Letters to the Editor: May 13, 2016

He paved the roads

I want to compliment County Commissioner Allen Springer. When he was liaison to public works (with staff members John Phelan Roy Panchow), many rural roads were paved.
These roads were in terrible shape until Springer became involved and got them paved. Those roads included Worden Hill Road, Mountain Home Road, Mountain Top Road, Albertson Road and Kuykendall Road. I’m sure I haven’t listed them all. In my 40 years running McMinnville Gas Inc., this is the most rural roads have been paved.
Re-elect a doer and businessman to be Yamhill County commissioner.
John Buller


Look into his eyes

I am a firm believer that my vote is important, that in some small way I can make a difference.
So it is with pleasure and thoughtful purpose that I cast my vote this week for Rick Olson for Yamhill County commissioner. When Rick Olson speaks of the good things happening in McMinnville or tells stories of coaching young people, he beams. His eyes sparkle and he chuckles.
When he speaks of the giant possibilities of what this county and its towns can be, he takes on a seriousness and intensity of purpose.
It is so obvious that Olson loves Yamhill County, its towns and rural areas and that he will work diligently to improve the economy, increase living-wage jobs and protect this beautiful place we call home. Voltaire said, “Tend your own garden, savor the blossoms, trim the weeds.”
Marilyn Walster


A wolf for power

When I learned that County Commissioner Allen Springer started county meetings with prayers, another person and I used the three-minute public comment period to express our views on praying in government settings.
Springer, that wolf for power, likes to use his gavel to silence people. At one of the meetings, my friend whispered to me that he would use his cellphone to time my comments. Springer immediately used his gavel to rebuke us for whispering. Even in court settings, you are allowed to whisper, but apparently not in Springer’s tribunal.
Immediately after every invocation, Springer gets up and trots down the ramp to hug the participant. When he does that, he loses all respect for the orderly function of meetings. He also loses his right to the gavel.
During one of my comments, Springer cut me short, saying it was more than three minutes. However, my friend’s cellphone showed I had 24 seconds left.
After a member of our group gave an invocation, I rose and thanked her. Springer again slammed his hammer down, saying that I am not allowed to approach the one who gave the invocation.
I could list more of his shenanigans, but it would take more space than I’m allowed.
Dan Hilbert


He knows his community

Working with McMinnville Mayor Rick Olson on the McMinnville City Council has been inspiring and educational.
He is knowledgeable about how McMinnville, its neighboring cities and all of Yamhill County works. He understands the processes it takes to succeed in making a government work for the benefit of all citizens. In his 35 years of volunteer public service, Olson has served with integrity and respect for every individual. He makes time to meet with citizens and public employees to understand every facet of the inner workings of local government.
Olson is honest and confident in his approach to difficult situations, educating himself to possibilities and limitations, then leading councilors, committees and community through thoughtful and productive solutions.
Olson has given outstanding service to McMinnville and also greater Yamhill County. He is a former volunteer firefighter and continues to work with fire chiefs in our county to form partnerships and combine resources. He is a leader with a clarity of vision for Yamhill County.
Remy Drabkin


Board of five should govern

During the candidates forum May 2, County Commissioner Allen Springer was asked what the benefits would be to change the county commission from three paid commissioners to five volunteer commissioners.
He said there wouldn’t be any benefits because the present commissioners are “doing everything perfectly.”
Actually, some of the benefits would be meeting in the evening when people who have to work during the day can attend the hearings. The present government fails those citizens.
Adding two additional commissioners would give more opportunity for citizens to serve.
Volunteer commissioners would have about $1 million for the four-year term of the paid commissioners. That should interest conservatives who talk about cutting costs. There is already a paid county manager. We don’t need paid commissioners, too.
A five-member board of commissioners would help prevent the like-mindedness of just two commissioners with a “Gang of Two” attitude controlling the board. That happened in the recent past.
Yamhill County has simply outgrown the concept of just three commissioners. Five volunteer commissioners would more fairly represent the increased population of Yamhill County.
John W. Englebrecht

Thanks for the paving

I’ve lived in Yamhill County for almost half a century. In all that time, I don’t recall Highway 99W being paved like it was with the work on the bypass.
It feels great to drive this five or so mile stretch without looking out for potholes. I like it.
Tino Aleman

