|Letters to the Editor published Wednesday, January 11, 2012|
|Written by The Curry Coastal Pilot|
|January 11, 2012 07:56 am|
In a new year vote for someone new
It’s a New Year; I remember when it was a big deal.
No resolutions this year, just comments and suggestions.
If you receive Social Security you got a raise and you can relax until the president and the Democrats start their bull again. When I was a kid, we loved to walk around on stilts; now you need them to get through the political excrement.
I know the county needs more revenue, but I will not vote for anything until there is a balanced budget, period. Twenty years of nonsense is more than enough.
Every single public employee needs a 20 percent salary reduction and they should start paying a substantial part of their retirement, health care and other benefits.
All public employees should be subject to termination for non-performance.
No one should be allowed to run for office until they can prove they can balance a checkbook, add and subtract, and read a financial statement.
It has been a long time since a public official who said he wanted to serve the public didn’t take the bigger serving for himself. I am not going to vote for one incumbent and, until someone excels, I will vote for someone new.
Show me something and I’ll show you how loyal I can be.
There is no conflict of interest
I feel compelled to respond to the personal attacks of Ms. Johnson in her letter to the editor on Jan. 7.
Ms. Johnson accuses me of violating conflict of interest. As a school board member I am subject to Oregon state law. “A potential conflict of interest means a public official takes official action that could financially impact the public official, a relative, or a business involving the public official or a relative.
Neither my wife nor I have any possible financial benefit from any vote or action I could take with respect to the proposed charter school. There is no conflict of interest.
In an unrelated attack, Ms. Johnson has decided that the County Board of Commissioners should not have appointed me to the Curry County Citizens Committee. The Commissioners who designed the committee, not Ms. Johnson, were elected to make this decision.
Calling it a fee is bogus – it’s a tax
I read with interest David Griffith’s letter “No more hidden tax via franchise fees” (Curry Pilot Jan. 7, 2012) and looked up Merriam Webster’s definition of fee. The result was “a fixed charge, a sum paid or charged for a service”; examples include, “We returned the library book late and had to pay a late fee,” and, “The admission fee is $10.”
So let’s consider a city utility franchise fee. The city provides no service for its fee. Mr. Milliman may say that the city allows the service provider to erect service poles on city land. But who owns the city? Answer: the citizens who live within the city, not the council who are elected to manage it. So the citizens charge a fee to place service poles on their own land to provide a service to the citizens. To call that a fee is bogus; it is a tax.
We could ask Mr. Milliman where the income from these taxes are spent, if the answer is anywhere but maintaining the infrastructure of the service which was charged the “fee” then it is a tax. All these taxes should be defined on the bills for service to remind citizens each time they pay the account how much of their payment goes to the supplier and how much is taxes, state or local.
As I have stated before in this newspaper, these taxes should be included in council elections as propositions with a clear explanation of the intended use for the income raised.
I did time in the Curry County Jail
As part of a group from the (Curry County) Citizens’ Committee, we did an “in depth,” four-hour tour of the county jail.
We chatted with Sheriff Bishop and Lt. David Denny. The DOJ (U.S. Department of Justice) American Disability Act (ADA) is mandated for compliance by March 15, 2012, (222 pages of very tough reading). I have read it, Lt. Denny is an expert on it concerning the jail.
For ADA jail requirements, portions of the jail are grandfathered, portions are being updated, and portions are planned and being funded for updating. Sheriff Bishop is accomplishing all this as well as other needed repairs with volunteers, thoughtful use of resources, sheriff’s department funding, and grants.
Sheriff Bishop still has to perform his “sheriff duties,” but has to cut staff to bare bones, utilize volunteers where possible, use personnel in multiple roles, cut patrol shifts, cut coverage time probably down to 10 hours per day, and is requesting grants and funding to help.
