Letters to the Editor for Oct. 19
- Beaverton Valley Times - Opinion
Metro bond measure waste of tax dollars
Metro's greenspace bond measure is a waste of your tax dollars.
The greenspace program has been portrayed as a way to preserve water quality and protect wildlife. These selling points were chosen after polling data confirmed that these were the hot buttons to convince the public to vote its approval. Never mind that a significant portion of your tax dollars will go to buy up productive farm and forest land outside of Metro's own boundary. Those who live outside of Metro do not have a representative on the Council, nor do they get to vote on the bond measure.
It should be the decision of their local representatives to decide if land is better in public ownership, or if private owners are better land stewards.
Metro currently spends millions to maintain the land that it has already taken off of the tax rolls for greenspace. This is done primarily through garbage fees that Metro collects. While the bond measure will pay for some land improvements, it makes no provision for the permanent maintenance of additional land. Noxious weeds and rodents will need to be controlled by an inefficient government, which will drive the need for even more money.
While greenspace in a dense urban environment may make sense, wasting your tax dollars to buy up productive farmland does not. The greenspace that Metro may buy up in our own backyard should not cause us to look the other way when Metro decides to meddle in another jurisdictional area. Metro should be held accountable to place a responsible greenspace bond measure on the ballot before we support it.
Vote no on 26-80
End apathy: vote 'yes' on Measure 34-139
Last May the Beaverton School District's bond measure failed for the worst reason: apathy. More than 60 percent of those casting ballots were in favor, which would ordinarily represent a resounding success. But less than 50 percent of eligible voters bothered to participate, dooming the measure to defeat because of Oregon's double-majority rule.
Soon, however, we will have a chance to atone for that lapse of conscience. The measure is back on the November ballot with the same goals: to relieve serious overcrowding, pay for needed repairs, and ensure the continuation of high-quality public education in Beaverton.
To all who voted for the bond last May, thank you - your support is needed again. And to those who did not vote, please do so this time (even though this is not a double-majority election). Vote because there is no excuse for apathy in Beaverton, not when public schools are so vital to our livability and economy.
For the sake of the children - and our community's future - please join us in voting 'yes' on Measure 34-139.
BOB and KAREN WAYT
Bond is investment in community
Beaverton's schools urgently need the capitol bond measure to alleviate overcrowding due to population growth and to make essential school repairs. Nowhere is Beaverton's brisk growth felt more severely than in our local schools. The bond will create more than 100 new classrooms throughout the district, add two new elementary schools, and make critical repairs possible.
This bond measure should not be viewed as a new tax, but as a fresh investment in our community and, more importantly, in our children. A cost of 51 cents per $1,000 of assessed value annually for the district's property taxpayers is a small, necessary cost that allows Beaverton schools to keep pace with the city's development.
The bond received overwhelming support from voters in the May primary, but a low turnout prevented the bond's passage.
Vote 'yes' on Beaverton School District Capitol Bond Measure 34-139.
State Senator, Dist. 17
'Spendthrift CPA' says 'yes' to school bond
It is official, I am voting 'yes' on Beaverton school construction Bond Measure 34-139. I was an undecided voter until I learned more about the measure.
Being a CPA, I was concerned that the Beaverton School District is mismanaging our tax dollars. The truth is the district has proven to be a very good steward of our money. In fact, they did not collect the second year of our three-year local option levy because an improving economy and state funding provided more money than projected.
The district also decided to not use the funds of this levy for construction projects at our schools as the voters had approved this levy to help the district's operating budget.
Bond Measure 34-139 is a responsible measure and is targeted to address the specific needs of our kids - overcrowded classrooms and overdue repairs at our schools.
Please join me, a spendthrift CPA, in voting 'yes' for Beaverton school construction Bond Measure 34-139 in the Nov. 7 election.
