for May 13, 2014

Measure will fund critical services

As a former Gresham city councilor, I would urge you to support Measure 26-157 to provide stable funding for police and fire protection in Gresham.

With the utility fee going away in July that I supported as a stop gap measure, we must step up to the ballot box and provide the public protection we so desperately need to be a full-service community.

This isn’t “fluff.” It’s providing the bare essentials to protect Gresham residents. Vote yes on Measure 26-157.

David Widmark, Gresham

Let’s not lose ground on public safety

I am a retired firefighter and battalion chief and have lived in the Centennial neighborhood of Gresham for 27 years. Like other longtime residents, I am concerned that we are losing ground to other local communities because we have not made the investments necessary to keep Gresham safe.

I am proud to support Measure 26-157. It will make sure all fire houses stay open and that response times are maintained.

Measure 26-157 isn’t an over the top tax. It simply holds the line. It was crafted very carefully to maintain Gresham’s basic services.

While my experience is as a firefighter, I also applaud the effort to fund efforts to prevent gang violence and keep our parks maintained. Having seen a lot of efforts at raising revenue during my career and since I retired, I have never seen one that has such rock solid civilian oversight.

I also like that it is not a new tax, but a replacement for the current fee being charged.

I hope my friends, family and neighbors will join me in voting yes.

Dennis Katz, Gresham

Elect Robinson as Clackamas County clerk

There should be no doubt in the minds of most Clackamas County voters that our current county clerk, Sherry Hall, needs replacing. The only question is, which of her numerous challengers would make the best clerk?

I’ve recently had the opportunity to see the apparent top three contenders speak, some of them more than once, and here is my assessment.

Linda Neace appears sincere about the need for new leadership, but she’s vague about what her hospitality industry background would bring to the clerk’s job. Much of her message seems to consist of non-specific, well-worn clichés.

I’ve seen Mark Meek speak twice. Charming, articulate and a rapidly improving public speaker, this Realtor and former bar owner seems like a natural politician. He speaks directly to the matters at hand and would undoubtedly make a better clerk than Hall.

I’m still sold on David Robinson, however, as our best choice for clerk. Like Meek, Robinson also speaks directly to issues, but Robinson’s outstanding record of accomplishment and demonstrated examples of effective leadership are far superior to anything the other challengers bring to the race.

For what the job entails, Robinson’s qualifications make him the solid choice for Clackamas County clerk.

Walt Trandum, Sandy

Police, fire, parks need our support now

My wife and I have lived in Gresham since the summer 1998. We are both natives of the Pacific Northwest and are proud to call Gresham home.

Kathy graduated from Gresham High School, so this is her second time living here. She says that when she lived in Gresham back in the mid to late 1960s, the population was just over 3,000. There was little crime, no gangs and few buildings and people needing service from the fire department.

Sadly, those days are gone and we are left to deal with issues that plague many cities our size.

We want Gresham to be a safe and prosperous place to live now and for future generations. (Retirement is just around the corner for me!)

The public safety levy we are voting on this month is so important for all Gresham residents. Our police, fire and parks departments need our support now.

Please take a few minutes to look at the facts about the levy, which includes mandated citizen oversight. Once you do, we are confident you will join us in voting “yes” on 26-157, “yes” to keeping Gresham safe, and “yes” for our city.

Doug Henderson

Kathy Henderson, Gresham

Missing facts reveal an unsettling truth

From the mailer I received from the Corbett School District:

“Will the bond create space for the charter school? No. The district will no longer be housing charter students on district property after the 2014-15 school year.”

Although this statement may be partially true, it is more of a manipulation of facts without full disclosure.

The biggest piece missing is the fact — despite the superintendent’s claims in previous years that if the charter was eliminated we could easily shrink back to several hundred children — is the district has now decided to keep the charter students.

Upon the non-renewal of the charter space, the district opened up 476 student spots for out-of-area children to attend our schools.

As of this date all 476 seats have been filled and confirmed. The name may have changed, but the population has not. In fact it’s been stated at board meetings they plan to add more students indefinitely to cover supposed budget roll up costs.

So, technically, we are still “housing the charter students,” they are just transfer students called “resident students” now.

Don’t be fooled that this bond will not allow more expansion of our schools. The building is almost double the size of the one we have. The plan adds an additional 10,000 square feet to our campus. And after seeking approval for 1,730 students/staff last year and getting it, this number can easily be reached with that space if this bond passes.

Corbett children make up 650 of that 1,730 number, while only the resident taxpayers pay the bill for the facilities. Tell them no on this bond. No, until the expansion and exploitation of our community stops.

Patricia Horne, Corbett

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