4/25 Letters to the Editor

*Felton would make good administrator*Results of youth survey valuable*Milligan will work for Polk County*Felton clear choice for Polk DA post*Avera is qualified to be circuit judge*Special thank you

Felton would make

good administrator

I'm supporting Aaron Felton for Polk County District Attorney because a good DA needs to be more than a good trial attorney.

The DA is also chief administrator of an office that manages thousands of cases and documents and pieces of evidence every year.

Aaron has been a prosecutor. He has represented the largest city in the region. He has managed multimillion dollar budgets at a state agency.

He is the clear choice to continue aggressive prosecution in Polk County in the face of shrinking budgets.

Phil Walker

West Salem

Results of youth

survey valuable

Last year, youths and parents throughout Polk County participated in a Youth Activities Survey, a partnership between the Commission for Children and Families, Polk County Prevention Programs, and OSU Extension.

We awarded prizes to a few of those surveyed as a thank you for their participation. I would like to publicly thank all of those who participated in the survey, and congratulate Colleen Menning of Grand Ronde, Lili Stott of Perrydale, Shurie Peters of Falls City, Daniel Monrroy of Central, Mikalyn Baker of Dallas, Hattie Mercier of Grand Ronde and Stephanie Turner of West Salem for receiving the randomly drawn thank you prizes.

The goal of this survey was to determine what youths are currently interested in: what they want to do and how they want to be advertised to.

More than 1,200 people took the survey -- 900 youths and 300 adults. The results were fascinating: from the survey, we learned the highest ranked activity that youths in Polk County want to participate in are job opportunities. Clearly, our youths are looking for ways to be involved in the community and contribute to Polk County.

The results have served as a great foundation on which to continue building youth programs for various Polk County agencies and organizations.

To view and download the results of the survey, go online to www.co.polk.or.us/prevention. If you have any questions, contact me at prevention@co.polk.or.us or call 503-623-9664, ext. 2562.

Nicole Walker Sundby


Milligan will work

for Polk County

Join me in voting for Steve Milligan for county commissioner.

I worked with Steve on the Monmouth City Council and Urban Renewal Agency for four years and the Budget Committee for five years. I found Steve to be thoughtful, open minded and thorough when working on tough issues and dealing with other councilors and staff.

His understanding of the city's primary goal of economic development helped as we set financial policies to ensure a stable future for Monmouth.

I believe Steve will continue with this style of leadership to keep Polk County a great place to live and do business.

Ben Meyer


Special thank you

for a special prom

On behalf of Central High School's Basic Life Skills class, I would like to send a special thank you to Shana Lavier and her staff at Dallas High School's DLC classroom for inviting our students from Central High to their prom for the third year in a row.

Our students and staff had such a wonderful time, and it just gets better every year.

We would also like to extend a special thank you to CHS ASBEC for the use of their decorations, Marlene Wallace for doing the girls' hair, Staci Olsen for driving the bus, Mary Centanni (The Cupcake Factory) for the fabulous cupcakes, and all the student mentors, bus drivers and specialists who came to support our wonderful students.

It's so great to be in a caring community.

Patty Nosack

Adair Village

Felton clear choice

for Polk DA post

I endorse Aaron Felton for Polk County District Attorney.

In his 17 years of legal experience, he has acquired broad experience: six years as Deputy District Attorney for Polk County, five years with the city of Salem, both as a prosecutor and as a civil litigator in circuit and appellate courts.

Aaron also brings administrative experience to the office. Appointed to the Oregon State Parole Board in 2009, later he became chairman. He currently supervises 14 employees with a budget of more than $3 million.

Without reservation, I support him for this position.

Mark A. Bliven


Avera is qualified

to be circuit judge

I have personally observed Sally Avera develop into one well-experienced attorney able to competently handle the mundane everyday to complex trials.

Her 34 years as a trial and appellate lawyer prepares her well for the judiciary.

I have always found her to be well prepared having done her own homework, and to be both professional and personable with the jurors.

Best of all, she has common sense and that is what we want in a judge.

Please allow me to hand over my gavel to the most qualified -- by far -- candidate to be our next Circuit Court Judge, Sally Avera.

