Letters to the Editor

Letters: Oct. 31, 2019

Williams is the clear choice

Kari Williams is the clear choice for the Richland School Board. I have personally worked under Kari's direction as part of the Richland Citizens for Good Schools Committee so I have seen her passion for education first hand. She is tireless and dedicated in her efforts to safeguard and improve our schools which is reflected in her history of professional experience and quiet service. She co-chaired Richland Citizens for Good Schools, which involved countless hours of service. She served for two years on the Instructional Materials Committee, helping to make decisions about curriculum for our students. She worked for seven years as a full time elementary school teacher. Kari is not a politician and has never run for any other office. She is an educator whose professional and volunteer record clearly reflect her passion for education.

Please join me in voting for Kari Williams.

Robin Jorgensen, Richland

Voter pamphlet isn’t so neutral

The description for Referendum Measure No. 88 in the Voters’ Pamphlet is interesting and could be considered less than neutral. It would allow Initiative 1000 to supposedly remedy discrimination through affirmative action. However, one definition of affirmative action states:

“. . . the practice or policy of favoring individuals belonging to groups known to have been discriminated against previously.” (https://www.google.com/search?q=definition+of+affirmative+action&rlz=1C1GGRV_enUS751US751&oq=definition+of+affirmative+action&aqs=chrome..69i57j0l5.7374j1j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8)

Isn’t favoring individual discrimination? Isn’t that why current state law (RCW 49.60.030) already forbids discrimination and preferences based on race, creed, color, national origin, sex, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, . . .? (https://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=49.60.030)

Jim Davison, Waitsburg

Elect Torelli to Kennewick council

Integrity. Ethics. Listener. Approachable. Sense of Humor. Intelligent. Open-minded. Equality. Citizenship. Humility.

These characteristics make Chuck a superb candidate for Kennewick City Council. He wants Kennewick to be the best city possible and is supportive of laws, programs and policies that make this possible. He will work tirelessly for this while also being available to address concerns from all Kennewick residents.

He is one of the most open-minded and approachable people I know without prejudices or preconceived beliefs. The City Council knew this when they appointed him to fill the vacant seat. Join me in voting to retain Chuck in this representative position.

Jan Fraley, Kennewick

Devagupta for Richland board

Dr. Rama Devagupta is the best candidate for Richland School Board, Position 5. Please take a moment to get to know her values and beliefs, continued education, diverse experiences and strong qualifications: https://www.ramaforschoolboard.com/

Over the past 10 years, I have known Rama as a teacher, parent, volunteer, community member, mentor and friend. As a veteran teacher with 34 years in the Richland School District, I have seen many school board members come and go. This is the first year I have felt compelled to champion a candidate. Rama Devagupta is the exception. Rama is an exemplary candidate who will bring a wealth of knowledge and wide-ranging experience to the position, and will serve the Richland School District staff, parents, students, and community members with passion and dedication.

I wholeheartedly endorse Dr. Rama Devagupta for a position on the RSD School Board.

Rhonda Howard, Pasco

Mastaler has the right credentials

School districts divide the money they get into three major pots: people, students and building/buses maintenance. Usually people (teachers, administrators, support staff) get 84 percent of the pot. What is left gets divided between the two smaller pots. So when the recent Kennewick teacher strike increased the teacher pot by $4 million, the other two pots, primarily the student pot, got reduced by $4 million.

Diane Sandvik was a major figure organizing the Kennewick teachers strike and coordinating the picketing, which effectively moved $4 million to teachers and away from the student program and maintenance funds. Teachers’ interests are already represented by a powerful union. Do our teachers really need a voice in the executive sessions during contract negotiations as well as a vote on the School Board that approves their contract?

Pat Mastaler has impeccable credentials as a community leader and a reasoned thinker and recently had three children in Kennewick schools. Those are the critical interests that need represented on the governing board of an institution whose job is to teach our children. Having served this community for some 24 years as former president and member of the Kennewick School board, I recommend your vote for Pat Mastaler.

Lynn Fielding, Kennewick

Put new leader on port commission

With all the conflict on the Port of Kennewick Commission, it’s time for new leadership!

V.J. Meadows has spent her career working with the business community and is well known throughout our region, as well as government circles in both Olympia and Washington, D.C. Ms. Meadows builds on former business relations, keeping her current with the pulse of local and regional business and community leaders.

She served as the Benton County sustainable development coordinator with direct responsibility to the county commissioners. This involved working on Department of Energy, Hanford issues, water rights, Red Mountain and many economic development projects within Benton County.

As a graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organizational Management, and by her continuing education in the field of economic development, Ms. Meadows maintains and exhibits expertise in organizational management, economic development, and fundraising. In her past position as Fluor Hanford’s small business advocate, (she) managed regional job-producing leverage of surplus Hanford site assets and corporate resources.

V.J. has the leadership skills to provide and support sound economic growth opportunities, which foster new business, industry and jobs, improve infrastructure and enhance the quality of life for the Port district citizens. Vote for her today!

Marv and Sylvia Olson, Richland

Thompson gets results for city

Bob Thompson has always gotten results serving as mayor of Richland and on its City Council. He’s saved the people of Richland tens of millions of dollars during his tenure, money that stayed in the pockets of Richland residents instead of being wasted elsewhere. Bob doesn’t pull punches. You know where he stands on issues and he doesn’t have any hidden agenda. As a lawyer, Bob has always been an effective advocate for his clients. As a mayor and city councilman, he’s been a tireless advocate for the people of Richland.

He deserves to be re-elected.

Alan Tindell, Richland

Devagupta great for Richland kids

Rama Devagupta is dedicated to the success of her students beyond what a letter grade can measure. I know that as a teacher, she understands the issues that teachers face in the classroom and that as a Richland parent, she understands what the parents experience on the opposite end of the day. She knows what it takes to motivate students to do their best, and she has taught different levels of learning. This knowledge and experience will be a welcome addition to the Richland School Board.

I met Rama Devagupta as a student at Columbia Basin College before I transferred to Washington State University. I know firsthand that she can make a difference in one student’s experience in the classroom. As a parent of three children in Richland schools, I am voting for Rama Devagupta for Richland School Board so she may make a difference for all Richland students.

Danette Ramirez-Cap, Richland