Letters to the Editor
August 19, 2021
To the editor,
I am writing this letter in support of Seth Bryan for Port Commissioner District No. 1. I have gotten to know Mr. Bryan over the last several months and I share a belief in the need for local elected officials to be accountable, fiscally responsible, and accessible to the public.
As the Port of Columbia is the driver for economic growth in Columbia County, and is supported by local tax dollars, any and all decisions it makes should have sufficient public input so as to ensure it accurately reflects the will of the people. Mr. Bryan fully understands this, and the fact that as an elected official, he is one, at the end of the day, responsible for the Ports activities.
I am grateful for Mr. Bryan’s willingness to serve in this public capacity. Public service is the foundation of our Republic and what we need to preserve it for future generations.
Please join me in voting for Seth Bryan for Port Commissioner District No. 1.
To the editor,
This year, the Washington State Legislature passed several “police reform” laws targeting police tactics, oversight, and training. While it is always desirable for law enforcement officers to be trained effectively on how to, when to, and whether they should use force against or detain a citizen, it is the opinion of the Commissioners of Columbia County that these laws will not enhance the safety of the citizens. In our opinion, these laws will make the citizens less safe.
Local sheriffs and their deputies are the first line defense of our rights under the laws of the land, and natural laws as stated in the Constitution of the United States, and the Washington State Constitution. Citizens should be educated in their rights before the law. Sheriffs and their deputies are often the first and most visible agent of government power in the lives of all citizens. It is right that sheriffs are elected by the people. It is right that sheriffs know and adhere to The Constitution, both in what they can do, as well as what they are not allowed to do. As elected officials who set policy in local law enforcement, the sheriff’s main oversight is the voter. This is proper and good. This gives the public a say in how their county’s law enforcement will be conducted.
It is the desire of every freedom-loving, law-abiding citizen to have proper oversight of law enforcement. Good law enforcement responds based on the behavior of the subject in question. The force they use is often based on the actions of the citizen they are contacting. As behavior escalates, response escalates. As behavior deescalates, response deescalates. Good training is welcome, but arbitrarily handcuffing the officer, removing the ability to protect him or herself, the public, and the suspect, is a solution that will cause more problems than it will solve.
Are there bad apples in law enforcement? Almost assuredly. Just as there are bad judges, bad lawyers, bad bankers, bad teachers, and bad legislators. There will always be cases of excessive force, abusive officers, or officers overstepping constitutional authority somewhere. These are the exceptions, and they should be disciplined or punished accordingly. The vast majority of officers are conscientious, diligent, and show grace in a very difficult job.
As crime rises due to weakened law enforcement, the people hurt the most will be the law-abiding citizen. The people of Columbia County should not have to suffer because politicians and unelected bureaucrats desire to collect more power, replace effective policing with social work, and seek ways to defund law enforcement as a reaction to spectacular but statistically rare incidents of police overreach.
We respectfully ask all citizens to support local control of law enforcement, to reach out to law-makers in Olympia to express your opinions, and vote according to your convictions. It is our hope that what may become an ugly rise in crime does not touch our community.
Columbia County Commissioners
Marty J. Hall
Ryan R. Rundell, Chairman
Charles L. Amerein
To the editor,
I’m writing this letter in support of Aneesha Dieu who is running for school board position 5. I have been lucky to have known Aneesha for a number of years. She is a working mom who dedicates her life to her family, career and God. Aneesha can do it all: raise kids, remodel a house, work full time, attend meetings and still will find the time to host a barbecue. Aneesha would make an amazing school board member. She is very passionate about what should and should not be taught in schools. She will not back down from what she feels is right. These days we have so many elected officials who just want to go along to get along and/or get this meeting over with. Aneesha does not fit that mold. She knows making the changes we need in our schools will be an uphill battle and she’s ready to take it on. She feels schools are for kids to learn how to read and write without their focus being on comprehensive sex Ed and critical race theory. She also will fight for allowing parents to have the choice of whether or not their child wears a mask and whether or not they take a vaccine. Parental rights are extremely important to her. I trust Aneesha with making important decisions for Columbia County’s children. Aneesha will be an amazing, passionate school board member. Vote for her in November, you won’t be disappointed.