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Letters to the Editor

Independent Party endorsement a surprise

Regarding your Dec. 7 story, 'Bonamici wins nomination of Independent Party in primary.'

Well, this is interesting. I've been a registered Independent since the '70s. I didn't receive a ballot for this primary, as has been the custom. I was also unaware of the provision for downloading a ballot off the Internet.

It would seem, that by the numbers (56 votes for Suzanne Bonamici and 31 for Rob Cornilles out of 13,500 registered Independents in the district) that I'm not the only one ignorant of this provision.

D.N. Garlington

Vernonia

City survey could have been done for less

I read in the Dec. 21 issue of the News-Times that the City of Forest Grove paid a Portland market research firm $20,950 to survey 200 Forest Grove residents/homeowners about property taxes in our city.

The poll was focused on the relative willingness of the homeowners to continue to pay the levy on their property taxes which voters approved in 2007 ($1.35/$1,000 of assessed value, or about $200 per year for a home valued at $150,000).

Respondents were also asked if they would be willing to pay $1.85 or $2.25, respectively, in order to more generously support those public services which are funded through property taxation, including parks, libraries and public safety.

While I am almost always in favor of funding these types of services more generously, I do not understand the wisdom of paying a consulting firm more than $100 per household in order to conduct this simple survey.

If I took 10 hours at $100/hour for the phone calls I made to conduct the survey, and spent an average of 10 minutes with each respondent, I would have charged the city (the taxpayers) a grand total of $4,300 in order to complete this project.

Since I earn less than $100/hour at my professional job (including the value of the excellent benefit package I have), I would consider the salary for this 43-hour project (10 hours research and planning a question formulation and 33 hours for making phone calls) to be quite generous.

I am reasonably certain there are competent, responsible, honest unemployed and under-employed people in Forest Grove who are smarter than I am who would have been happy to conduct this survey for a lot less than $100/hour.

This type of senseless public spending is just the kind of thing that engenders the level and intensity of distrust in our governmental systems and personnel that is partially responsible for the need to ask voters for more money so often in the first place.

Alan Hershman

Forest Grove

'Nutcracker's' success was community effort

The Board of Directors of Ballet Forest Grove would like to congratulate the company dancers, as well as dancers from Forest Grove Dance Arts, for their performances at our fifth annual 'Nutcracker' production held on Saturday, Dec. 10.

We were thrilled that both shows were sold out, and we would like to extend a heartfelt 'Thank you' to everyone who attended!

We are extremely grateful to those who have supported and continue to support Ballet Forest Grove.

To the following businesses and sponsors, thank you for contributing to the success of our production:

Doran Associates, Inc., Kindness Family Pet Clinic, Paterson Furniture, Forest Grove Rotary Club, Heaton and Company, P.C., Forest Grove Dance Arts, Lions Club of Forest Grove, Frye's Action Athletics, Forest Grove High School, Forest Grove Business Solutions, Forest Grove Gratteri's Les Schwab Tires, Time to Play, Draper Company, IRS Environmental of Portland, Inc., Richard and Stephanie Lind, Shan and Karla Clark, and Michael and Jessie Moran.

Thank you to the many local businesses who helped us advertise 'The Nutcracker' on their store front windows, reader boards, and by displaying our banners, and thank you to the community of Forest Grove for your support.

Finally, to our numerous, dedicated volunteers, there are not enough words to express how much we appreciate what you have done to make this year's 'Nutcracker' production a wonderful success!

- Bonnie Wyckoff, Patty Petersen, Jan Hoekstra, Debbie Vandervelden, Christine Dedrickson and Carolyn Knowles