Budget process sheds light on how district works

To the editor:

Seeing we had openings on the Woodburn School District Budget Committee, I volunteered to serve a two-year term. The financial state of schools is not ideal. This past 2012-13 school year saw some of the most drastic cuts I’ve witnessed in the nine years my kids have been attending. I felt a need to be part of this process, and find out why Woodburn schools seemed so underfunded.

This budget process isn’t different from what I’ve experienced in my own line of work. I think what makes the budget process feel overwhelming, at first, is seeing every dollar broken down to the last cent. Funds from our state are given to us for specific purposes. For example, if the state says “Here’s $5,000 for buying new textbooks,” it can be spent on that and nothing else. Nancy Hall, our district business manager, works tirelessly to make sure every dollar is spent correctly. How she keeps track is beyond me. Our district office can even boast of passing there last audit with flying colors.

I have to say this year on the committee has been a really eye opener. It gave me a new appreciation for the work our Woodburn School District administration does every year. Excellence comes at a high price, and we must strive to give the children in our community the best we can. I’d say we’re on the right track.

Thor Waage


Family grateful for support after tragedy

To the editor:

On May 3, our granddaughter, Katalina Rivera-Bustamante, passed away unexpectedly. The autopsy report showed the cause of death as phlebothrombsis of leg veins with terminal acute pulmonary thromboembolism.

We want to take this time to thank everyone who prayed for us, brought meals, sent flowers and for the generous donations.

The Woodburn School District has been amazing. We want to especially thank the staff from Nellie Muir Elementary, French Prairie Middle School, AIS, WACA, WAAST, Success, Woodburn High School cooks and the district office. We knew our kids (Teresa, Gloria and JP) worked for a great district, but your outpouring of support was truly amazing.

This has been a very difficult time for us and we appreciate everything. Again, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Fred and Anna Bustamante


City has created many problems downtown

To the editor:

The staff, mayor and council of Woodburn need to look back at some of the problems they created in the downtown area and do something about them.

1. Not correcting the problem of a dangerous building owned by the mayor. This has been going on for more than a year. First the city put up barricades (our barricades) to warn the people walking on the sidewalk to stay away from the front of the mayor’s building because it might fall on you. Then a private fence was put up not allowing people to walk on our sidewalk. I have been told that a person had seen a pedestrian almost run over by a car walking around this fence. This is asking for someone to get hurt or killed by the building falling on them or a car hitting them. If this building was owned by anyone other than the mayor or possibly a council person with nothing being done to correct the problem they (mayor and council) would be all over them to repair or remove the problem. Why do you let this go on are you waiting for someone to get hurt or killed first?

2. The Salud building was in the same shape as the mayor’s building. After fighting with the owners, the city bought it and did a good job fixing the outside. The problem is this building is empty and has been for many years. If a private person did this, he would be broke. Maybe this is one of the many financial problems of the city.

3. Taking the only parking lot in the core area and turning it into a park. The parking lot was paid for by businesses in the downtown area to provide parking for their clients. Without parking you have no business and you spent our tax dollars to do it.

4. Then you put planters down Front Street, which took away many more parking spaces. These planters make it absolutely impossible for a large pickup, truck or bus to make a legal turn at the intersections. They must turn into oncoming traffic to make the corner. You have put persons driving these kinds of vehicles and children riding the bus at risk of being hurt. At a council meeting I heard a staff member say this was done to make the streets pedestrian friendly. I’m sorry but streets are for vehicles not pedestrians and must be built for all vehicles to travel them safely. The planters are the biggest eyesore downtown, with weeds growing in them and catching the litter. This mess you created on Front Street is a disgrace to the community. Do not even think of doing it on First Street.

We now have fewer parking spaces, weed patches to catch litter and dangerous corners for vehicles and passengers and you spent our tax dollars to do it.

Mick DeSantis


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