Disheartening to see City Council in action
My wife and I welcome the March 7 West Linn Tidings opinion piece ("Council dysfunction could have big fiscal impacts").
After watching the city council meetings over the course of the past two years, we felt compelled to contact our city councilors and Mayor with our concerns and even went so far as to meet with one councilor.
This is the first time in our 32 years of living in West Linn that we felt the need to intervene.The length and frequency of the city council meetings and work sessions raised the first alarm.
The city's contract attorney presides over these meetings and his meter is running all the while. The meetings run so long that the councilors actually forget the matters for which they are voting.
The second alarm: the lack of civility toward the city staff, volunteers and the behavior of the councilors to one another.
In the past two years, my wife and I have witnessed the low morale of the city staff. We are afraid that if the climate of these meetings do not change, we will witness the loss of experienced city staff.
Volunteers are feeling disenfranchised and members of our community are hesitant to join boards or run for city council.
We were hopeful that the election of two new city councilors would change the dynamics of the city council.
Instead, the meetings are even more unproductive and costly. This toxicity is demoralizing an entire community. West Linn is facing the head winds of austerity. It certainly is disheartening to see our tax dollars whittled away in legal fees and staff sitting in marathon meetings.
Sherry and I appreciate the efforts of City Councilor Jules Walters and Mayor Russ Axelrod in trying to turn the page on this dysfunction. It is our hope that City Councilor Bill Relyea will join their efforts. Until then, the business of West Linn will remain hostage to this hostile environment.
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