Erickson's attacks on Hooley appalling
Having been the recipient of right-wing Republican negative campaigning, which was indeed successful, I can easily recognize their tactics. Although these tactics appall and nauseate me, I usually do not become involved because I feel that the voters have also learned to recognize these tactics and will, hopefully, not react positively to them.
However, this year candidate Mike Erickson's vicious attacks on congresswoman Darlene Hooley are too egregious to let pass. I have known her since we were freshmen in the Oregon Legislature. After one session she was known as one of the most intelligent, fair and highly respected members by both political parties. To vilify someone of her integrity shows how low political campaigning has come.
He calls her a 'politician.' Well, I have been aware of him for many years and can see that he is also a 'politician,' although a losing one.
Erickson is a prime example of the Republican party's desire to win so badly that they continue to field candidates who use constant mudslinging and negative soundbites rather than promoting their own strengths, issue stands and community involvements.
I encourage the voters to look through all the mud to see the real faces and records of the candidates.
MARY ALICE FORD
Former State Representative
We need to support library levy
Our Washington County public libraries were born in bank basements, converted grocery stores, and a now-demolished farmhouse - wherever a space could be found. They were nurtured by passionate volunteers. They were adopted by local cities or library associations. Then the county cooperative was formed 30 years ago.
Today our county library system checks out over 20,000 items every day. Over the past 10 years, county population has increased 26 percent and library usage has increased 64 percent. No new funding for operations has been approved for libraries since 1996.
Libraries have been forced to cut back hours, book budgets and services as funding has remained at 2001-02 levels.
Libraries provide access to information and make it available to all of us and that has never been more important. We've built the buildings with our taxes, now let's fund the operating budget so that we get the full benefit of our wonderful libraries.
Vote 'yes' for the Washington County Library Levy, Measure 34-126.
Support Beaverton Education Foundation
My husband and I are fortunate our sons attend school in the Beaverton School District. Beaverton's test scores are higher than state and national averages. The district's prudent fiscal management delivers stability and high quality programs. But even a terrific district like Beaverton does not have the resources to deliver all the programs necessary for student success.
That is why we actively support the Beaverton Education Foundation. Since 1999, the foundation has funded more than 500 summer and after-school programs, high school sports and activities, and classroom projects across the district. National research shows these programs raise test scores, improve attendance and reduce dropout rates.
The Beaverton Education Foundation's annual phone-a-thon is Nov. 13-16. High school students will call Beaverton residents asking for donations to fund these important programs. Please support continued success of Beaverton's children with a generous contribution to the Beaverton Education Foundation.
Read will see schools get needed funds
Our schools are in dire need of funding. I know first hand - I am a senior at Beaverton High School.
Fortunately, there is a candidate who can work to solve our school funding crisis; Tobias Read should be elected to represent House District 27.
When elected, Tobias wants to eliminate the corporate kicker, which sends $200 million per year to corporations, and instead create a rainy day fund. This fund would allow our teachers to have the resources they need to provide our students with a high quality education.
As I enter my last year of high school, I want to ensure that our state no longer fails its students. A vote for Tobias will ensure that our schools receive the funds they need, and will guarantee future generations the quality education they deserve.
Voters in HD-27 should vote for education. Tobias Read is that vote.
Beaverton High School senior
Measure 48 too good to be true
'If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is' is a wise old saying that rings true most often it seems when it comes to politics. This election, the standard for that sage axiom comes in the form of Ballot Measure 48.
In last week's Valley Times, Measure 48 spokesman Matt Evans claimed that 'Oregonians have a historic opportunity to put their government on firm financial footing' if only they'll pass his measure. Unfortunately for Matt, other states haven't seen this 'firm financial footing' as a result of passing a virtually identical law.
Colorado has a law very similar to the proposal for Oregon. The funding formula is the same: government spending is set up to increase by a population growth plus inflation formula. This funding formula has devastated the state of Colorado's ability to pay for even the most basic of services including schools, roads, bridges and emergency services.
