To the editor:
Reading Karen Dinsmore's letter to the editor regarding Cliff Bentz's voting record while he was a member of the Oregon Water Resources Commission caused me to review the minutes of the OWRC.
From the available minutes (1992-1996) some interesting facts are evident:
Mr. Bentz continually voted for instream water rights and for Oregon Water Resources Department recommendations.
Mr. Bentz continually voted with the majority of the Commission, which consist of Willamette Valley liberals and environmentalists.
Mr. Bentz voted to deny Baker County's request to remove Mill, Marble, Pine and Goose Creek from further appropriations which allowed ODFW to acquire instream water rights.
Mr. Bentz voted to remove the Savage Rapids Dam against irrigators' stated desires.
Mr. Bentz did not participate in the Malheur River Users Association request for additional diversion from the Malheur River, Lake Creek and Big Creeks.
Mr. Bentz was commended at length by the executive directors of Water Watch and Oregon Trout for his service on the Commission. Water Watch and Oregon Trout are notorious anti-agriculture and anti-logging environmental organizations.
Finally, I strongly believe we do not need any more attorneys in Salem. We only need to look at the mess in Salem and Washington, D.C., to know that rural citizens are continually shortchanged. We need a representative who will solve problems, not debate them to death.
For all of the reasons above, I support Tim Smith for District 60 Representative.
Charles M. Otley