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Letters to the editor

PEO group appreciates support

To the editor:

The April 5 auction and fundraiser held by the Philanthropic Education Organization (PEO) Chapter DT at The Estates Clubhouse in Woodburn was a great success!

Special thanks go to the 42 local businesses as well as to the numerous personal donations made by members and friends of the organization! Finally, members of the PEO wish to thank those who attended for their generous participation in the auction. This auction allows the PEO to continue providing college scholarships to local women.

Suzie Redfoot

PEO Chapter DT President

Bond is necessary to keep schools running

To the editor:

Please support the Woodburn public schools by voting yes on the current school bond proposal. This bond measure takes a very minimal approach to conditions that, in any other community, would be deemed absolutely unacceptable. The first thing to remember is that it is structured so that property taxes will not rise.

There has not been a school bond passed in Woodburn for 20 years, during which time the number of students has increased by more than 40 percent (over 1,700 kids), resulting in overcrowding situations throughout the district.

Heritage Elementary School, built to accommodate 600 students, now serves 930 kids, making it the single largest elementary school in the state of Oregon. The bond money will add classroom space for 400 students.

Nellie Muir Elementary School has been using worn-out “temporary classrooms” for more than 20 years. These are really trailers with no bathrooms! The bond funds will replace the trailers with a modular annex.

Mr. Catterson’s letter (April 23 edition of Woodburn Independent) seems overly critical. I view the proposal as the district asking only for the bare minimum to keep the kids safe and the education system functioning at an acceptable level.

Mr. Catterson attempts to discredit the bond measure by implying that the district receives enough money from the state and other sources to deal with the problems it now faces. He glosses over the fact that state general funds do not provide for capital improvements (additional classroom space). All temporary and modular classrooms have been paid for from general fund dollars, leaving less money for ongoing expenses.

He stated that overcrowding should create a cost savings. This is ridiculous. The fact is that more students cost more money, leaving less for maintenance and repairs. He questions why buildings only 15 years old should need replacements. First, most of the schools are far older than 15 years. Second, it is not unreasonable that facilities can be in need of upgrading or repair after 15 years in the Oregon climate. There are no plans to renovate items that are serviceable.

People who don’t believe in public education will never vote for school bonds and will use any rationale to justify their decisions. Don’t be convinced or confused by naysayers. Administrators are doing a great job and they need our help now! Remember, you will pay no more taxes with this bond measure. Please vote yes.

Rick and Cheryl Lowry

Woodburn

Voting yes on bond will improve student learning

To the editor:

For our students to do their best, they need safe, well-maintained schools. It’s difficult to concentrate on schoolwork if your classroom is overcrowded and you always have to wait in a long line to use the restroom because there are not enough of them.

As any homeowner knows, when you need a new roof, putting off replacing it can be more expensive in the long run. Several of our schools need new roofs and a lot more. Many people don’t know that most of these repairs and safety improvements have to be paid for by bond measures like the one on the upcoming ballot.

The children of our community need your help. They and their teachers are doing their best, and we can be proud of them. But their school buildings are overcrowded and in need of repair, and we can help by voting yes for the school bond in May.

Because the current school bond is expiring, the new bond will not increase our tax rate. In fact, it will reduce the tax rate while making the schools safer, more energy-efficient and able to provide enough space for the growing number of students.

We can save money and support our children. Please vote yes for Woodburn schools in May.

Linda Moro

Woodburn

Carlson has earned your vote

To the editor:

Janet Carlson has served us as a dedicated county commissioner working well with the other commissioners for the betterment of our county. She is knowledgeable about the issues that affect us and has earned our vote to re-elect her for another term.

Don’t be swayed by the anonymous flyer that many of us received making unwarranted and untruthful allegations about her. People who will stoop to this kind of politics and who refuse to even disclose their identity must have a poor impression of the intelligence of the average voter in Marion County.

