Pastor’s Perspective column spot on

To the editor:

As a former history teacher, I read with interest the recent article in the Woodburn Independent by Pastor Will Robertson on the U.S. Bill of Rights allowing religious freedom (Oct. 23 issue, page 12A “Bill of rights allows religious freedom, not separating church and state”). It is the most concise, accurate explanation I think that I have read. He cites the state-sponsored religion in England and the troubles that it engendered as one of the reasons we have a First Amendment.

I just finished reading Eugene Snyder’s book, “Aurora, Their Last Utopia,” which tells the history of Oregon’s Aurora colony which was established in the mid-1800s. Most of Aurora’s early inhabitants were of a German background. During the late 17th and early 18th centuries, the area now known as Germany was made up of 300 “kingdoms” with rulers that were Lutheran or Roman Catholic. All the people had to follow the religion of their rulers.

The freedom of religion wording in the First Amendment of our Bill of Rights was to prevent our new American government from dictating our religion and religious practices. We should all be thankful for that wording, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” This wording was to keep our government from establishing a state-run and supported church, not to restrict churches or our free religious expression.

Burt Carney


Be informed before voting on Aurora FD levy

To the editor:

I am not a resident of the Aurora Rural Fire Protection District but I know many of the fine people that reside there and I am concerned.

The district is asking the taxpayers for more of your hard earned money to support their operations at current levels.

Sounds reasonable but, as you may have heard, the district is suing a local nonprofit, the Donald Community Organization (formerly the Donald Firefighters Association).

Why are they spending your tax money to pursue what is basically a hissy fit? What benefit do you get from it? Sounds like sour grapes to me.

Also, the nepotism on the board and command staff should be viewed as a cancer that needs to be removed. Are they working for you or their personal/family agendas? A fair question if you consider recent events.

A board member is still under investigation for an ethics complaint from 2012. Call the district and ask how much the chief is paid and what his professional firefighting credentials are. You may very well be surprised! Is this how your money should be spent?

Ask questions. Your vote is important. Make it an informed one.

Jay B. Mulkey


NM School Board seeks public’s vote

To the editor:

North Marion Schools needs your support! On Nov. 5, we will ask you, the voter, to approve a four-year supplemental operating levy for the North Marion School District. This is the first time that we have ever come to the voters for a levy but over the last five-plus years our district revenue has been devastated.

As your elected representatives we do not take this action lightly. We understand the fiscal responsibility that is placed squarely on the shoulders of each board director. While we realize any kind of tax is a burden, we also must acknowledge that the state does not fully pay for all the programs that it mandates or that our community has determined that we need.

Ninety-one percent of our budget is fixed with the rising costs of salaries, health insurance, transportation, electricity, insurance, etc. In order to fund our classrooms at an effective and efficient level we need updated instructional materials, to restore lost personnel and programs, enhance safety and maintenance needs and finance critical technology.

This is a temporary levy to supplement our budget. Our patrons have the lowest tax rate in the surrounding counties and even with this increase will still have the next-to-lowest tax rate.

We work hard to be good stewards with your tax dollars and we are in need of your support. North Marion is a special district. Please help us maintain a strong community with strong schools. Please vote!

Julie Miller


North Marion School Board

In what direction is Woodburn going?

To the editor:

Just like the Titanic, straight down. After working hard trying to find out what happened to those six city employees I must admit I was surprised. Yes, they did keep their jobs but if they have enough seniority they can “bump” someone else and pass that huge wage cut to the person they replace. Not too good for the person being bumped but that is the purpose of seniority. The bumped employee would have 15 days to decide if he/she wants to take the huge wage cut or draw unemployment benefits and the city would not object.

City employees should be afraid that anyone can be laid off at any time and that Request for Proposals (RFPs) had already been sent out for “custodial maintenance service contract for public buildings and parks restrooms,” as published in the Daily Journal of Commerce April 17. Adding insult to injury, while the city is threatening and intimidating good city employees, Mr. Derickson is out hiring new city employees for human resources, communications and some of these “new” positions come with an assistant. We are not talking minimum wage jobs here, folks, we are looking at six figure wages, not counting PERS, deferred comp, executive vacation, and so on. I am confused because six positions had their wages reduced down to $11.54 an hour because the city is broke, but yet we have enough money to hire new highly paid City Hall people.

Did anyone hear an explanation during a city council meeting, or even put a notice in the local newspaper telling those good taxpayers in Woodburn that good, hard-working union workers are taking a financial hit so new upper level management can be hired for huge wages and benefits?

In my opinion, Mr. Derickson needs to be replaced and let’s not wait too long for that action. Of course, based on the past performance of the city council, they will probably give him another raise or increase his deferred comp match percent a few points. Need to reward those good loyal employees hired by the city council.

Lastly, if any of you good citizens in Woodburn decide to ask the city for information be prepared to file a “Freedom of Public Information Act” form. Yes, it is true, if you want certain information the city will require the legal form to be submitted. Time for a change.

Terry Will


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