Independence honored for progress

As former city manager (2010-2018), I wanted to thank you for the recent editorial congratulating Independence for its inclusion efforts. No doubt, current staff and leadership will respond favorably to your ideas.

That said, perhaps a bit of history is in order. Independence was one of the first cities in Oregon of its size or larger to make a conscious and funded effort to reach out to its Latino community by hiring its first community engagement professional five years ago.

Independence is a well-recognized pioneer in these efforts, which led in part to the 2014 All-American City award and the 2018 Award for Excellence. The city has made inclusion, equity and diversity a fundamental goal of its annual strategic plans since 2014, and as people in this area know, Independence has for many more years than that been a welcoming and inclusive home to all our residents, employees and visitors.

I would also welcome the Itemizer-Observer to cover Independence a bit more and learn about all the city’s great achievements now and in the future. Hopefully, you will have bilingual reporters and reporting on this.


David Clyne


Renew levy to continue good work

In 2015, voters approved the first public safety levy that allowed the hiring of deputies to patrol our roads 24/7, prosecutors to hold people accountable, and jail staff to ensure a safe and efficiently run facility. Regardless of where you live, our public safety system is intertwined. Multiple entities (city and county) work together to ensure continuity, beginning at the 911 call, to investigation and arrest, supporting victims, lodging in jail, and prosecution in the courtroom, serving of sentences to probation after release are all pieces of our public safety system. Please support our system by voting yes on No. 27-129

Bob Wolfe

Sheriff (Retired)


Safety needs paramount

It is important to vote yes for the Public Safety Levy on the May ballot. Polk County population is growing, traffic is increasing, drug problems continue, mental health issues are serious, The safety and security of our community is in the capable hands of the Sheriff’s department and District Attorney’s office. Both departments are run effectively and efficiently as promised when the levy was originally passed four years ago. This levy will not increase your taxes. A yes vote is a vote for your safety and security.

Gene Henshaw


Now I know; thanks IO

Thanks to Audrey Caro for the article about the wonderful signs made by Richard Chapman. I have been admiring them for years and wondered who made them and how. Now I know.

Julia Westerberg


Keep system moving ahead

Support the Public Safety levy. Consider the benefits from prior passage of this levy. Full staffing of patrol and corrections positions, reinstatement of the POINT team, enhanced community outreach to inform and involve citizens about the criminal justice system, special enforcement cycles for high risk areas, increased officer safety resources, etc. Also, renewed support for PCSO volunteer groups providing no-cost services to the community (Search & Rescue, Reserve Deputies, SALT, ARES, Cold Case Team, etc.) Let’s keep our Polk County criminal justice system moving ahead to meet the needs of tomorrow and not regress to an under-funded and static past.

Ronald Glaus


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