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Dear Editor:

I recently found out that a planning commission meeting occurs before the council hears about a development. Wish I had known that before! We weren’t notified that they were going to have one about Millpond Crossing by mail at all.

I was told the city expects you to find that out for yourself. What? It’s good that some people are more awake than I was because many showed up to Monday’s (Oct. 22) planning commission about the new development in wetlands on 12th Street anyway. Most seats were full. People wanted to know what they were going to have to pay for like sidewalks, street lights, new taxes, etc. My heart went out to those who were saying they don’t have the means to pay for such things.

Others talked about the serious water and traffic problems that will arise from all the big developments that have already been approved! One woman spoke so eloquently about what she/we may have to pay for as citizens that I wish I had the transcript. I never considered all the relevant things she was bringing up!

One planning commissioner, Mark Knutson, actually scowled at the audience, yet his face softened considerably when he turned to his friends on the stage there with him. Why would he scowl at our concerns?

It makes me wonder if the rich are organized enough to know to join the council, planning commissioners, etc., while the rest of us wake up slowly as we are outmuscled by power and money.

Even with all the opponents to the developers’ plan, the only commissioner who had the integrity to vote “no” was David Stein. Seems like most the planning commissioners and council members in our city are serving developers rather than the majority!

But there is something we can do! We can vote next week.

Eric Niemann is a great mayoral candidate. Also, we have four new council members to choose from: Chas Jones, Terry Weiss, Marion Dark and Matthew Thomas. I heard each say they are for slowing Philomath’s growth.

There are better ways to make our small town more prosperous than by developing high-density homes. Both Niemann and Jones discussed ideas to beautify Philomath, thereby making it more attractive for folks to stop here and spend money on their way to the coast.

So we can turn our city around, but only if we vote!

Ann Buell


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