Do you have a point you’d like to make or an issue you feel strongly about? Submit a letter to the editor.

Why vote?

The impetus for this letter is due to an incident which occurred a few days ago in the locker room in the club that I work out in.

A friend approached me and sheepishly said that he was sorry, but forgetting that I was on the May 21 ballot, he discarded both his and his wife’s ballots. His reasoning was that he didn’t know any of the candidates for any of the offices and particularly since he had no children in the school system — why vote!

Being a gentleman, I accepted his apology, but after he left I pondered his reasoning. Sadly, many voters see his philosophy as a cause to ignore one of the greatest freedoms that we have as Americans. Had he read the voters’ pamphlet, he might have thought differently. Selections for school board, parks and recreation, library board, etc. effect our daily way of life. Best practices for our kids, luscious parks, expansion of library services, etc. lie in the hands of the citizens of our community. A plethora of qualified people are willing to put in their time, energy and knowledge to make our Deschutes County a place where we all can thrive.

Please, for those of you who are reading this, take a few minutes to look over the ballot and invest in a few cents to mail them or drop off at many convenient locations. We live in the greatest country on earth and must be responsible citizens to insure that greatness through the Fifteenth Amendment.

Richard Asadoorian of Sunriver is a candidate for the board of Bend La-Pine Schools.

Ariel Mendez for Bend school board

Ariel Mendez will get my vote for Bend Park & Recreation District board, Position 1, in the May 21 Special Election. He deserves your vote, too, for the following reasons. First, Mendez brings years of relevant experience to the park board. He is currently serving on the budget committee, the city of Bend’s Citywide Transportation Advisory Committee and as the board president of Bend Bikes. Second, Mendez has served on the park district’s budget committee for several years and knows that responsibly managing the budget means dedicating funds to projects with a clear public benefit, like helping all Bend residents afford children’s programs and fitness classes, or get around town safely without a vehicle. Third, Mendez believes that everyone should have an unimpeded opportunity to enjoy parks, trails and recreation programs. He will advocate for improving need-based assistance programs and prioritizing trail connectivity throughout Bend to alleviate transportation barriers that prevent some families from benefiting from our park system. Fourth, looking at the campaign finance activity on the Oregon Secretary of State’s web site (sos.state.or.us,) I found that over half the contributions to Mendez’s campaign have been made by several donors for less than $100. At the same time, almost half the contributions to his opponent’s campaign have been for $500 or more. Like you, I would like a man of the people representing me on the Bend Park &Recreation District board in Position 1. That is why I will vote for Ariel Mendez. Please vote for him, too.

Kathryn Wood

Bend

Melissa Dholakia for Bend school board

I have personally known Melissa Barnes Dholakia for many years. She is an amazing woman, mother, educator, leader and community member and I am certain she will use her creativity, energy, enthusiasm and vision as well as her vast experience as a life long educator (public school teacher, principal, administrator, school site council member and adviser to principals and superintendents) as a Bend-La Pine School Board member to make a positive impact on our schools for students, teachers and administrators alike. Melissa is the proud parent of two Bend-La Pine school district students and she serves on the site council for High Lakes Elementary. Additionally, she is the former board president and current board member of Cascade School of Music, a nonprofit organization which services students from throughout Central Oregon. She has my vote. Please vote for Melissa.

Donna Dobkin

Bend

23226087