Dear Governor Kulongoski and Speaker Merkley,
Many were surprised by your divisive comments on Friday concerning Legislative efforts to reform Oregon’s broken land use system.
To date, the Oregon Senate has approached land use reform with an open mind and the intent of going forward with a collaborative, bi-partisan effort to reform nearly 30 years of problems.
Your comments on Friday were inflammatory and alienating. Ultimately, Friday’s comments undermined our shared interest in fixing Oregon’s land use system.
All sides feel strongly about the direction that land use reform should finally take. Those same interests are looking toward the Oregon State Legislature for a voice of leadership, a voice that represents the will of the voters.
The statements, released from your offices on Friday, January 29, 2007 proved to be filled with inappropriate and offensive political rhetoric. Your divisive words have only distracted from the effort to find a fair land use system. You attacked a measure approved by 61% of Oregon voters, and then used name calling to address those Oregonians who have been hurt by an unfair land use system. This was not helpful or constructive.
This is not a political issue, this is an Oregon issue — and I am asking that you refrain from such divisive rhetoric in the future. I am also asking both of you to reissue statements that more clearly state your intentions of working with all sides to find some reasonable solutions to reform a system that has been broken for over 20 years.
Let’s find a real solution to Oregon’s land use system.
I look forward to and welcome our future dialogue on the subject.
State Senator Larry George