Letters to the editor
April 25, 2016
CORBETT SCHOOL BOND
Like before, Corbett should vote no on bond
Here we are again in what use to be small town USA with the Corbett School District again asking for a larger school after being told no three times in a row: the first bond being $15 million, the next $9.4 million and then dropping to $8.5 million, and now back up to $11.9 million.
This upcoming bond issue is only the first phase of a $25 million plan of continuous expansion to what used to be a nice, quiet community school. We could protect our kids and take care of the staff for less, if the board would consider safety over expansion.
Most of us moved out here for the close community and good relationships of living in a small town. This is being lost over the years. The school is dividing us as no other issue has in the past.
I have been told twice in less than a week by two pro-bond supporters that I should keep my opinions to myself as I do not have children attending the Corbett schools. This did not sit well with me, nor should it with the vast majority of those in the district that do not have children attending the school.
A wonderful couple in Corbett, on their own time and dime, developed plans to renovate the current middle school and preserve the history of the area. Take care of the safety needs, protect the students, keep the current building size and increase the educational space. This fell on deaf ears of the superintendent and elected board.
We need to stand together and once again vote no. Stop the expansion of the district, demand accountability, return ethics, insist on a plan.
I urge the Corbett tax paying residents to once again vote no.
Larry S. McDougall
Voters share responsibility for safe Corbett schools
Ballot Measure 26-171 for the May 17 election proposes a general obligation bond to increase safety and the quality of the educational experience within the Corbett School District.
The current middle school building is nearly 100-years old, is a serious seismic hazard and needs to be replaced as soon as possible. The district has completed facilities studies and cost estimates, and held numerous public meetings to gain valuable input from the community that shaped the bond measure that we are putting before the voters.
Some of Corbetts students come from outside the district, which is an overriding concern to some Corbett residents who oppose this ballot measure.
However, out of district students improve opportunities for all Corbett kids and provide the financial resources to enable Corbett to keep its community school operational.
As members of the Corbett community we all share responsibility for the safety and education of our children. I encourage you to support this general obligation bond because it is critical to keeping our Corbett kids safe and providing them with the opportunity for an education in a fiscally responsible manner.
Please vote and consider our kids when you vote.
Corbett School Board, Vice Chairman
TROUTDALE MEASURE 26-172
Vote no on Troutdale charter amendment
This measure adds language to the Troutdale City Charter that citizens should be wary of. The existing language in the section is an exact copy of the League of Oregon Cities model charter, so it has been well-reviewed and vetted over time. Included in the existing language is that "In council meetings, councilors may discuss or suggest anything with the manager relating to city business."
In the new, additional language there is the following phrase: "...discussions may be held privately..." on any of the subjects in the existing language. While the current council and city manager have what appears to be a good working relationship, this charter amendment would apply to all future councils and city managers as well. Since the city manager serves at the will of the City Council, and the City Council is the body responsible for his performance reviews, what assurance do the citizens have that the mayor or one or more Councilors might not "lean on" the City Manager in a private setting?
I urge a "NO!" vote on Measure 26-172 to keep the interactions between the City Council and the city manager "above board".
MT. HOOD COMMUNITY COLLEGE BOND ELECTION
MHCC bond offers good return on investment
As a former member of the MHCC Board of Education and current member of their Foundation Board, I have firsthand knowledge of the critical needs of the college.
I was actively involved in the study and research that went into the planning for this important bond measure.
The Mt. Hood Community College bond measure will build two new facilities, a new Workforce and Applied Technology Center at the Gresham campus that will enhance efforts in preparing students for living wage jobs, and build a new campus in Northeast Portland replacing the current Maywood Park facility. This will cost only $6.50 a month for a homeowner whose house is assessed at $250,000. This is an excellent return on investment!
Mt. Hood Community College is a major economic driver, a major employer, and the college that provides our students the path to a great career. I hope you join me in supporting MHCCs bond measure. The college has supported us for years, and now lets do the same by supporting the college. Vote yes!
Diane Noriega, Ph.D
Member, Mt. Hood Community College Foundation Board
Bond will strengthen Oregon's middle class
Vote yes on the Mount Hood Community College bond to put Oregonians to work in family wage jobs. A research report from Deloitte titled the Skills Gap Report indicates that 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will open up in the United States over the next decade.
While 700,000 of those opportunities will be new jobs, 2.8 million openings will occur because baby boomers are retiring. The report further indicates that 2 million of those jobs will go unfilled because of a lack of skilled workers.
It is estimated that 30,000 of those openings will be in Oregon where the average wage in manufacturing is $61,852 a year. Building a new Advanced Manufacturing Credentials Center at MHCC will prepare workers to take on manufacturing jobs that are available in East Multnomah County.
A yes vote closes the skills gap and grows Oregons middle class. Passage of the bond will not only ensure that our students are well prepared to enter the work force, but money will be used to make seismic and other safety upgrades to keep teachers, students and staff safe in the event of an earthquake or campus intrusion.
T. Scott Harden
City Council Position No. 3