William Horner


Many help as H2O

gets back on track

During our efforts to reinvent H2O over the past nine months, we have had lots of backup from the community. The following is a well-deserved acknowledgment of our benefactors:

Dallas Retirement Center donated dozens of ambulation devices such as walkers, wheelchairs and crutches. They came close to throwing in the kitchen sink when they also brought in restaurant-style place settings of dishes. We have therefore been able to pass these on to the community as rentals, giveaways and/or sales items.

Truitt Brothers continues to supply generous donations of canned foods, also passed on to the community in food boxes. Sleep Country provides new mattresses and box springs for us to sell in our thrift store at very reasonable prices, meeting yet another community need.

A-Team Locksmiths came to our rescue early on by changing and rekeying the exterior locks, all as a donation of their time and supplies. We continue to be very thankful to this business for their thoughtfulness.

Recently, the owner of The Red Vase in Monmouth retired and offered us all inventory. What a take. Our store has since been well supplied in the finer things of life through this generous donation.

Wells Fargo's volunteer team has adopted us as its community project and showed up en masse to help spruce up the grounds for spring with a promise to return. Look for the red T-shirts.

Without the above assistance, it would have been nearly impossible to redirect and financially stabilize H2O in order to get it activated for community service once again. Our thanks to all.

We now have a Facebook page where you can keep up on the happenings at H2O, including Monday music jams, so like us on Facebook. Better yet, come in and see us anytime.

Joetta Chrissakis


Experience makes

Wheeler best fit

I am a lifelong resident of Polk County. I have worked with Commissioner Jennifer Wheeler for more than 16 years. I know her to be hardworking, with a reputation as a team player who can make the tough decisions when necessary.

Jennifer Wheeler is our first woman commissioner. We have gained an exceptional one, who displays a can-do philosophy in working with the citizens of Polk County.

Her experience in Polk County government is an asset. I recommend that you vote to keep Commissioner Jennifer Wheeler as our Polk County Commissioner.

Ray Steele


No comparison:

Vote for Felton

As concerned citizens we are always, and have been for decades, wishing for more laws and tougher sentences for criminals.

In most instances what we really need is the will to investigate and prosecute fully the laws that already exist.

Aaron Felton has been there and done that.

Some sales persons dislike seeing a potential customer walk into the showroom with a clipboard, because they know that on that sheet of paper is a rational checklist of pros and cons.

Create a checklist of the candidates for Polk County District Attorney. For Aaron Felton, there is no comparison.

George Caldwell


Avera's attributes

give her the nod

I first met Sally Avera when she began her legal career in private practice in Polk County. Since then, she has acquired an impressive resume of work as a prosecutor and public defense attorney in local and appeal courts and in civil and criminal cases.

As experienced as she is, I am equally impressed with her personality. Sally possesses a strong work ethic, quick legal mind, keen sense of humor, good judgment, an ability to work with others, integrity, and a common sense approach to life. People like and respect her.

I strongly endorse Sally Avera for Polk County Circuit Court Judge.

Sally Penna


Candidate brings

common sense

I have known Jennifer Wheeler since I began attending Polk County Board of Commissioner meetings some time ago.

Her experience, sense of honor, integrity and inherent common sense make her the best candidate for the job of county commissioner.

No, she is not an inherent politician, but has been a public servant for 16 years. She has proven experience working with all departments, volunteer groups and other government agencies within and beyond the county borders. Jennifer is the only candidate who has experience as a Polk County Commissioner.

Join me in voting for Jennifer Wheeler for Polk County Commissioner.

Dennis Brown


Wheeler cares

about our county

I grew up in Monmouth. After graduating from Central High School, I joined the Navy, proudly serving my country for three years.

Following my honorary discharge from military service and commercial fishing in Alaska, I returned to Monmouth and started a business with my mother. I have operated this business for 28 years.

I support Commissioner Jennifer Wheeler. She supports local business and cares about her community. She is sharp, knowledgeable and approachable. She communicates well and when asked a question you get a straight answer.

Join me in electing Jennifer Wheeler as Polk County Commissioner.

Daniel Lowe


Butterfield earns

support of judge

As one of your Polk County Circuit Court Judges, I have a unique perspective for the qualifications of a judge.

I have known Stan Butterfield since he was in private practice. He has been our district attorney for the past several years. I have tried cases with Mr. Butterfield, tried cases against Mr. Butterfield, and have had Mr. Butterfield argue cases in my court.

Mr. Butterfield has the legal skills and the temperament to be an outstanding judge. Please join me in voting for Stan Butterfield for Circuit Court Judge.

