By B.R. Matteson

I have a couple topics to cover and want to respect the one-letter a month rule. First, I want to congratulate our schools and the students who are showcasing their tremendous achievements nationally and here in our great state. Well done, Brookings Schools and Students. We are deeply grateful for your hard work and you deserve every bit of praise.

I also want to thank the organizations who have helped to support these groups financially. I’m sure there are many but the two I can think of right off hand are Brookings Education Foundation and Indivisible 97415.

Community matters. Maybe the Pilot can post a list of individuals and organizations that are actively supporting the robotics group and the Knowledge Bowl students with their trip to Chicago.

I was very excited to read that Oregon Housing and Community Services is getting the critical housing ball rolling in terms of putting $400 million towards housing and addressing the housing crisis. This past year we have had numerous meetings and workshops regarding affordable housing and homelessness.

When the most recent newspaper showed up yesterday, my heart sank when I read the big issue for the City of Brookings and our city councilors is the golf course. Really.

Brookings people are going to be expected to ante up for a golf course. I would like to know, what percentage of taxpayers use the golf course?

Now let me remind you. When the city agreed to buy the golf course, we were assured it would pay for itself. That has yet to come to fruition.

I would like to suggest that Brookings create affordable, work-force housing for the average wage folks. Those people who keep this town supplied in hot coffee, who are caring for families and individuals in the way of elder care and child care, who make us smile while we check out at the grocery store and those people who put fuel in our vehicles, and those who fix our plumbing and our cars when they break down.

I think that housing should be placed where we have plenty of room. For instance, at the golf course. It will serve a greater number of people who pay taxes in this town and it will be a beautiful spot for a park and a playground.

Because if families with children leave this town, it will die.

B.R. Matteson lives in Brookings

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