I am writing with reference to an article in The Astorian, "Warrenton wants water equity" (Nov. 13), in which it is mentioned that "Mayor Henry Balensifer … has established the new mantra 'Warrenton for Warrenton.'" This is an extremely dangerous point of view for the mayor to propose, and I hope that the county commission and leaders of other municipalities in the county speak up strongly against it.

It is certainly not good for the citizens of Clatsop County, regardless of how Mayor Balensifer might think it plays to his image within his own narrow constituency. The issue at stake here — and it is an issue of great importance, urgency and long-term impact — is how will future land development take place within Warrenton and the adjacent areas within its zone of planning influence.

The simple fact is that nearly all the developable land remaining within Clatsop County is located in or around Warrenton. Evidence to date suggests that the land planning and development process within Warrenton and these surrounding areas has been, at best, haphazard, and, at worst, chaotic. To prevent future land development within Clatsop County, i.e., Warrenton and its environs, from following these harmful precedents, leadership that looks beyond narrow self-interest is mandatory.

I urge Sen. Betsy Johnson, the county commissioners, the county manager and Mr. Balensifer's colleagues within Clatsop County to educate him on why "Warrenton for Warrenton" is a most unwelcome and counterproductive slogan, and should be abandoned as soon as possible.



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