they waste time and money promoting a $24 million dollar Aquatic Center bond measure.

I use the streets every day.
I cannot go to work, to school, to appointments and errands, without city streets.
Our city streets are failing and full of potholes. Hwy 43 is a city embarrassment.

The City of West Linn has chosen to ignore our transportation infrastructure, repaving and sealing the same few streets on the top of the hill around city hall every year while my street crumbles.  I pay the street fee too.

I live with effects of urban planning every day.
Every house, street, park, school and shopping center is the result of planning.

The City of West Linn has chosen to ignore long range planning to preserve what we love about West Linn.  Every year the staff wastes time and tax dollars trying rewrite our city codes, trying to stifle our voices and restrict citizen access.

They keep trying to increase density with smaller lots and taller buildings, to flood our quiet streets with more traffic and overflow our classrooms with more students.

Every year they take small steps toward Stafford development with new schools and new water pumps and wider streets, while lying to us that they oppose Stafford urbanization.

Almost every year there is yet another rewrite of the historic district code, which only effects about 100 lots out of 3500 in our city.  I like the Willamette historic district, but what about my planning for my neighborhood?

When is West Linn City Hall going to work for me, for my neighborhood, instead of catering to developers, to special interests, to other cities?  

When will they stop wasting untold tax dollars hiring consultants and pollsters and PR firms and lawyers to force their vision of the future on my city?

Who do they work for?