Schools lost my vote

Recently I attended a planning meeting over an addition of 29 three- and four-bedroom homes in my area. I asked what the impact would be on the school system with the addition of at least 50 students.
I was told the school district was informed of the meeting but chose not to attend or respond. The bus stop already has two packed buses picking up children. How are they going to handle an additional 50 students?
Sorry, you have a no on your bond issue from my friends and me because of your poor participation and lack of concern for additional housing that might result in an overflow of students.
You and the Chamber charged $6 to hear your justification. Take that money.
Robert Griffin

Vote no on the bond

I find myself differing from all of the school bond measure boosters parroting the same talking points.
Don’t get me wrong. Education is very important to me, and I’m happy to spend money on it. But this expensive bond measure isn’t about education. It’s about door locks, security cameras and such.
I have two kids at MHS; they don’t come home telling me that door locks are interfering with their education. They tell me about teachers who don’t know the material and classes in which they can’t learn because the teachers don’t manage the kids who are talking, listening to music and taking selfies.
I hear about wasted time due to class material full of mistakes that teachers got online and used without proofreading. My kids worry that the lack of academic rigor is not adequately preparing them for college and beyond. There is only so much tax money to go around. I’d rather that my kids were getting a great education in trailers than getting a poor education in fancy buildings. Let’s spend our money on education first.
Jon Steinhart


Physician is right on

Hooray for Dr. Scott Gibson and his voice of reason! The solution is prevention of an unwanted pregnancy, not anti- or pro-abortion. When will our world see this simple fact? Just think: no unwanted or neglected children, no women crying over a decision she regrets.
Gail Craven


School bond matters

Take care of what you have, invest in student education to enhance relevant preparation for the current and future workforce and leverage resources for the probability of matching state dollars.
These are the concepts and reasons why I am voting in favor of the school bond. I also believe students matter, career development matters, safety and security matter, technology matters, seismic upgrades and preparation matter, energy efficiency matters, functioning electricity and running water matter and achieving excellence in education matters. My yes vote matters.
Michael J. Hampton
She’s a genuis
In a CNN interview, Sarah Palin House Speaker Paul Ryan’s “political career is over but for a miracle because he has so disrespected the will of the people, and as the leader of the GOP, the convention, certainly he is to remain neutral, and for him to already come out and say who he will not support is not a wise decision of his.”
Palin was referring to Ryan’s decision to not support Donald Trump at this time. Palin’s genius is to render Ryan impotent at the convention by supporting his opponent, Paul Nehlen, in the Wisconsin Republican primary. In Palin’s words, “I think Paul Ryan is soon to be ‘Cantored,’ as in Eric Cantor.” Palin was referring to the former Republican House majority leader who was ousted when he lost to Dave Brat in a 2014 Virginia primary.
Dan Katz


History calls to us

In the mid-1930s, the great-grandparents of Yamhill and Carlton summoned the public will to build our current high school at a time when our country was still digging its way out of the greatest economic disaster in U.S. history.
They made the sacrifice for their children, their grandchildren and their great-grandchildren. Their investment was a great one, and it is now our duty to honor that sacrifice by acting now to preserve that proud legacy.
Our school administration took great care to gather opinions and has genuinely listened to the community. This bond addresses our students’ most crucial needs for health and safety and provides for practical updates to facilities that will foster their future personal, civic and economic success.
This bond is not some imposed tax that gets pulled from our pockets and spirited away to Salem or Washington, D.C. It’s a sacrifice we choose to make. Together. It’s money we will use ourselves, right here at home for our kids, helping them to build a future that will reap direct benefits for our entire community for years to come. Right now, walk over to the nearest mirror, look yourself straight in the eye and say, “Yamhill-Carlton is my school.” Then go over to the kitchen counter. Somewhere in that stack of stuff you really should be dealing with is your ballot. Open it, take a pen and, on the back near the bottom, make a big black box next to the yes. Seal it, sign it, and drop it off tomorrow.
In another 80 years, your great-grandchildren will thank you. They’ll probably be tuckpointing and patching the school roof again, but that will be part of their proud legacy. It’s a long tradition. I, for one, am happy they’ll be keeping it up.
Peter Crockett

