Tag Archives: Sally Harrison

Vernonia’s Voice Endorses Mitchell, Hult and Heimuller

On Thursday, October16 Vernonia’s Voice hosted a political forum called “Meet the Candidates.”  We invited candidates for Vernonia Mayor, Vernonia City Council, Columbia County Commissioner, and Circuit Court Judge.  The candidates answered a series of questions allowing audience members a chance to see some of the differences between them.

In the past, Vernonia’s Voice has not made endorsements of political candidates.  But there are several races on the ballot this year that are just too important.

Vernonia’s Voice is pleased to announce our endorsement of Josette Mitchell for Vernonia Mayor, Jill Hult for Vernonia City Council and Henry Heimuller for Columbia County Commissioner.

The following is recap of the “Meet the Candidates” event and our reasons for endorsing these candidates.


Vernonia Mayor

Candidates:  Josette Mitchell, Sally Harrison

Josette Mitchell has served as Vernonia Mayor for the last four years.  Her opponent, Sally Harrison was the previous Mayor; Mitchell defeated Harrison in the 2010 election and than ran unopposed in 2012.

In the time Mitchell has been Mayor she has been extremely active and involved in the day-to-day operations at City Hall.  She has been extremely busy, acting as the interim City Administrator for nine months as well as Mayor this past year.  She has shown the ability to dig in and learn about and deal with the issues facing the City.  As she stated during the forum, she has been involved in moving numerous projects forward and wants the opportunity to complete the work she started as mayor.  She deserves her chance.

Mitchell is a doer.  She has diligently tackled several complicated issues head-on and worked to find solutions.  I believe she has learned that government work can be painstakingly slow, but she has shown  she has the determination and grit and to stick with it and deal with the issues.   Whether or not you’ve agreed with her decisions or methods,  you certainly can’t accuse her of standing pat, giving up,  or letting things slide.  Whether it’s been helping a citizen deal with a drainage issue, or dealing with the conflict between the Ridge Riders and the City, or complaints about maintenance at the cemetery, or making sure the Spencer Park fields were built correctly, Mitchell has jumped in, looked for solutions and followed through.   Read More

Welcome Sign Gets Touch Up

WelcomeSign-webThanks to Sally Harrison who repainted the welcome sign at the north end of town.  Harrison had assistance from Summer Williams who climbed a ladder to reach the high spots.  “It really needed it,” said Harrison.  “I hope maybe this will inspire others to do something around town that needs to be done.”


To the Editor,

I just read your Opinion piece in the Oct. 3rd edition of the Voice. In fact, I read it twice. On so many points I fully agree with you. Especially your analysis of what the fall out of higher rates will do to Vernonia’s ability to attract new residents, keeping the ones we have and, of course, businesses. Businesses will have to pass the additional cost on to the residents. We can kiss the possibility of new businesses goodbye.

Where I take issue with your piece lies mainly with you comparing W.O.E.C. to the city and school when it comes to budgets. The city and school are handed a finite amount of money. They then figure out where it will be spent. If they want or need more money they go to the voters to try to float a bond. If the bond doesn’t pass, they learn to live with it by making he hard decisions, even if it includes reducing staff.

Now W.O.E.C. has borrowed until they can borrow no more. They do not ask their members what they want; they just raise the rates to cover their behinds. No one has lost his or her jobs. No project has been cut back.

As for those who dared to run for the Board… Historically, only incumbents win. Why? No one runs against them! Why would that be? Well, it’s an attitude grown from a feeling they can’t win, an attitude that is shared by many Co-op members. There are also those who trust. Case in point, W.O.E.C. originally proposed a 12% rate increase, but after 100 plus members came to the Sept. 17th meeting and expressed opposition, they increased rates by 14%.

To anyone who tries to buck the status quo and tries to run for the Board, I say, “Bravo!”

I think you should do some investigating into how things are done, why they’re done and who’s doing it before you make blanket statements of support. You may still feel the same way or…maybe you won’t.


Sally Harrison



The Sounding Board: Why Power of One?

I’ve been asked by my friends with Power of One to talk to you, our fellow members of West Oregon Electric Cooperative.

First I should let you know why we settled on that particular name for our efforts. Think about who we are and how helpless we feel for a second. Alone, we are only one and powerless to exact change, but if our “ones” band together the “ones” gain the power needed to get answers, find solutions and hopefully fix the problems we have before us. And so “Power of One” was born.

The past year we have spent educating ourselves, learning about co-ops in general and our co-op in particular. The final analysis is that no entity-federal, state, county, or city has any jurisdiction over co-ops. Period. We the members have the power and duty to see that our co-op is run efficiently. Yes, we elect a board to represent us, but without some oversight, do we really know that our best interests are being served? I know the board members are all honest and mean well, but it’s these and others like them that have gotten the co-op into such debt. When more than 60% of the total worth of the co-op is debt…well, you decide. Read More