My wife and I are neighbors of Josh Marquis and Cindy Price. They're honest, hardworking members of our community. Over the years, I've served on an arts board with Price, and belonged to a community service organization with Marquis, and we've had great talks about Astoria history and politics.
Price is outgoing and gregarious, extremely smart, wickedly funny, and works hard on writing projects, volunteers for KMUN, and tends her garden - one of the most beautiful on our street. She just gave my wife a garden tour, and knows all of her plants by their domestic and scientific Latin names.
Sometimes I run into Marquis after seeing a really whacko "tinfoil-helmet"-type rant on the Internet aimed at him, and ask what it's about. After explaining, he often expresses frustration that people don't just ask him. He even has a blog site so that people can do that.
We can all guess who's behind these attacks. People who yearn for the days when the district attorney was just another one of the good ol' boys. People who could count on evidence disappearing or certain cases being dropped. People who are related to someone who didn't get to skate on drug charges or a driving under the influence charge.
Marquis is honest and incorruptible. He doesn't do favors for anyone who has broken the law, no matter who they are. He knows what a conflict of interest looks like, and avoids them at all costs.
At a recent neighbor's potluck dinner party, I asked both Marquis and Price not to leave, that we need them. They both said that in spite of the recent insult, they weren't leaving.
Marquis doesn't usually stay too long at parties; he starts giving Price a look that says, "please dear, let's get home to the cats" and they generally head home early. Several times he's been called away from events to go back to work. He always takes the calls, and he always goes back to work without complaint, no matter the hour.
Those of us who want them to stay need to help right recent wrongs by our elected representatives. Sign petitions. Write letters. Make calls. Vote.
Please, go read Marquis' side of the story at: joshmarquis.blogspot.com/2007/05/county-slashes-das-pay.html
Write to: Clatsop County Commissioners, 800 Exchange St., Astoria OR 97103; Editor, The Daily Astorian, 949 Exchange St., Astoria OR 97103 or firstname.lastname@example.org; Josh Marquis, Clatsop County Courthouse, P.O. Box 149, Astoria OR 97103.
And come to the public hearing that the Clatsop County Commission is holding June 13 at the Boyington Building at Commercial and Ninth streets. The meeting starts at 9 a.m. Public comments are early on the agenda.