Monte S. Campbell

West Salem

Experience a key

difference for DA

Polk County voters have no bad choice for their next district attorney. I have worked professionally with both candidates, and they are each capable.

But there is an important difference: experience. Aaron Felton has 18 years, his opponent has five.

Why does experience matter? Albert Einstein once said "the only source of knowledge is experience."

There is a certain wisdom and maturity that comes only with the passage of time.

After 36 years in practice, I still learn something new every day.

Please join me in voting for Aaron Felton, the more qualified candidate.

Joseph E. Penna


Gaddis will keep

criminals in check

Having been a police officer for nearly 15 years, I know the criminal justice system and what it takes to be an effective district attorney.

The type of person we need when it comes to the prosecution of dangerous criminals is Jenn Gaddis. Jenn has a proven track record for being tough on criminals and also has the leadership skills and integrity needed to be an excellent district attorney.

Jenn isn't just another "career politician" who has jumped all over trying to better her own career; she's a prosecutor who has dedicated her career to keeping criminals off the street.

April Welsh


Wheeler has what

we need for BOC

A few duties entrusted to a Polk County Commissioner include approving the budget, overseeing county spending and managing county facilities.

This job is not to be taken lightly. It requires a thorough knowledge and understanding of the needs specific to the Polk County community and a background within the Board of Commissioners office.

Honesty, fairness, integrity, responsibility, hard work and loyalty are all characteristics that are necessary in a leader.

Jennifer Wheeler possesses all of these qualities and characteristics. It is for these reasons that I choose to endorse and cast my vote for Polk County Commissioner Jennifer Wheeler.

Joel Weston


Felton is a strong

choice for DA post

After spending time last year on a jury in a criminal trial in Polk County, I can appreciate the need for a new district attorney.

Polk County is fortunate to have an exemplary candidate in Aaron Felton, a lawyer with a lot of experience who can make good decisions, prosecute cases effectively, and manage the office's resources in a responsible way. These were qualities sorely missing in the case I sat for.

Please vote for Aaron Felton if you care about justice in Polk County.

Chris Owens


Let expansion of

Walmart move on

As far as I can determine from the Itemizer-Observer, Neighbors for Dallas consists of five or six individuals ("Walmart expansion foes go to LUBA," April 18).

If they don't want to shop at Walmart, then they don't have to. If a law was passed where they had to shop at Walmart, they would probably consider that very unfair. What is unfair is that a few individuals are trying to stop all other Dallas residents from shopping there.

I have yet to see any legitimate reasons against it. Traffic? If traffic becomes a problem, simply install a traffic light. Fertilizer? What in the world does fertilizer have to do with groceries? Local merchants? The merchants I have talked to are in favor of the grocery expansion.

Those of us on limited income cannot afford to shop at Dallas stores and have to buy groceries in Independence or Salem. Walmart groceries will keep dollars in Dallas.

Dean Jenson


Public safety must

be budget priority

Polk County Commissioners should not cut a Deputy District Attorney from next year's budget.

If public safety is our top priority, we need to find a way to keep an important position like this in place. I urge the Board of Commissioners to look harder and be creative in funding this critical position.

All the basic parts of law enforcement are in place: prevention, deputies, jail, assistance, prosecution, incarceration and re-entry to society (Community Corrections). In this current budget, our district attorney's office has the qualified staff to barely keep up with the workload in prosecutions. Removing a prosecutor position (currently vacant) could result in fewer cases being tried or delays in cases and not being as tough on crime as we have been and need to be.

Polk County residents deserve to feel safe and secure in their own homes and businesses. Now is not the time to let down our guard. Being tough on crime requires adequate funding, which in a tight budget should include creativity and sacrifice. Sacrifices work best for all when they start at the top: A 5 percent voluntary reduction in salaries for the Board of Commissioners and the county's department heads would pay for much of this position and would show residents Polk County is serious about protecting them.

Our motto in Polk County of "doing more with less" and our reputation for being tough on crime by having effective Sheriff's Deputies and an efficient jail has served us well. If county funding cannot be found now, not only will we not be served well, but the public will be paying for it through property losses or worse in the future.

Dan Clem

West Salem

Gaddis has 'best

interests' in mind

Jenn Gaddis is the best choice for the next district attorney of Polk County.

