Warning: This article is filled with facts that may offend your sensibilities. It also includes the opinions of our Editor, who is a Hillsboro Resident of nearly 60 years. Proceed with Caution
“the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness.”
Integrity can be defined as aligning your conduct with what you know to be excellent. A person of integrity displays a principled dedication to values and beliefs. They always seek to reflect ethical standards and do the right thing regardless of the circumstances.
There is virtually nothing that I miss here in Hillsboro. My eyes are set on the horizons on all sides of the City and on all things that exist within it. Our staff has the same commitment. But for me, school board elections can be a lower priority. Just like many of you good people I have not been paying attention to this highly contested race for the Hillsboro School Board. But then something happened. Actually, two things happened.
First of all, I began to notice massive campaign signs all over the Hillsboro area. Both in the right of ways and on private yards. They are bigger, MUCH BIGGER, than anything I have ever seen in an election in our town. So the candidates on that sign (4 of them) landed my attention. Job well done…right?
Photo – Dirk Knudsen Hillsboro Herald
These signs had a different effect on me. As a local real estate broker of almost 40 years, I have seen massive fines leveled right here in Hillsboro ($500) per violation for signs this large. Homebuilders and other clients we have represented have never ever been allowed to get away with this in decades past. So my radar went up.
Behind these signs going up all over Hillsboro is the Political Action Committee that is Sensible Schools. In their terrific story this week, the Hillsboro Tribune identified who they are and who the candidates are.
Candidates Joe Everton, Ben Wolfe, Monique Ward and Mary Phelps have been campaigning as a slate backed by a political action committee called Communities for Sensible Schools. The PAC has donated to all four campaigns.
Everton, Wolfe and Ward are also supported by Free Oregon, a political action committee that advocates for the outright removal of comprehensive sexuality education from Oregon schools, according to its website.
Free Oregon’s founder, Tigard resident Ben Edtl, describes himself on that site as a supporter of “the nationalist/populist movement started by President Donald J. Trump.”
THe Hillsboro Tribune story focuses on the key element behind the groups drive to win which is Sex Education. They oppose teaching about various orientations that exists in our world and want to turn the clock back to 1955 is appears (opinion) – It is well written and deserves a read by everyone- https://pamplinmedia.com/ht/117-hillsboro-tribune-news/508217-406596-sex-ed-and-identity-in-hillsboros-school-board-races#_=_
The signs are an egregious violation of the Hillsboro Election sign laws. In fact, the signs at 4 feet x 4 feet are 16 SF each where only 6 square feet is allowed. That is 275% larger than allowed or almost 3 times the legal limit. This was no by accident and believe me, any sign company making that many signs know what the legal sizes are. This was done purposefully and for effect- but hey, it’s just an election right? Who cares. I know many people in Hillsboro that do, and this should have been patrolled or handled properly.
Photo from Hillsboro hand out on Sign Codes
“We do the best we can, and yes those signs are way over the legal size. We only operate on a complaint basis and would always make a call to ask the offending party to make things right,” said a Hillsboro Code enforcement officer. He is right. They have their hands full with code complaints and other pressing issues all over the City.
The responsibility for this violation of law falls squarely at the feet of these candidates and their PACS. I doubt President Trump’s representative in Tigard, Ben Eldt, who clearly funded many of these signs, gives a hoot in hell about Hillsboro’s laws.
Then Came The Text Barrage
At the same time, the signs grabbed my attention our entire family, 5 phones, became the recipients of a text barrage of epic proportions. Each one of us was sent text messages multiple times by the Committee for Sensible Schools. The sender’s name is Maria from 503-389-6122.
The worrisome thing is that all of our cell phone numbers are unlisted, and as we were told, our numbers are supposed to be protected. Not from these Candidates, apparently. Even stranger, they had all of our numbers and names switched up. But hey…maybe the Russian website they bought the numbers from made a mistake or just does not guarantee that sort of service (places tongue in cheek).
Sorry, Maria, our family is a tough sell, and if you are going to push things on us, you have an uphill battle. We certainly did not appreciate what we feel amounts to harassment. These texts were unwelcome, we feel unethical, and frankly, they should be illegal.
The other slate of candidates is shown below. I do not know any of them, nor do I know their politics. I do know that we have seen only the small yard signs from them and that none of them have spam texted me. Clearly, the opposing group and their out-of-area money want these people gone. That is the American way. So is dirty politics, breaking rules, and cheating on your spouse in some homes. It just is not what I think is the Hillsboro way.
The bottom line? How in the hell can anyone expect integrity in dealing with our children as a school board member, when the road to get there is paved with open violation of laws and a lack of ethics? Does this seem like a replay of recent events our country went through?
Our Household will not back candidates, who we imagine are great people, who choose to step way over the line and damn the torpedoes. Not when it comes to our kids. We will not be voting for them.
This is just my opinion, I think it is a valid one, and everyone should vote for who they think can best represent their homes and the Children of Oregon.
Here is more about:
And you can see more on the Candidates Mark Watson, Nancy Thompson, Erika Lopez, and Jaci Spross right here.
You aren’t going to win the war against sex education expansion. Give it up and use your vacation and misc dollars and put kids in private schools. They HAVE to listen to parents, not a teachers union.
I am a parent and I support comprehensive sexuality education. They are listening to me.
Your position seems sound and well measured. Agreed on my part personally.
I had already been in the same boat as you getting 1, 2 or 3 pieces of mail from that group so I started looking into what they were standing for and immediatly thought it was Trump actions and I got out my ballot and was very certain to NOT VOTE for that group. The sensible education part is what started my thinking. I was educated in Hillsboro schools as were my children and grandchildren and now great grandchildren. It is important that all children have a rounded education. That is MY opinion.
Thank you, Dirk, for providing a cautionary expose’ into the Hillsboro school board elections. Until we read your article, we had read little that would give us insight into the candidates or their perspectives. Thank you for helping us decide which candidates deserve our votes. Keep up the good work.
Be well and stay safe.
I choose to support politicians who are against planned parenthood and their proabortion agenda. I am not going to let minor laws regarding signage distract me from my desire to stop people from believing that the murder of the unborn is okay.
I don’t know about sign laws but I had the chance to talk to a representative of this so called group. She informed me that they want schools back 100% open. I said that schools intend to be open 100% this September, is there anything else this group wants? She told me they want to have a board open to bring up new ideas. Like what? New ideas is the only answer. Fact is they don’t know what is happening and that they are hoping for voters to be ignorant. I will not vote for people who don’t have a plan/idea.