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Taxpayers fed up with city flubs

Readers’ Letters

Is it time to have a Portland Tea Party? That seems like a good idea, in light of elected officials taking it upon themselves to add to our tax burden.

Will someone please tell me why they can't make cuts and live within their excessive means already?

There is not enough money for the criminal justice system (Budget cuts cripple long arm of the law, March 4). Why not combine the Portland Police Bureau and Multnomah County sheriff's office? Let the Portland officers take care of the city and sheriff's deputies handle the county, instead of all the overlapping. This way you can eliminate a lot of upper management positions and still get the job done.

There is not enough money for schools? Why not cut out excessive upper management, freeze hiring and wages, and put back the money into education instead of pet projects, such as the certificates of Initial and Advanced Mastery? Why not sell land and buildings not being used or lease out the property to business that will pay taxes?Ê

Oh, by the way, isn't the city the same group that drove Columbia Sportswear to Washington County? Well done, elected officials of the greater Portland area: There soon will be no businesses left to generate needed revenue.

One last question: Who is paying for the study on bringing the Montreal Expos to Portland? Who is paying for the mayor's trips to New York to talk to Major League Baseball officials? Who is paying for the stadium study?

Wasn't light rail voted down? But our great local leaders forced it upon us. Please, people of Oregon, let us send a very clear message: Enough. No more taxes.

Louis C. Fletcher

Southeast Portland

Ice rink at square would be short on heart

Greg Goodman's plan to put a skating rink in Pioneer Courthouse Square has brought plenty of comments (Rink backers hit some rough ice, Feb. 7). Well, here's one more: Most people feel the square is part of Portland's park system, a public place. There have been a great many skating rinks in public places in the past, and some of them still exist. Some people have deep, sentimental feelings about them. Me, for instance.

I grew up in Minneapolis. Parts of lakes were scraped smooth for skating. Everywhere else in the city, parks were contoured to provide skating rinks. Some parks had special places for playing hockey. When winter came, the fire department would flood all those areas, and they would quickly freeze. Heavy snowfall would be cleared by horse-drawn plows, the lighter snow by teenagers. At one side there was a warming house, with a bright fire burning in a wood stove. What fun it was.

The entire scene was provided at no charge. Of course! It was a city function, cheerfully paid for with taxes. Contrast that with the glitzy, pay-to-skate plan for Portland's public square, and forget the part about sentiment.

Arden R. Benson

Northwest Portland

City doesn't lack money, just clear priorities

The Portland Bureau of Environmental Services is proceeding toward the worthwhile cleanup of the Willamette River. As an average two-person householder, I pay about $500 yearly in sewage and rainwater fees toward this project. The total take, residential and commercial, is quite large.

Even half this amount would alleviate the current school crisis. The problem is priorities, not money. The river has run dirty for a long time. I would rather it run dirty a few years longer and see our schools run properly.

Roman F. Geller Jr.

Northeast Portland

Are Ducks following Blazer strategies?

It seems as if the University of Oregon has decided to follow the same path as the Portland Trail Blazers in trying to win at any cost.

Defensive back Rodney Woods, who had help from the UO football coaches persuading a judge to reduce his criminal conviction to a misdemeanor, is not coming here for an education (Coaches at risk if Woods stumbles, Dwight Jaynes, March 4). We are not that naive here in Oregon. It's all about a crack at the NFL. He was already in college in California.

Similarly, the Trail Blazers have gone from Lloyd Neal, Buck Williams, Clyde Drexler and Brian Grant to the likes of Rasheed Wallace, Bonzi Wells and Ruben Patterson.ÊNow the Ducks have gone from Coach Rich Brooks (a class act) to a Mike Bellotti.

Universities are supposed to be examples of morals and ethics for society: Way to go, University of Oregon.ÊÊÊ

Robert Davis

Northwest PortlandÊÊ