For several years I've been helping with the Astoria-Warrenton Chamber of Commerce Crab and Seafood Festival. It's been a lot of fun. I help park vendors with the Astoria Community Emergency Response Team, serve crab dinners with Astoria Rotary, set up traffic signs and work to keep traffic moving smoothly. It feels great knowing that I help keep people safe as they enjoy the festival.
One of the best things about these events is community members working together, putting aside our personal political differences. We can forget the politics for a few days - or so I thought.
I found out from a friend on the Sheriff's Posse that she was at the Crab Festival helping, too. She heard Executive Director of the Astoria Warrenton Chamber of Commerce Skip Hauke get on the microphone at the Crab Festival and announce to the crowd what a great guy Jeff Hazen is, and that he would be voting for him.
I'm shocked. I suppose I shouldn't be, since his board didn't react when Hauke wrote political letters and put signage up on Chamber property denouncing the commissioner recalls.
This won't stop me from helping out. I don't do it for Hauke, but because I love this community. Still, I just had to share my disappointment in this behavior.
Also, just so you know, I'm volunteering for the campaigns of Peter Huhtala and Scott Lee for county commissioner, but I did not ask people at the Crab Fest to vote for them, because it would have been inappropriate to do so at that event.
Since this is the last letter I'll write before the election, I'll use this more appropriate forum to ask for your support for both Peter Huhtala and Scott Lee. Huhtala is running for commissioner in my district (3), and is also my friend. He works well with people and wants public business to be conducted in public. He's a strong advocate for creating good jobs while protecting the environment.
Ironically, I knew Scott Lee as a business owner, but didn't really talk with him much before he wrote the letter to the Daily Astorian expressing his disappointment with the Chamber ("Not all members," Sept. 4, 2009). I've since gotten to know him as a thoughtful person and good businessman with the leadership skills that we need as we try to undo some of the damage done by bad decisions made by former and current commissioners.