While she does not have the most experience, she is the only one who truly has the best interest of our county in mind and truly wants to be the DA for the right reasons and not to further a political career.

Jenn Gaddis is currently the Chief Deputy DA, which in itself is representative of the kind of manager she is. This is the kind of leadership the DA's office needs.

Join me in supporting Jenn Gaddis for district attorney.

Josh Calef


Clem will work hard

as a commissioner

Polk County needs to have a commissioner with a track record proving the ability to lead through economic hardship -- someone with vision toward environmentally sound growth, business development and the creation of job opportunity; someone with determination and tenacity to pursue opportunity and protect our assets.

It will be detrimental to our county to maintain the status quo or lean on the success of others. Our stability and success will come from a leader who is smart, innovative and challenging.

No one will fight harder for Polk County than Dan Clem.

Debbie Clem

West Salem


supports Wheeler

I've worked directly with Jennifer Wheeler for 12 years as a commissioner. I'm pleased to support her campaign for BOC Position 1.

She demonstrated leadership qualities, work ethics, and a genuine concern for the welfare of Polk County citizens as the board secretary. Those same traits have been developed further and have helped her become a great commissioner.

Polk County will be facing tough decisions. The current BOC works well together, knows what works, and acts in the interest of all our citizens. This is not the time to make changes on the BOC.

Join me in voting for Jennifer Wheeler.

Tom Ritchey


BOC candidate not

best fit for county

Dan Clem for commissioner is not in the best interest of Polk County.

Be aware of Dan Clem's background. He was criticized by the Federal Aviation Administration. Google "Dan Clem, Aurora, Oregon Airport" for information. Just because he has a difference of opinion with the FAA does not clear up what he did. He also resigned as Oregon Aviation Director Oct. 19, 2009.

He also has a history of trying to make big deals with large companies. Google Dan Clem again.

All of the above is not in the best interest of Polk County. Do your investigation and vote.

Larry Wildman


Wheeler will best

serve Polk County

After several days of looking for a legal document in the clerk's office, very frustrated and disappointed we contacted Polk County Commissioners' office. In two hours we received a call with what we needed.

Later, we discovered Jennifer Wheeler put wheels in motion to solve our problem.

She has worked in the commissioners' office for years. Jennifer knows Polk County and is interested in all areas in Polk County and all the people.

We need to vote into office the person who will best serve our community. I believe Jennifer Wheeler is that person. Please vote for Jennifer.

Pat Wildman


Wheeler dedicated

to working for us

As the spouse of a former commissioner, I want a person with ethics, integrity, honesty, and with no agenda.

Polk County is fiscally responsible, due to the former boards' love and commitment.

Jennifer Wheeler shares the same dedication.

As a precinct person, I supported Jennifer, because she could assume the duties of commissioner without interruption based on her knowledge and years of service. Jennifer has worked hard to represent all citizens, because she knows Polk County and what works.

As an educator and informed voter, I know Jennifer has the experience and qualities to keep my county on solid ground.

Beth Ritchey


West Salem needs

a voice in Dallas

Dan Clem has been a great friend of the restoration of the old West Salem City Hall.

He's a problem solver and supporter of small business. West Salem needs a representative in Dallas.

Marvin Sannes

West Salem

Service is what

Milligan is about

Having had the privilege of working with Steve Milligan on many fronts, I am pleased to see him in the race for Polk County Commissioner.

Steve has a long history of faithful public service. In short, he is fair, observant, dedicated and attentive.

I, for one, would appreciate having his attention focused on the good of Polk County and I appreciate that good beginning with a campaign that does not litter the landscape with an overabundance of political signage.

Terri Gregory


Dallas Seniors

thank supporters

Thank you to everyone who supported the Dallas Senior Center garage sale. We would also like to thank the people who donated items as well. The sale was a success.

Mary Lou Koenig


Gaddis committed

to DA position

I am privileged to work with Jenn Gaddis and have seen a new drive, commitment, passion and dedication to the prosecution of our cases since she came on board.

Being a prosecutor is a career for Jenn, not a stepping stone. I am beyond confident that if Jenn is elected as district attorney, that she and her team of deputies will hold people accountable for their crimes, have compassion and understanding for victims and work for the good and the longevity of the community.

Vote for Jenn Gaddis for Polk County District Attorney.

Tawnya Caudill



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