Things became so bad for Colorado's budget that a bipartisan coalition of citizens and the business community worked to place a five-year suspension on the law, which passed in November of 2005.
For Oregon, the situation would be exponentially worse than Colorado's should Measure 48 pass. We wouldn't be able to suspend the law when it devastates government's ability to deal with schools and infrastructure needs.
Further, supporters of Measure 48 have mislabeled it as a 'rainy day amendment.' I strongly encourage voters to read through the text of the measure in their voter's pamphlet. There is no rainy day fund creation via Measure 48. But even if there were such a thing in place, had Measure 48 been implemented during Oregon's last recession, four out of every five dollars of the increase in spending allowed under the limit would have gone to unemployment benefits. Schools, health care and other public services would have undergone even deeper cuts.
Measure 48's formula may sound logical on its face. But it doesn't account for rising costs in health care, fuel, food and other items. It doesn't take into consideration rising prison and school populations as well as an increasingly aging baby boom generation.
Matt Evans claims that Measure 48 is a 'tool' that Oregonians 'need to bring fiscal responsibility to Salem.' No it isn't. It's a way for those individuals funding this from outside our state to hammer their irresponsible ideology onto us. And they're not the ones who have to live with it if it becomes law. We are.
Vote 'no' on Measure 48.
Harrington an easy choice for Metro
It's time to start paying close attention to the people running to represent us in the November elections. We Washington County voters have an easy choice for one of our two representatives on the Metro Council.
Kathryn Harrington is running to represent District 4. Her record of successful hard work as an engineer at Intel and in her Beaverton community will assure that we are well represented at the regional level. Kathryn is a worker and someone who knows how to collaborate to solve problems. She does more than just throw sand in the gears of a working organization. She will build the necessary relationships between the Metro Council and local citizens and elected leaders.
Such relationships are critical to gaining funding for important Washington County projects. Past successes include projects as varied as additions to Tualatin Hills Park District's Lowami Hart Woods and Nature Parks, widening and neighborhood-protecting-sounds walls on the Sunset Highway, and planning funds for the fast-growing northern areas of the county.
Kathryn is endorsed by a long list of many, varied individuals and organizations. As you read your voters' pamphlets in the next few weeks take time to learn about Kathryn Harrington. She will well represent your interests.
TERRY S. H. MOORE
Past chair, THPRD
Board of Directors
Vote 'yes' on Measure 34-139
I wish to express my strong support for the Beaverton School District's Capital Bond Measure 34-139. This District continues to be one of the fastest growing school districts in the state. Many district elementary schools are near or over enrollment capacity, and all high schools are over their planned capacity.
Having served on the last two District Long Range Facilities Planning Committees, I know the effort put into the development of this $195 million school bond measure. It was not a 'wish' list and represents many compromises, but it also represents a soberly considered list of the district's highest priority needs to primarily, but not exclusively, relieve school overcrowding buy new school buildings and expand and renovate existing facilities.
For all of the current political talk on education and education funding, we still need facilities in which to impart this education, which must be separately funded.
Libraries a valuable community asset
Washington County's library system supports our children, their education and our communities.
I have seen first-hand what access to the libraries' book collections and special programs have done for my two children. We've been through toddler book time and preschool story hour and now they are exploring the wide world of reading on their own with books from all over the county to choose from.
The librarians are the type of caring adults we all want our children to encounter, and the community of readers that libraries introduce our kids to is beyond price.
The use of our libraries has gone up dramatically as our county has grown (64 percent increase in use in the last 10 years), yet funding has not. This has strained budgets, and reductions in hours and services have already been made. Our libraries are facing more cuts in new book purchases and cuts in hours open for our use unless we can secure funding.
Please join me in voting 'yes' for the Washington County library levy, Measure 34-126, which will provide enough funding to maintain book budgets and services as our county continues to grow.
