Letters to the Editor April 2019

Dear Editor:


Thanks for your recent front-page article on the fact that crime in Portland keeps happening whether we listen or not.

It’s no secret to anyone who pays attention to local and national news: there has been an erosion of trust in our police over the past few years. Ironically, so many of those who might verbally abuse our cops are the same people who day in and day out depend on them to keep our city safe.

With hundreds of officers retiring in the next few years and a national shortage of replacements, we must take responsibility for building trust in our police. After all, these are the people we ask to routinely face the aftermath of murders, suicides, shootings, robberies, drunk drivers and the rampant homelessness in our community — all while potentially putting their lives at risk.

Imagine two years from now; if we as a society have made it so undesirable to be an officer that there’s no one available to respond to emergencies.

This crisis is already unfolding at a national level and police departments across the country are not attracting applicants. New officers coming to Portland are arriving from out of state. Now is the time for us to show that we’re not just weird, but welcoming.

We can do this by inviting officers into our businesses, neighborhoods, homes and families.

We need families willing to help integrate dozens of new officers into the fabric of our community. You can make a difference today, and it’s easy. Just be yourself and be a friend.

Visit facetofacepdx.org for information on becoming a liaison family.

Aaron Kirk Douglas


Letter to the Editor:

I would like to bring to your attention proposed Oregon legislation SB 10.

It would mandate a change in the zoning laws to allow higher density: 45 to 75 units per acre (or app. five to nine units on a typical lot) for the entire area within ½ mile on either side of any bus service that runs at least every fifteen minutes during rush hours.

This would result in a huge swath of East Portland falling under this new high density requirement.

I believe it would be destructive of the numerous neighborhoods that make Portland so liveable.

I share the general concern about the need for more housing. However, it can be achieved without making all the neighborhoods into the same huge apartment development.

I see lots of four to six story apartments being built right now along major thoroughfares. This seems to me to be the way to bring higher density into our community, without destroying the unique quality of our individual neighborhoods.

Eric Roost


Dear Editor:

Neither Erik Matthews’ Letter to the Editor nor Midge Pierce’s article about the RNA mentioned the two Board votes at the June 2018 Election meeting that prompted the Grievance filed by thirty-four people.

(1) The vote to appoint to the Board the three unelected candidates immediately after the election results were announced, overruling the vote-count, and (2) the vote to rescind sending Bylaws amendments to members for vote, without providing the seven day Agenda notice required by the Bylaws.

The Board basically disenfranchised the Members in the 2018 election cycle.

Grievances are allowed by the Bylaws and the city’s Standards governing neighborhood associations – they are the only way members can enforce the Bylaws and Open Meetings rules.

Matthews and Pierce also failed to mention that the SE Uplift Board found that there was a “clear violation” by the former Chair of the “Open Meeting Rules per ONI Standards, RNA Bylaws, and the RNA Code of Ethics as outlined in the Grievance Complaint” on the vote to rescind the Bylaws vote.

However, SEUL ruled (based on three factual errors) that the Grievants were not harmed by the cancellation of their right to amend the Bylaws.  The Grievants appealed that ruling and SEUL’s failure to address several grievance issues.

The Appeal, which links to the underlying Grievance, is at bit.ly/2YlYpbp.

Contrary to Matthews’ characterization, RNA meetings the past eight months have not been contentious or hostile, Board Members have not been harassed or threatened – the audio of those meetings on the RNA website will bear that out.

The RNA is now past the two grievances and the Recall is moot. The Board can work to prevent the problems that led to the two grievances.

The board should receive Open Meetings training and enact Best Practices to help avoid Open Meetings violations.

If someone asserts that a vote would violate the Bylaws or Open Meetings rules, the vote should be set over to a later meeting. The grievances could have been avoided if the votes were set over to a later meeting for further discussion and the community given proper notice of the issues.

The Board Member communicating a vote to the city must communicate that vote accurately without changing the Board’s vote.

RNA should refrain from taking a position on contentious issues, especially divisive land use issues, which necessarily picks winners and losers.

Voting on such issues is contrary to its mission to “provide a forum to develop neighborhood cohesiveness and improve livability by coordinating neighborhood projects, disseminating information and promoting active involvement in neighborhood activities.”

Allen Fields

Letters to the Editor April 2019

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