Editors both, I read the article in the [Oregon City News], October 11th issue regarding the Sheriff's levy and my first reaction is: 'Why can government not live within existing taxing limits?' I have a difficult time accepting the fact that our elected Sheriff must make a request from citizens for operational funds. I feel public protection is government's first priority. Accepting the fact that the county's elected bodies are bound by [Oregon Revised Statutes] to offer their individual budget request through the County Commissioners for approval; then, perhaps it is up to citizens to request a priority for operational funding be given as a condition of priority for citizen protection over a long list of other demands on what some may feel is an inadequate level of funding.

I believe citizens should give priority to and support the Sheriff. I'm sorry I can not support a levy seeking additional funding for which citizens have already paid for but for which our County Commissioners will not release to the Sheriff's Office as a priority for public protection over and above other agreed upon budget demands. I do not envy the hard financial choices the Commissioners must make and I hereby give notice that I do not agree with their not funding the Sheriff over other requests for funding. If other citizens agree they too should give notice to the Commissioners.

Citizens must live within their financial means and I'm certain we would all appreciate more funds for our household budgets. Government may need to continue to limit and prioritize services to an over demand for a wide variety of public services. I must decide between steak and peanut butter; between prescriptions to be filled or add fuel to the home heating oil tank; to get new glasses this year or go another year with eight year old frames/lenses; we all face tough decisions but remain charitable in our own right.

I have no way of knowing if I am alone with my thinking; but election night we'll know.

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