Letters to the Editor - Jan. 12
Sharon Nesbit's column brought back memories
It was a surprise a week or so ago, to have my daughter call me and read to me Sharon Nesbit's 'Just the Other Day' (from the Dec. 19 edition of The Outlook).
Julia Kercher died of polio in November 1927 at the age of 17. She too, was a student of Gresham High School. Julia was my mother's sister, and if there are still some people around Gresham who remember Cele Brown of Brown's Flower Shop on Powell, before they widened it, Julia was also Cele's sister.
Another family that may still be around is the Jack family. They gave my grandmother five graves out by the Pleasant Home Methodist Church, and that is where Julia and most other family members are buried.
Coucilor explains Sellwood Bridge concerns
On Jan. 8, 2008, the Troutdale City Council declined to revisit our previous decision not to support Multnomah County's car and light truck registration tax to pay for repair of Willamette River bridges, particularly the Sellwood Bridge. I wish this time we had been presented with something I could support, but, except for adding a 20-year renewable term for the tax, it was the same proposal we rejected last month. It doubles the vehicle registration fee for Troutdale residents, includes no contribution from Clackamas County residents, who make up most of the Sellwood traffic, and provides no additional contribution from heavy trucks. Assuming Troutdale has 8,000 registered vehicles, our citizens alone would pay $4.3 million over 20 years toward the Willamette bridges, and not one dollar of that money would be spent in East County. Multnomah County should not be surprised if we are a hard sell on this tax. We would have to pay it, but all the investments and improvements it funds are done elsewhere.
State law requires that a county wishing to impose a tax or surcharge on vehicle registrations must seek affirmative votes from the jurisdictions in the county. That, presumably, is to encourage the county to distribute the benefits and burdens fairly. Troutdale has the right and duty to be heard on this tax. If we consent to a countywide vote on a tax, the proceeds of which are all spent in high-population parts of the county, those receiving the maximum benefit have incentive to support it. A lower-population area that receives none of the investment, like Troutdale, will likely be outvoted. We needed to raise our concerns now.
As I said before, Multnomah County should use this opportunity to seek adequate state or regional funding for the Willamette River bridges. They are regional facilities. We should act quickly, but there is at least sufficient time to discuss and negotiate. I could not support the vehicle registration tax as presented because I believed it was the wrong way to fix the problem, both for Troutdale and the region. We need a real, equitable, long-term solution, and Troutdale is willing to work with the county, state, and region to find one.
After three major assaults on citizens riding MAX in the last couple months, TriMet promised to do something. Their first action is to open a police precinct in Hillsboro.
I'm certain that those riding MAX feel safer now and my heart is filled with gratitude.
Thanks for helping with Christmas light display
While storing our Christmas decor for another year, we reflected on the generosity of East County residents.
We want to thank everyone for taking time from their busy holiday schedule to enjoy our outdoor Christmas display. Donations given to us were greatly appreciated and PGE will be happy!
Also thank you to The Gresham Outlook for informing everyone of our display.
Wishing everyone a happy 2008!
Rick and Linda Paz