It is a moral imperative that voters hold elected officials responsible for their actions. If we re-elect incumbent candidates who betrayed our trust, we tell those candidates and all other elected officials that they are free to ignore the best interests of the people they represent. To get quality representation, we must demand it. The easiest and clearest way to demand it is with our votes.
No one expected the Port of Astoria Commissioners to request public approval for every decision they faced. But when a decision potentially changes the character of our area, with significant impacts on the health and well being of the entire community, elected officials must be open and honest with their constituents. Our port commissioners not only didn't seek our input during the weeks while they considered granting a 60-year, irrevocable lease to Calpine for a liquified natural gas plant at Skipanon, they prevented even our knowing about the lease until less than two days before they signed it. Regardless how one feels about an LNG facility at our port, there is no question that the port commissioners' intentionally secretive dealing with Calpine is at least an arrogant and irresponsible action.
Candidates ask to represent us, not rule over us. When elected officials disdain their responsibility to serve and represent our best interests, we must remove them from office. That is our responsibility, as good citizens.
Three of the challengers for the port positions on the ballot have pledged to bring transparency and sensible economic development to our port. These new commissioners will quickly come up to speed. Our old commissioners, on the other hand, have made it abundantly clear they are unwilling and unfit to serve our community.
Please vote for transparency and public service in government. Vote for Peter Huhtala, Rose Priven and Tom Brownson for Port of Astoria Commissioners.