Thomas Frank has the skills to lead West Linn

State Representative Julie Parrish wrote a letter of support published in the West Linn Tidings on March 5, 2015:

As the state representative for West Linn and Tualatin, I interact regularly with the mayors and councils of both cities. Given the work we do at the legislature and its impact on local governments, having strong governance partners on the city councils in the legislative district is critical to the work I do.

Because good working relationships are critical with our mayors and councils, I rarely take sides in local elections. When I do, it’s because one candidate has demonstrated extraordinary objectivity, thoughtfulness and honesty that led to a stable and reliable city government. For that reason, I am endorsing Thomas Frank to be the next mayor of West Linn.

Having lived in West Linn nearly eleven years, the City Council has felt like it’s in a constant state of disarray. The infighting and very public battles have been disruptive to the citizens of our community. By comparison, Tualatin, with its highly diverse council, has been a stable force for its citizens. Even when the council disagrees, its members seek to solve their differences outside of the public square. Disagreements can be very healthy to public discourse, but how our councilors and mayors handle those disagreements sets the tone, positively or negatively, for our community.

It’s time for West Linn to heal its wounds and move forward as a city. Of the two candidates for mayor, Thomas Frank is more experienced, and brings a strong track record of respectful collaboration. As a veteran of the council, his leadership and service on numerous committees makes him the best fit to provide needed continuity for the city. By contrast, Councilor Axelrod being newly elected, is yet to be fully vested in his new role. I’d like to see him take some time to get more acquainted not just with the city issues, but how the roles of mayor and councilor intersect with other governing partners like our county commissioners and legislative representatives.

Thomas Frank has worked with me on issues like the Urban Forestry pilot and the water district dispute with our Oregon City neighbors. He has built a reputation outside of the city for his thoughtful participation on transportation issues and his work with the League of Oregon Cities. This legislative session finds us debating the merits of a transportation package. I need city partners who will help me advocate for South Metro transportation infrastructure who are up to speed on the issues. There is a learning curve to lead the city, and electing a mayor who is more familiar with transportation and infrastructure needs just makes good sense.

Since I’ve been elected, Tualatin’s mayor and council have always been better legislative partners. I attribute that to the continuity of the council, and a very real desire on the part of the council to have a shared roadmap for Tualatin. By contrast, it’s been hit and miss with West Linn, and as a legislator, and a resident, that’s discouraging.

After this election, our council and new mayor must strive for a more harmonious relationship. That doesn’t mean everyone should agree all the time. But it does mean that disagreements should be respectful. Thomas Frank has the skills to set the tone for the city moving forward, with an eye toward reconciling relationships that have been damaged, and expanding relationships both in and beyond the city. Please vote Thomas Frank for Mayor this May.

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