Oregon U.S. Senator Ron Wyden today continued his “internet tour” of Oregon listening to the concerns of Oregonians and creating solutions or movement toward solutions on major issues that involve the federal government and the citizens of Oregon.
Senator Wyden seemed intensely concerned about the fact that it’s been six months since the Echo Mountain Fire has been extinguished that the citizens that have been burned out of house and home have become flaming mad at the slowness of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help property owners clear the debris the fire left behind – either debris around their property or along roads leading to their homes. Senator Wyden said he’ll bring the full weight of his office to get the federal government to speed up the job. Wyden also reminded everyone that federal bureaucracies sometimes don’t move as fast as they think they should. The term “faster” seemed appropriate. Wyden inferred there was no excuse for such a dragged-out time line for homeowners to get done what’s necessary to restore their lives and property.
Senator Wyden also admitted that fire victims seeking help have been repeatedly stopped due to technical terms or procedures that shouldn’t be so complicated to understand and implement. Senator Wyden said that bureaucratic paperwork is often difficult to navigate and that better communications with devastated families must be part of the mix toward reconstruction of their communities. Senator Wyden says FEMA and other federal agencies must be more open to community meetings so that federal agents fully understand the depth of family confusion about how to go about getting what they fully deserve from disaster-relief agencies toward rebuilding their homes and lives.
Senator Wyden deeply criticized the way the Trump Administration had forced the U.S. Postal Service to make election voting, as well vote by mail, very difficult for various citizen groups among our states and cities. He said President Biden is very aware of the situation and will be working with the postal service to restore and improve the way that everyone who wants to vote by mail, CAN vote by mail AND have that mail delivered.
Lincoln City City Councilor Riley Hoagland urged Senator Wyden to get the federal government to provide flashing signs on major federal highways warning that there is something’s wrong up a ways – be it traffic crashes, road washouts, forest fires, etc. Councilor Hoagland told Senator Wyden that the signs would prevent massive traffic back-ups as occurred with the Echo Mountain Fire. Senator Wyden said he will definitely look in to it.
Senator Wyden continues his county-by-county dialog with Oregon citizens throughout the month of April on Facebook.