I have had occasion to work with Janet over the years as an attorney representing clients who have interests in county issues, and I have always found her to be fair, attentive and willing to use a common sense approach to issues which come before her.

Please join me in giving your vote to Janet Carlson for Marion County commissioner.

Robert L. Engle

Woodburn

Support kids by approving North Marion levy

To the editor:

I am writing to encourage others to vote yes for the North Marion School District levy. Our two sons attended North Marion and had a very good experience there academically and also participated in many sports and music activities.

I believe we have elected a good school board and we should trust them to make good decisions based on their knowledge and desire to do best by the kids. Good schools make good citizens and we need to provide this generation with the necessary tools to be happy and productive.

Shawn Roerig

Aurora

Support levy as example to youth

To the editor:

I am a retired person writing on behalf of the North Marion School District levy which will be on the ballot on May 20. It is a temporary levy designed to restore the drastic cuts that have seriously hampered the education of our students. I don’t have any children or relatives as students in our schools, but I recognize that education is the best investment I can make for my future; it is a matter of my own self-interest as a citizen. Like many of you, I live on a fixed income and so does our school. It needs our help to continue.

I recall the last time the school put up a levy, it went down by a 64 vote margin. I know many of you are busy and you thought it would pass without your vote. This time turn in your ballot early because our school depends on you. If you want to set an example for young people, support our schools.

Bill Meulemans

Aurora

Levy needed for building upkeep

To the editor:

My children and a select group of grandchildren have all taken advantage of an exceptional education in North Marion schools starting in the ’60s. That means some of the buildings are over 50 years old. Upkeep is ongoing as anyone who owns a home or business knows. Good schools come with good teachers and comfortable surroundings that are adequate for students.

Over the years, class sizes have grown and buildings continue to require upkeep. We need to keep going forward with our commitment to providing the best school facilities and staff for the best education of our young people in the North Marion County area. As a bonus, if the levy passes, another amount of $300,000 will be coming our way free. It is a win-win for taxpayers and students in our community.

Remember to vote in the May election to help keep our schools producing quality leaders in reasonable housing for our future.

Beverlee Koutny

Hubbard

Bond needed to expand fire services

To the editor:

The District 63 Firefighters request a yes vote on the Measure 24-367 general obligation bond that will build a central station at the I-5 Aurora/Donald exit and acquire new fire apparatus for the Aurora, Donald and new central fire stations.

Our current fire engines are older than many of our volunteer firefighters! Keeping our apparatus up to date provides an important margin of safety when on a call and, more reliability and fewer expenses to maintain.

Our station buildings in Aurora and Donald are over 50 years old. This measure will give both stations the seismic updates needed, so that they are able to withstand natural disasters, to provide continuity of service.

The new central station will provide faster and more direct routes for rural residents of our district, and our volunteer firefighters appreciate new training facilities for drills and classes at the central station.

The new engines, tender and brush rig the bond provides will be more reliable and safer so that we may better serve the residents of our 64-square-mile fire and life safety service district.

Please vote yes on Measure 24-367 to support District 63 firefighters.

Matt Yakes

Aurora

New building and equipment needed to provide safety

To the editor:

The volunteers and staff of Aurora Fire District provide outstanding emergency services to the citizens and visitors in the district. As a paramedic and co-owner of Woodburn Ambulance Service, I can personally say I have seen countless lives benefit from their dedication and professionalism. Quick response with well-trained people and appropriate equipment saves lives.

A yes vote on Measure 24-367, the Aurora Fire District general obligation bond, will ensure this quality response well into the future. The aging stations would not withstand even a modest earthquake, leaving personnel and equipment unable to respond and help. Existing fire engines have been well maintained, however, at close to 30 years old have well exceeded a typical useful life. It is time to replace buildings and equipment to make sure the community has the resources to provide life safety.

Please vote yes on Measure 24-367.

