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Letters to the Editor August 24, 2006

Board needs public input on fairgrounds

I read the recent article about the 'Middleaged Housewives' and their feud with the fair board over the future of the fairgrounds (Beaverton Valley Times, Aug. 17). I noted that toward the end there was a somewhat sketchy explanation of the cause of much of the dissention. There are several significant points that were omitted and I would like to have them highlighted and clarified.

The public has been asked three times in the past 30 years to approve a bond or operating levy for a new 'public facility' on the fair grounds. In each case the voters defeated them.

Now the fair board is proposing that we enter into a private/public agreement with Opus to fund a 'public facility.' The plan the fair board and Opus has is to float bonds, which we the taxpayers will cover until Opus is able to show a profit and pay us back. This is passing a bond/operating levy without a vote. In other words, the whole deal is being shoved down the taxpayers' throats without a vote.

We have two examples of ventures where we the taxpayers are left holding the proverbial bag. Look at PGE Park and the convention center. There was a very recent article in The Oregonian regarding the convention center and the need to spend more of our tax dollars in order to build a hotel to support the convention center if we ever hope to turn a profit at the convention center. This proposed public/private venture on the fairgrounds could end up causing taxpayers the same grief.

The real controversy for taxpayers lies in two issues.

Should we give Opus approximately 66 acres of prime real estate in exchange for a 'public facility' that may or may not be needed or wanted or even make sense? Please note that the downtown convention center cannot stay fully booked and show the profit it needs.

Does Washington County and/or Hillsboro really need or want another 66 acres dedicated to some type of retail shopping?

The last point is, what does the public really want done with those fairgrounds. Note that the deterioration of communication comes in the wake of the fair board's failure to launch such a discussion with the public at large. They were tasked back in fall of 2005 with opening public discussion regarding the fairgrounds and its future. The fair board failed to provide any notification to the public at large or provide a forum for such discussions to occur.

In conclusion, as a taxpayer and citizen of Hillsboro I am not impressed with the proposal and I have not been asked to voice my opinion of what I would like done with the fairgrounds. What about a dog park, or a biking or walking park? What about the Hillsboro Parks and Recreation District managing the fairgrounds? I am sure there are other citizens that have other great ideas that do not involve giving away our public land and potentially increasing our taxes and debt.

BARBARA JOHNSON

Hillsboro

Leave the ones who want Wal-Mart alone

This decision (Beaverton's City Council's rejection of Wal-Mart's proposed Cedar Mill store) really stinks.

I wish the people would leave those of us who want Wal-Mart alone. If they do not like the store fine, stay away from it when it is built, but leave those of us who will shop there alone. Why do I have to pay to travel 40 miles to a Wal-Mart when I could have one just five miles away?

Please, Beaverton, reconsider your decision. Tell those so- called other people to leave us alone. They do not have to shop there. Maybe what they are afraid of is that they will like to shop there.

We want Wal-Mart.

MYRLON and CHERYL THORNE

Beaverton

Not everybody is against Wal-Mart

The Cedar Hills Homeowners Association has taken a stand against Wal-Mart, totally ignoring all the residents that want the store.

I told them it created a misrepresentation of the homeowners in that area and that they need to stay out of politics.

It was easy to see by the questionnaire they sent out that they were totally against Wal-Mart. There were one and one-half pages of arguments against Wal-Mart and only a couple of sentences for Wal-Mart. So every homeowner within the Cedar Hills Homeowners Association has one vote and the association tips the scale by implying that all the homeowners are against Wal-Mart.

I live on Walker Road, between Highway 26 and Cedar Hills, and I couldn't be happier that there is still a chance for Wal-Mart. Our other options are the TV Highway Target and Fred Meyers, both low-quality stores.

Please, please listen to the voice of reason, not the trumped up voice of the City Council whose members seem to think securing their position on the council is more important that helping Beaverton grow.

SANDI TAYLOR

Beaverton

Wal-Mart rejection politically correct?

I personally have been patiently waiting for a Wal-Mart to come to our area. That the Beaverton City Council rejected their application saddens, as well as angers me.

I cannot help but think that political correctness had something to do with the rejection of the Wal-Mart plan for a new store in Beaverton.

When will this craziness of political correctness end?

BRENDA VAN HORN

Beaverton