What topic needs to be discussed most in the upcoming Governor's race?
Second Amendment
Transportation
Education
Abortion/life issues
COVID response
Northwest Observer
Subscribe for Free Email Updates
Name:
Email:
Search Articles
       
Yamhelas Trail Summary Created
This saga doesn’t rise to the level of an Agatha Christie novel, but it’s a beauty

A 24 page tell-all booklet, The Truth About The Trail showed up in mailboxes throughout Yamhill County on Friday.

The booklet listed dozens of never before printed emails obtained through public records requests bringing transparency to what some are calling a conspiracy. Published by Oregon Family Farm Association of Tigard, the booklet shines a light on individual elected and paid staff at the top of Yamhill County government and the private citizens who succeeded in exploiting those officials weaknesses. As the booklet demonstrates, the aforementioned knowingly broke the rules and ignored the law in a display of arrogance not normally found in this county still dominated by heartland values.

The contest between bureaucrats hell bent on building a bike path through farmland and plaintiff farmers protecting their property rights has played out in the Land Use Board of Appeals five times since the first appeal was filed in June of 2018. The county lost every legal action, repeatedly ignoring LUBA rulings using tax dollars to cover their legal fees while hoping to exhaust farmers legal funds. When the fifth and decisive action in June of 2020 required the County to permanently ceased activity and cover the plaintiff’s legal fees of $48k the legal game was over.

What sets this booklet apart from previous articles calling attention to the conflict is the detail of emails obtained through public records requests. The quantity and character of these emails demonstrates an intricate web of elected officials and non-elected leaders in league with Friends of the Yamhelas-Westsider trail plotting one extreme measure after another in a near fanatical defiance of the rule of law, or toward the destruction of individual business owners. As they racked up loss upon loss, Trail proponents resorted to character assassination and political retaliation.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

A D V E R T I S E M E N T

The farmers were painted as a small and extreme special interest group. There are over 37,000 farms and ranches in Oregon. They make up a large primary industry that not only brings in outside dollars to Oregon, but aids in the U.S. balance of payments. We need more ‘small special interest’ groups like that.

County Counsel Todd Sadlo, who misrepresented too many details to higher authority was the first casualty. He took early retirement after a complaint filed with the Oregon Bar has morphed into an investigation. Sadlo asked County Grants Administrator Carrie Martin to get an engineer’s statement stating the Trail bridge could hold a fire truck as he sought to sidestep a LUBA remand requirement.

Martin, panicked by an ODOT letter warning of grant termination was caught misrepresenting vital details of construction of that bridge. Her angst manifest itself in unauthorized overtime expenditures intended to cover up differing claims of completion dates. Rather than show contrition, she sued the commissioner making her misdeeds known by claiming harassment. That suit subsequently ended in a full exoneration of the commissioner. Martin’s shield was temporary. Misinformed citizens caught up in the emotion of it all are attempting to recall the commissioner. As their effort stumbles they have begun paying people to seek signatures on a petition.

This saga doesn’t rise to the level of an Agatha Christie novel, but it’s a beauty. People only learn from their mistakes if they first acknowledge them. With the vindictive recall effort of the exonerated commissioner still in play it is doubtful that any such acknowledgement is in the cards any time soon.


--Tom Hammer

Post Date: 2021-10-20 16:38:30Last Update: 2021-10-20 17:06:47



Read More Articles