Shawn Baird

Woodburn

Aurora Fire bond would upgrade aging facilities

To the editor:

I have been a volunteer firefighter in this area for 40-plus years and have always been very proud to serve my community. Now I ask that the voters in the Aurora Fire District help me continue to help you. We are asking for a yes vote on Measure 24-367 general obligation bond. This bond will build a new station at the I-5 Donald/Aurora exit, provide much needed upgrades to both the current stations in Donald and Aurora and replace fire equipment that is outdated.

Both of our current stations are over 50 years old and built out of blocks that will not withstand an earthquake similar to the “spring break quake” that destroyed the Monitor Fire Station in the 1990s.

We must replace fire engines that are 29 and 26 years old.

The new central station will provide needed training facilities where our firefighters can train safely.

Please vote yes on Measure 24-367.

Bobby Meyer

Aurora

Gilliam no longer represents district

To the editor:

The Oregon primary election process is the time when partisan voters can sweep from public office incumbents they believe no longer represent them. Case in point: Vic Gilliam, the current state representative for House District 18.

Historically, the Marion County Republican Party in 2011, and more recently, the Oregon Republican Party in 2013, have opposed driver’s licenses for those who can’t prove legal presence in the country.

During the 2013 Oregon State Legislature legislative session Rep. Gilliam was a sponsor of Senate Bill 833, legislation that was passed and signed into law that would grant driver cards to illegal immigrants.

After the legislation passed, more than 71,000 Oregon voters signed a Referendum 301 signature sheet that put will put the SB 833 driver card legislation before voters in November 2014.

In an example of legislative arrogance, during the 2014 legislative session, Rep. Gilliam was a sponsor of House Bill 4054, legislation that would have rewritten the ballot title of Referendum 301 in an attempt to obscure the consequences of the legislation from voters.

Republicans in HD18 have a better choice to represent them in Salem: His name is David Darnell and his campaign promise is “I will vote like a Republican should.”

David Cross

Salem

Barbara Jensen is a ‘no-nonsense’ leader

To the editor:

I read with interest that Barbara Jensen has decided to throw her hat in the ring for state representative for District 25. About 15 years ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Barbara in a professional setting. We have worked together for years now. From the beginning it was apparent to me that Barbara is a quality professional with a work ethic above reproach. As a professional, she has developed a reputation for being a “no-nonsense” leader who calls out inefficiencies and gets projects done on time and on budget. She will be an asset in the Oregon Legislature and will represent the voters of HD 25 at the highest level.

If you want a representative who can work with others and get important goals accomplished, I highly recommend voting for Barbara Jensen.

Al Shannon

Salem

No-spin candidate listens to the people

To the editor:

For Position 5 on the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners, I am supporting a man who has for years demonstrated the type of leadership I appreciate and hope for every time I mark my ballot.

I am supporting Steve Bates because of my close observation of the honesty and sincerity of his leadership during the past four years while I was a reporter for newspapers in the Boring area of Clackamas County.

Bates’ style of leadership gives the power to the people he represents. At meetings and visits to his home office, I was impressed with his exhaustive research on current topics. He listens to people’s views, says what he’s thinking and doesn’t put political spin on anything.

Bates is an extremely organized person who would be an excellent addition to the commission. He would bring added integrity to a board that has not always enjoyed the esteem and respect of local residents. He also would keep the board on task, add new ideas and increase its collective knowledge with his incessant research into agenda topics.

This position is likely to be decided in the primary, so please vote in May for Steve Bates for Commissioner No. 5. Visit friendsofstevebates.com for information.

Jim Hart

Boring

Correction: In the April 9 letters to the editor, Lenthal Kaup was quoted as writing Gervais is a 3A school “wanting to be 7A” school district. It should read 2A, not 7A. It also quoted Kaup as saying “Did the Gervais School Board just throw away thousands of dollars on a thin scope of candidates and hot air.” It should say “thin soup.” We regret the errors.




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