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An open letter to the Corvallis City Council:

I am dismayed and incensed by the vote to destroy the Van Buren Bridge, one of our most unique and historical assets. After so much cogent and concrete testimony about the deceptive approach that the Oregon Department of Transportation has taken with this project, and with reasonable members of the community showing you a clear path forward to at least give the bridge a chance, you and the majority of your fellow councilors decided to take the cowardly approach and doom what so many in the community dearly love. Testimony that costs to save and maintain it would actually be much lower than projected by the mendacious ODOT scheming apparently fell on deaf ears. I consider it a crime against our community and I deplore your role in that crime.

Coming on the heels of the Oregon State University housing debacle, this bridge decision makes it clear that the council is an enabler for pro-growth, reactionary, and destructive forces. It is clear to me that unrestrained so-called development, abetted by a supine council, is what Corvallis is really about, and having seen what that has done to the rest of this planet, I know that soon our beautiful town will join the ranks of cities all over the world that will be transformed from a bucolic and peaceful community into another unlivable sprawl of mediocre buildings, traffic-jammed roads, and unhappy people. I fled such a place to move to Corvallis, but it is clear that the misguided idea that “growth” is good has followed me here. It is your shame and the shame of all like-minded people in government that you refuse to stand up for preservation of our community values and instead cravenly roll over for every greed-driven scheme that comes across your desks.

I am deeply saddened by all this, knowing that if even Corvallis is to become another turgid pustule of human folly there is truly no place to run.

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With regret for having to say these harsh words,

Owen E. Dell

Corvallis (Oct. 22) 

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