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Dear Editor:

I would like to publicly apologize to the Philomath city staff for my poor choice of words back in my May 30th letter to the editor (“Very disappointed with city’s decision,” May 30, page A4). I was, and still am, unfamiliar with how the city works and who’s who. My remark about city staff had nothing whatsoever to do with our public recorder or any of the city’s personnel. I wish I would’ve been more careful — I meant elected or appointed officials only — no one else.

I began to get a clue that maybe staff was a poor word choice when I saw the article called “Random Thoughts,” by Brad Fuqua, right below mine. He wrote, “As a frequent visitor to the city’s website, I feel our small community’s staff — city recorder Ruth Post — does a great job getting information online…,” and then he continued singing her praises. I’m glad Fuqua redeemed her with his article — she deserved it.

Sheepishly I went to the next meeting, but Ruth Post came right over with a warm smile to inform us that the meeting we were interested in had been rescheduled for another time. The way she treated us was so kind and helpful. I’m afraid I remained clueless if she had taken offense to what I had written.

As I continued going to city meetings, I started to hear more about Post — like how well she cares about Philomath people. I heard she is concerned about making mistakes that could affect us, and she also worried about the folks on 15th street. Post has impressed me with all she does and how well she does it. If she’s any example of the people that work for our city, I’m thankful we have such good folks here.

Only recently, I really began to see how much my mistake might have inadvertently affected the city’s staff by what I said. I would not publicly criticize working people on purpose. I’m sorry I didn’t realize to retract it sooner.

If I’ve caused anyone to think poorly of our city’s staff because of that letter, I apologize and I hope I have changed your mind. I write my letters to the editor with the purpose of helping residents in our town, not upset the people who work for us. I hope you can forgive me for any hurt, anxiety, or embarrassment I may have caused any of you. For that I am truly sorry.

Ann Buell


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