I chatted about a local district sheriff tax, May ballot, being recommended by the Citizens’ Committee. He said he could not comment on political issues. However, I know he needs more funding to perform his “sheriff duties.” I, as a member of the citizens committee, have recommended a regional jail and corrections center funded by state and federal funds and closure of the jail. Sheriff Bishop commented this tried by other counties but transportation to and from the jail cost more than closing the jail saved. I am removing my recommendation.
However, if the regional jail were built in Curry County it would be good for jobs and money; we don’t have to use it. Ha! Ha! – a joke.
Youth development program available
There is a Youth Development Program for kids in grades one through five that meets at the Azalea small gym every school day from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Enroll in one or more classes ($5/one hour class), or attend one or more days ($12/three hour day), or attend all week ($40/15-hour week). Classes include Zumbatomic, Spanish, Aikido, Tumbling, Group Piano, Music, Drama, Money (Junior Achievement), Culinary Arts, Hip Hop Dance, Academic Support, and Water Colors / Sketching / Drawing. Private music lessons in piano, voice, trumpet, and guitar also available for $10/lesson. Sibling and Pay-in-Full discounts are available. Course offerings may change each two-month term and are dependent upon student interest, facility and instructor availability, as well as enrollment numbers.
This program is made possible through the collaborative efforts of Chetco Federal Credit Union, Azalea Middle School, Simply Your Best, dedicated volunteers (local seniors, middle school and high school students), and generous community members willing to share their talents and interests with the next generation. Use it or lose it!
We are a most fortunate food bank
The article written by Steve Kadel in the Dec. 31 issue of the Pilot is appreciated by our food bank as it brings to light one of the issues that we, and other Curry County sites, have with Oregon Coast Community Action/South Coast Food Share (ORCCA/SCFS).
The letter referred to from ORCCA was written by Brenda Brecke, their board chair, and appeared in the Pilot. Anyone not knowing the issues with ORCCA would have not understood the content.
Our issues with ORCCA/
SCFS are many. The issues referred to in the article are billing problems. We have received several statements with double invoicing. We often are charged for product not received.
The way we now handle the payments is adding up the correct invoices and paying that amount disregarding the balances forward and the balances due. In this way we know that we are paying for only the product that we received.
All of this aside, we are the most fortunate food bank anywhere! The Sutter Coast Hospital food drive was mentioned in the article; however, we have received many hundreds of pounds from clubs, individuals, schools, businesses and churches in this community. We are also the recipients of thousands of dollars in donations from these same groups, all of which keeps our doors open and food available to those of us who need some assistance now and then.
We are humbled by the outpouring of caring and kindness from the community and we wish to thank each and every one of those who continue to help us help others. Thank you, thank you.
executive director Brookings- Harbor Community Helpers Food Bank
Surround yourself with successful folks
Gentle readers: Someone from the Gold Beach City Hall had called me and asked me if I could attend the Jan. 9 City Council meeting.
I was thinking it must be about the “line lot adjustment” we need to do with the Port of Gold Beach, as they have agreed to give the county back a small portion of land that our current kennels sit on. And by the way, thank you to the Port, we will now be able to fence in the entire front kennels protecting our dogs from escaping and running into the roadway.
I was very surprised and honored when Mayor Wernicke acknowledged me with appreciation for my dedicated work in the community at the Curry County Animal Shelter. I almost cried when he spoke of my work. I was given a beautiful, framed award and a gift certificate for a local merchant. My father, Martin “Red” Powers one time told me “If you surround yourself with successful people, you will succeed and be successful.”
Well folks, I have surrounded myself with successful people: you! Yes you, our animal-loving community that without your constant support we would be nowhere. But we have you, and yes, we are one successful shelter. Together, you and I, we make a great team. I am the animals’ voice and you are their backbone, the reason they get homes, the reason they get their medical needs met, the reason they can be fed a special diet, the reason they wake up and wag their tails. Our community is one that other communities are using as a role model. Be proud of your hard work, I am proud of mine and, like I said, “We are one heck of a team.”
Thank you Mayor Wernicke. I am truly honored to be a part of Curry County.
Curry County Animal Shelter