Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites


Letters: 'Cheap shots' at clerk; CRW issues; state funds

In regards to the editorial on Nov. 21 (“Clackamas County election problems shouldn’t keep happening”):

A state Elections Division directive in 2010 ordered the reprinting of the incorrect ballots. County officials, without Hall’s support, launched an appeal. In the end, Hall followed the directive and printed corrected ballots after a judge’s order did not alter the directive. If Clackamas County voters truly detested the whole affair, why was Hall re-elected that same year?

The ballot manipulation is indeed horrible. However, the process in place to deter and detect wrongdoing worked; two, anyone is able to receive a tour of where ballots are received and handled and have the entire process explained to him or her. Visitors are welcome to observe elections through the many wide windows into the ballot processing rooms.

“Interestingly — no, perhaps more tellingly — Hall chose not to attend the emergency county meeting, instead releasing a press release [...]” The editorial board was given the reason for her lack of presence in the very press release that they go on to reference: “At the request of the Department of Justice and in order not to jeopardize this ongoing investigation, I am not commenting further on the details of this investigation at this time.” Why go to a meeting that she could not contribute to? Sherry Hall’s time was better spent managing the obligations and responsibilities of her office, especially in light of the crime which had occurred.

In my mind, there are only two reasons for any recall: corruption or incompetence. Sherry Hall is certainly not corrupt. She is also not incompetent, in my opinion. Place the blame on the right person - the woman who (allegedly) committed the crime.

The editorial board ought to have named its opinion, “Clackamas Review editorial cheap-shots Sherry Hall.”

Maria Hennig

Oregon City

Plans for legal action

The various filings were made on behalf of Clackamas River Water, not Patricia Holloway, (Employees back water district recall, Nov. 28).

Also, please correct the statement “Holloway also said that, before the other board members resigned last month, they conspired to get her in legal trouble without access to CRW-paid attorneys.”

The correct statement is that on Oct. 13, 2011, CRW Commissioners Kehoe, Kemper and Cardwell, together with CRW General Manager Lee Moore and CRW legal counsel Dean Phillips, planned to have employees file Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries complaints against Holloway after Dec. 31, 2012, when the insurance company stopped providing legal defense coverage for BOLI complaints.

Pat Holloway

Clackamas River Water commissioner

Governor’s budget woes

Governor John Kitzhaber’s 2013-15 proposed budget is only a blueprint for the next Oregon Legislature to consider, but it recognizes the need for PERS reforms that House Republicans have been calling for.

We believe the Legislature should go further on PERS reform. However, the proposed budget illustrates how reforms can decrease the cost of government while increasing funding for classrooms.

Oregonians should understand that this budget is based on a number of assumptions that haven’t been fully vetted by the Legislature. The budget assumes the state will have 9 percent more revenue at a time when Oregon’s job growth has stagnated. It assumes large savings in the corrections system, which may signal a plan to weaken voter-approved sentencing measures. It also assumes tax and fee increases, more government debt, and potentially more money for public employee pay raises later in the biennium.

There are some elements in the budget that Republicans can support, but we are disappointed it doesn’t set aside enough reserves to protect services if revenues begin to decline again. This is the same approach that, under the leadership of Rep. Dennis Richardson (R-Central Point), prevented deep cuts in the current biennium.

Mike McLane

(R-Powell Butte)

Budget ignores out-of-control tax breaks

In his recommended budget, Governor John Kitzhaber has unfortunately ignored the resounding results of the election that wrapped just a few weeks ago, and has missed an opportunity to provide real money for schools and critical services by closing big tax loopholes for large corporations and the rich.

The governor’s budget continues the status quo of giving away tax dollars through runaway tax breaks. The state of Oregon currently gives away $32 billion in tax breaks every two years—that’s an increase of $3.4 billion (12 percent) in just the past few years.

Reining in these out-of-control tax breaks—particularly for large corporations and the wealthy—could provide hundreds of millions of dollars to fund Oregon’s basic priorities: Our schools, senior care, and the basic services that keep our communities safe and healthy.

In the election that ended just three weeks ago, voters in Oregon and the rest of the nation weighed in loudly about how they expect elected leaders to protect priority services.

President Obama campaigned on a plan to raise the tax rates on households that make more than $250,000. He won in Oregon by a 12-point margin. Even Congressional Republicans across the country have now been forced to admit that new revenue has to be part of a balanced budget.

Closer to home, Oregon voters approved two-thirds of the local money measures this November to fund their local schools and priority services. By an overwhelming majority, they voted to reform the corporate kicker and put those funds into schools. And they rejected a ballot measure that would have cut hundreds of millions of dollars from schools and critical services just to give a tax break to the wealthy.

The lesson is clear: Voters believe that large corporations and the rich should pay their share, and that middle-class families can’t absorb any more cuts to basic services.

The governor’s recommended budget unfortunately doesn’t come close to meeting the needs and priorities of middle-class families.

For the most part, the governor’s budget provides essentially flat budgets for most critical services. The small increases recommended for a few agencies don’t keep up with inflation or the increased costs of providing basic services.

Between 2010 and 2012, Oregon schools cut approximately 7,000 teachers and school employees, giving Oregon the fourth most overcrowded classrooms in the nation. The governor’s recommended budget does almost nothing to change that; in fact, we could lose many more teachers.

The result will be even more overcrowded classrooms, shorter school years, higher tuition, and fewer services for seniors and people with disabilities. Middle-class families have already spent too many years under the burden of ongoing cuts.

The governor’s recommended budget is just the first step in a lengthy process of drafting Oregon’s budget. We’re hopeful that the legislative process will be fruitful in finding ways to fund middle-class priorities.

Scott Moore

Our Oregon

We welcome submissions from readers on local issues for our Editorial and Opinion page. Please send your thoughts by Friday at noon to Raymond Rendleman at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Try to keep Letter to the Editor submissions under 400 words, but longer submissions will be considered for Community Soapboxes. Submissions may be edited for length, grammar, libel and appropriate taste. Letters must be accompanied by a full name, a telephone number and street address for verification purposes.




Local Weather

Fair

73°F

Clackamas

Fair

Humidity: 76%

Wind: 0 mph

  • 11 Jul 2014

    Partly Cloudy 87°F 63°F

  • 12 Jul 2014

    Sunny 96°F 65°F