Developments, zoning show Good Ol' Boys in charge — Letters for April 13, 2022

Siuslaw News Letters to the Editor

(Editor’s Note: Viewpoint submissions on these and other topics are always welcome as part of our goal to encourage community discussion and exchange of perspectives.)

Disagree Does Not Mean Divide

In a Letter to the Editor last week, I used the cliché “good ol’ boys;” that didn’t sit well with a couple of respondents.

On April 6, Dana Rodet said, in lots of words, “Stop whining. Love it or leave it.” Sherry Harvey said, in fewer words, “Stop trying to drive us apart.”

In my letter, I did not criticize Florence City Councilors and Port of Siuslaw Commissioners Bill Meyer and Rob Ward; in fact, I said that I’m only critical of the present system, which can be seen as a winner-take-all fiefdom.

(And I raised the issue of potential conflict between the port and city, because their goals are not necessarily aligned. Thus, I have a hard time accepting the overlap of roles.)

Folks, all I’m asking is that those who are in power make every effort to include and truly listen to — and even recruit — different points of view. Disagreement does not equal divisiveness.

I’m pretty sure I disagree with Rodet and Harvey on almost everything, yet I welcome their involvement in government, no matter who wins the next election. Why do they find it so hard to do likewise?

 Bruce Hadley — Florence

Yup, Good Ol’ Boys Rule The Florence Area

In the newspaper and on local radio, Mayor Joe Henry said he delayed his decision to step down as mayor until he knew that there was someone who he felt could continue on with the conservative political approach that he supported.

So, he basically hand picks councilors (neighbors & friends) that agree with his political approach. For example, one that denies science re: climate change and that has promoted development at any cost to the detriment of our area.

Just take a look at how the city council courted the developers to increase the density of Three Mile Prairie Home Development, which will have almost 200 closely packed homes. The City of Florence created a variance for smaller lot sizes just for that development. The legality of that is questionable!

It’s supposedly for badly needed housing for middle income residents. Yeah, right — dig deep to see who will benefit. It will look more like an internment camp and cause more traffic problems on Highway 101 that our infrastructure is in no way prepared for.

Also, the Oceana Drive Annexation was explicitly done for another development (stated in the official records), a wetland area that, according to the planning director, “is not a wetland area but it is very wet.” Hundreds of residents were against it but conveniently had no vote on that measure and were totally ignored by the Florence City Council.

Newly appointed City Councilor Rob Ward was gracious in his acceptance to the city council and said he would run for Florence mayor in the fall. He also mentioned how necessary it was for diverse individuals to be in city positions.

Mr. Ward seems like a very nice person. If he is true to his word about diversity, maybe he should let someone else run for mayor.

Come on folks of Florence, are you blind to what transpires here?

Cher Thatcher — Florence