Letters to the Editor - April 18, 2014

Make Y-C schools the best

On May 20, Yamhill-Carlton School District has a bond measure on the ballot to improve our three district schools.

Schools are the center of our community in Yamhill and Carlton. The secret to a strong community is its schools. Let’s make our school district one that we and the students can be proud of.

Before you vote, take a tour of the three campuses and their buildings. Take a look at the list of items needed to bring the facilities up to standard. Take a look at our two towns. Are you willing to invest in the future of our community? It is our responsibility to make our community and schools great. It is difficult for students to learn and excel when facilities are sub-par.

I am a member of the business community and have lived in the Yamhill area for many years. Let us make our schools the best.

Please vote Yes for the bond measure.

Judi Hammer



One candidate fully prepared

As a 30-year veteran of Yamhill County law enforcement, I have known all three candidates for sheriff for many years.

As a 1980s detective sergeant for Newberg police, I met Tim Casey when he became a reserve officer. I loved his humor and common sense. I especially enjoyed stories of his repossession business and the excitement it brought. Tim is a trusted friend who deserves nothing but the best.

I met Joe Shipley around the same time, when he was assigned to YCINT, our county drug team. I supervised Newberg Police detectives, and we worked cases together. I was impressed by his ability. Joe is a solid guy — an asset to our county.

I met Tim Svenson when I became operations captain for the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office in 2003. Tim impressed me with his intelligence, attitude and work ethic. I came to trust Tim implicitly.

A supporter when he became a sergeant, I quickly made him my administrative sergeant, often representing the sheriff and me. Tim understood our multiple budgets, totaling more than $13 million. He understood technology, state reporting requirements, drug enforcement, emergency management and contracts.

Tim advocated for the needs of cities that contracted with the sheriff for law enforcement, making sure they received the best service.

In 2009, Sgt. Svenson left patrol to work in the jail. Tim explained he needed an understanding of this area of the sheriff’s responsibility. He earned “executive” certification in corrections and patrol — the sixth and highest certification Oregon offers. His opponents have second and third level certification in one discipline.

In 2011, I retired and Svenson became captain. Now he is one of three great men running for sheriff, but the only one fully prepared.

I highly recommend Tim Svenson as your next sheriff. All are good cops, but only Svenson has the managerial experience necessary.

Ken Summers


Chief of Police, Cornelius 


Need five commissioners

I read with interest the N-R’s April 8 story, “Roofing vote nullified; new hearing slated,” stating there must be at least four votes from the McMinnville School Board, which has seven members, in order to take binding action on any issue.

It absolutely boggles my mind that it took only two out of two eligible Yamhill County Commissioners to condemn us to decades more of Waste Management’s garbage pile-up on our county farmland.

What is wrong with this picture? We need at least five county commissioners to deal with the huge decisions being made regarding our county’s quality of life.

Patricia McGhehey



Moore will stand up for us

Where’s Waldo? Where’s Weidner?

Until recently, our present state house representative for District 24, Jim Weidner, has been incommunicative to most of us voters. He finally issued a greatly detailed brochure summarizing his activities that, frankly, seem to be voting with others in his small, right-wing group. His admirable claim to put education first is negated by his recent voting against the newly proposed HUD measure to increase early-education help for young children and their parents.

After winning unopposed primary elections in May, Democrat candidate Ken Moore will meet Republican Weidner in the November general election. Moore proposes to get back in the conversation at the state house, rather than sit in the back row, and to stay in touch with his constituents, including moderate Republicans as well as fellow Democrats.

Moore is well-prepared for the job: a former engineering manager at Hewlett-Packard and Intel, a real estate manager, chairman of the board and play director repeatedly at Gallery Theater and, in semi-retirement, a small-business handyman. It should be noted that he has often found time to use his acquired skills to help those in special need, such as a World War II veteran who needed a wheelchair ramp recently.

We’ll be able to spot Ken Moore, a receptive, communicative, inclusive and prominent figure in the crowd at the state house.

Barbara Jelinek



Pass Willamina school bond

Willamina School District has a $2 million bond on the May 20 ballot.

I teach in the district and co-chair the Strong Schools/Strong Community bond committee. Three questions are frequently asked.

1. What does the bond pay for? If the bond passes, construction would begin immediately on two new structures and a fire suppression pond. The first structure would be a six-classroom building to replace trailers in use for more than 35 years for fifth and sixth grade students.

The second building would be a wood/metals/ag shop at the middle and high school levels. The pond is required to meet fire code for new construction.

2. How would the bond’s passage financially affect property owners living within the school district?

The $2 million would be paid from proceeds of a 10-year bond that would increase property taxes approximately 64 cents for each $1,000 of assessed value on property within Williamina School District boundaries. For a house valued at $130,000, the increase would average $6.93 a month. Any money left over from the finished projects would be used to buy down the bond and decrease the interest paid, which would lower the bill for taxpayers.

3. Why now?

The school district has not passed a school bond for new facilities since the 1986 operation levy, or 28 years. The tax rate for the Willamina School District operations is $5.00 per thousand of assessed property value. If the levy passes, the total tax rate for the district would become $5.64. Compare this rate to neighboring school districts: the total tax rate for school district operations and bonds is $7.86 per thousand for Sheridan School District, $9.05 for Dayton School District and $6.53 for Amity School District.

The time for Willamina is now.

Bart Baldwin

West Salem


Thank our public employees

I am retired from work with the National Weather Service.

Across the country in communities like ours, government employees serve and protect our nation every day. During Public Service Recognition Week, May 4-10, we gratefully acknowledge their service. Included are federal, state and local employees. They teach our kids, police our streets, put out fires, deliver the mail and, here in Yamhill County, staff the correctional institute in Sheridan. I could list many more.

These men and women are dedicated and perform their duties under all kinds of adverse conditions, working rotating shifts, weekends and holidays.

These are critical services, and we may not realize all that our public servants do for us on a daily basis. Let’s not take for granted the services they provide.

During Public Service Recognition Week and throughout the year, please take the time to thank public employees in our community.

Zane Suverly




According to Patricia McGhehey, "We need at least five county commissioners to deal with the huge decisions being made regarding our county’s quality of life."

I don't understand this logic. Why would five be better than three? Wouldn't nine be better than five? I'm guessing that if the two had voted the way she wanted, we wouldn't be seeing a call made for more commissioners.

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