Mac has it good

Our family lived in Nehalem for decades and got bloody little for our tax dollars except world-class potholes and mediocre schools.
After becoming “empty nesters,” we moved to Mac two years ago. We were stunned to see real services here: street sweeping and leaf pickup, public works road maintenance, tons of great parks and a quality public education system. Even more astounding, our tax bill here is the same as in Nehalem.
I often reject property tax levies, but not this time around. This tax-neutral school bond will support needed vocational programs and savvy school facility renovations which, in turn, strengthen McMinnville’s long-term economic picture. Our parents’ and grandparents’ financial support ensured that my generation had quality educational opportunities. To be good citizens, we can do no less.
David Godsey

Voc-ed means jobs

Many years ago, in a place 3,000 miles away, approximately one-third of my large high school class attended “The Voke,” where they studied printing and automotive repair.
These students got good jobs immediately after graduation. Over the years, vocational-technical education fell out of favor. Now it’s back as career-technical education (CTE) due to an increase in high-wage, high-demand jobs in fields such as manufacturing, transportation, construction, welding and mechanical systems. With CTE, a student who might otherwise have questioned the value of school can see a direct connection between graduation and a good job. Currently, in the United States, nine out of 10 CTE students graduate on time, and seven of every 10 enroll in post-secondary education.
CTE also translates into earning power, which promotes a more prosperous community. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, for every $1 invested in CTE, between $9 and $16 are returned to a state’s economy.
The McMinnville School District is asking voters to approve a bond that includes a CTE center to be constructed on the high school campus. I voted in favor of the bond. I hope you will do the same.
Mary Stern

He’s liked for a reason

My ballot’s in the mail. I hope the majority of Yamhill County voters join me in voting for Rick Olson for county commissioner. It’s a privilege to vote for someone who is knowledgeable and conscientious.
Olson will provide common sense and commitment on the board of commissioners. He will provide needed, respectful oversight and support to county offices that have been woefully lacking.
The News-Register and the Newberg Graphic have come out in support of Olson. If his opponent Allen Springer had been doing a good job for the past four years, you can be sure that the newspapers would back him. They have not. Why? Springer hasn’t done a good job. He has been at the epicenter of distrust, distortion and division. This county needs Rick Olson to bring people and communities together.
Susan L. Ruggles

Bond makes sense

Our public schools are a treasure, providing excellent educational opportunities for our children. Accordingly, we should take care to preserve our schools, so they can continue to shape the community’s future. Energy costs are the district’s second-highest expenditure after personnel. Experts estimate 20 percent savings in school annual operating costs through energy upgrades, no matter a building’s age. These savings are among the reasons the school bond includes energy-efficiency upgrades. Improvements include window, door and mechanical system upgrades, additional insulation and heating and ventilation system replacement.
Increased energy efficiency, lower operating costs, and a healthier school environment are important. I intend to vote yes on the school facilities bond.
John N. McKeegan

Schools at crossroads

McMinnville education is entering a pivotal time when the future must be carefully considered.
Much like the forward-thinking founders of our water system, it is time to invest in local infrastructure that benefits the community for many years to come. We have that choice before us in the school bond measure. I support this measure because continued development of vocational-technical education builds many paths for young people to develop their talents in manufacturing, business, culinary arts, horticulture, engineering and many ways that can be directly employed in our growing economy.
As a local small business owner, I look for these skills when hiring employees. It also happens to be a favorable time to invest in facilities designed to increase energy efficiency, lower operating costs and create a healthier school environment. While energy costs continue to rise, lowering the cost of operating our schools makes sense.
Improving infrastructure also saves money by lowering maintenance costs that can be expensive in older facilities. Approving a bond at a time when interest rates are low and a past bond is expiring is just plain intelligent. The bond measure also protects our children’s safety and security. Seismic upgrades, fire detection improvements, back-up lighting and improved communication systems all help every child exit the building in the event of a natural disaster or crisis.
Few communities have the opportunity to support their future as clearly as we do at this moment.
Patrick Reuter


Schools need help

As a longtime school district employee working 16 years as the maintenance secretary, I can honestly say how truly important it is that the school bond gets your vote.
I experienced calls from schools with roof leaks when it rains or problems with end-of-life HVAC systems that cannot keep up with the demands of warming during the winter or cooling during the spring.
Boilers and plumbing systems in some buildings are so old and have not received ongoing repairs. Some have merely gotten a Band-Aid. These small temporary repairs cost, when equipment has outlived its life, only delay the inevitable costs that will increase greatly as time goes by.
Now is the perfect time to protect our community’s investment in its facilities.
Paula Roth


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