CAROL MCCORMAC WILD
Beaverton schools need bond for growth
I am writing to you to urge support for the Beaverton School District Capital Bond Measure 34-139.
With four children in these schools I have personally seen the need for new classroom capacity and facility improvements. I applaud the Beaverton School Board for maintaining their original $195 million bond request.
Not only will this bond help our existing challenges, but will also help with our future growth. Please vote 'yes' for 34-139.
Bailey highly qualified for circuit court judge
Charlie Bailey served in the United States Navy and saw duty on the U.S.S. Nimitz 1986 - 1989. Couple Bailey's experience from high school to U.S. Navy to college and Law School and now Deputy District Attorney in Washington County, all of which took a lot of very hard work.
Bailey was raised in Washington County and now resides in Beaverton with his wife of 15 years and their three children.
He is endorsed by his boss, Robert Herman, Washington County district attorney, which speaks volumes of Charlie's abilities.
I am a veteran of WWII and Korea, a life member of Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Air Force Association, NRA, a former policeman, former Washington County elected official, small businessman and now retired senior citizen and gentleman farmer. America is becoming a nation of veterans.
Charlie Bailey is a young man and a veteran and is clearly qualified to do the work of a circuit court judge - this is why I endorse him.
Meas. 41, 48 would cut schools' funds
Question - Do you remember Ballot Measure 5? Do you remember the promises and assurances made by its proponents when this measure was being debated in our communities and in the legislature? Have you paid attention to the effect this measure has had, and is still having, on our public schools' budgets and student programs?
If you've forgotten or lost track, here's a recounting - the funding squeeze created by Measure 5 has resulted in Oregon having the nation's second shortest school year and the nation's second largest class sizes.
Now, flash-forward to today and give some thought to Ballot Measures 41 and 48. Both of these measures, if approved, will only worsen the situation that Measure 5 created for our public schools, even during flush economic and financial years here in Oregon. What that means in real numbers is that we could very well see a $7 million dollar cut per year in public school funding (not to mention to public services and public safety). Do you know how many teachers that would eliminate?
And if that's not enough, sooner or later, we will be in an economic downturn and, whether we want it or not, another recession. And when that happens, and if these two ballot measures were to pass, you can kiss our public education system, with all of the diverse, enriching school offerings and programs we are now desperately holding on to, good-bye. So once again, our children, our state's most precious resource, take it right in the shorts.
I mean, just the fact that these measures are being proposed and supported by Don McIntire, Loren Parks, Russ Walker, Grover Norquist and Bill Sizemore should be enough to scare the bejeebers out of anyone who cares about public education and our kids. The fact of the matter is that these gentlemen either need to get a much bigger manure-spreader, or shift the one their driving down into low gear.
The citizens of Colorado were lulled into voting for a measure very much like our Measure 48 back in 1992 (supported and funded by some of these same guys). But after years of struggle and decimation of Colorado public schools, those voters repealed that measure in 2005. Unfortunately, Colorado is still trying to climb out of the hole their 'Measure 48' created.
Don't allow Oregon to make the same mistake - vote 'no' on measures 41 and 48.
Measure 34-126 deserves support
Our libraries are hurting. Funding is stuck at 2002 levels, but costs to run libraries keep increasing.
One need only to drive along Hall Boulevard to see that the new Tigard Library has a full parking lot at almost all times.
Our libraries are efficient. Residents are served through effective partnership by cities, non-profit library associations and the Washington County Cooperative Library Services.
Recently, there were three outstanding services offered to the Tigard community: a screening of the film adaptation Broadway musical 'Hello Dolly,' an 'Art Speaks' series with slides and discussion from Portland Art Museum docents, and computer classes, 'Internet for Beginners and Basic Word Processing.'
The library is truly providing access to materials in all formats to meet informational, cultural, educational and recreational needs.
Additional cuts in hours, book purchases and educational programs are likely without the passage of Measure 34-126.
Please continue to support your community and vote 'yes' on Measure 34-126