Letters to the Editor: Aug. 26, 2016

County workers deserve better

One of the greatest lessons my parents taught me when I was young was to always put myself in another person’s shoes before criticizing them.

I also learned the importance of seeking the truth and being a channel of peace. As I was reading the Aug. 12 News-Register article regarding our county commissioners’ remarks about labor unions, I was reminded of my parents’ empathic lesson, and I decided to do some homework.

The following is what I learned:

n County employees have asked tirelessly to begin labor/management discussions, only to be ignored by the administration and board of commissioners.
n Yamhill County employees used to feel that the county was a great place to work, and there was very little turnover in staff. Today, in the Health & Human Services Department alone, the turnover rate for clerical workers is between 55 to 60 percent, and they are paid less than the $13 per hour that the Express Temp Service pays.

n Another issue at stake here is the matter of “morale” and how the workers are treated.

n According to the county’s website regarding employees’ annual salaries, the board of commissioners, county administrator and deputy county administrator receive $434,103, and with the 35 percent cost of benefits, their total economic package is roughly equivalent to the entire county’s PERS liability for 2016,which includes all retired past and present employees.

n Over the last 10 years, county workers have received only a 4 percent pay raise -- not even close to the increased cost of living during this time period.
Yet our commissioners believe their employees are “takers” and “entitled”? Do they realize that these workers are taxpayers and live on a very modest income? I think it’s time our county administrators and board of commissioners put themselves in their workers’ shoes.

Liz Marlia-Stein



Voters lose voice

The News-Register ran an editorial titled “New development planned for historically controversial land” (Shadden Claim).

In the editorial, editors wrote that voters turned down the development several times. The editorial failed to mention that from now on, the voters will no longer have a vote on any developments.

The rights of the citizens to vote on the future of their town were stripped away during the short legislative session. The Oregon Building Industry Association lobbied the Legislature and succeeded in getting Senate Bill 1573 passed, stripping away our right to vote.

They have tried for 30 years to achieve control over the cities using every political stunt available. They succeeded by going right over our heads to the short session of the Legislature and not bothering with us pesky citizens.

When voters in individual cities began demanding the right to vote on annexations, the rip-it-up-and-build-over-it-as-fast-as-possible-California-style development was occurring without any meaningful plan for protection for valuable farm lands or livability within the cities.

Shadden Claim was voted down because the plan was to build out the entire development north and south of Baker Creek within three years. At that time, Baker Creek Road was not improved enough to carry the increased traffic.

Voters also didn’t want to see McMinnville exploited. Now the cities will return to uncontrolled development. It is too bad the News-Register didn’t stand with the citizens of the towns and point that out.

John W. Englebrecht



Newspaper slanted

I find your newspaper to be more than just a little slanted in our politics — mostly toward the “Teflon Donna,” Mrs. H. Clinton.

You printed a portion a portion of a letter I wrote three weeks ago. I expected the letter to be edited for errors and such, but whole sentences taken out? I wrote nothing that had not hit the news media, and it was not flattering to H. Clinton. As a result, my opinion was dissected from the letter as well as a few facts.

I have been a long-time reader of this paper, but I feel I can no longer support a paper that will support a liar and a thief.

Shame on you, News-Register, for backing such a person to lead our country.

Beverly King


[Editor’s note: The News-Register Viewpoints section edits letters for factual errors as well as brevity and grammar. Some of this author’s statements in previous letters were deemed false by a majority of news outlets and thus were deleted. The News-Register editorial board has not endorsed any candidate thus far for President of the United States.]


Slop locally

What a quandary. On the one hand, economically, we cannot allow Riverbend Landfill to close due to a lack of space. On the other hand, environmentally, we cannot allow it to expand closer to the river and surrounding farmland.

Riverbend’s designation as a “regional” landfll means that communities beyond Yamhill County get to dump their trash on our yard. (Think of it as putting your trash can by the curb and watching strangers drive up and pile garbage on your property day after day, year after year.)

The result is that we have to deal with regional trash and live with it now and far into the future. This is what forces the terrible choice between closure and expansion.

Much of the trash comes from Washington County, where communities have been committing slow murder of available land for decades. Of course, when land is so valuable for development profits and government revenues, there is no incentive to “waste” space for a landfill.

Just daily send dozens of trucks full of trash through small towns and dump it in Yamhill County.

Sure, it would be difficult -- perhaps even impossible. But it is the battle that should be fought in the courts, in Salem, even at county lines.

Mount Trashmore is a pig that we are stuck with. But it should be our pig only.

Ken Dollinger



Moore knows business

As a small business development consultant, I see a growing disconnect between our state government and the small business community. We need to bridge that gap by electing leaders who know the needs and challenges of small business and will work to address our concerns in the Legislature.

Ken Moore owns and operates his own small business and is an ambassador for the McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce. We can count on Ken to bring the voice of all small business owners to Salem. We need his leadership.

Please join me in voting for Ken Moore for House District 24.

Marcie Rosenzweig




Beverly King - “You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts.” Patrick Moynihan


John Englebrecht - Our own Rep. Jim Weidner voted in favor on March 3, 2016. I guess we can't "thank him" by voting him out because he isn't running again. He'll leave the damage for someone else to clean up.

Don Dix

Mudstump -- Mr. Englebrecht does not have much of a grasp on reality. For instance, he states confidently, "Shadden Claim was voted down because the plan was to build out the entire development north and south of Baker Creek within three years."

That is the same BS he was spouting 20 years ago, but he claimed a five year build out at the time. The truth being, the 1st phase was not even completed 8 years later, but on he rails without inspection!

Blaming Rep. Weidner or any others Rs is also contradictory of the facts. It was the Ds who pushed for special sessions, and the Ds who have had the majority in both houses. Without D support, nothing passes in the Oregon legislature today. And Englebrecht ran for county commissioner as a D, all which he conveniently failed to mention.

The NR stated that "the public gushed over its design". It was a 171-acre project that included approximately 1,000 homes, public spaces, parks and wildlife areas, and small mixed-use development of offices and shops with apartments above.

Now another proposal is being forwarded that's likely to be much less attractive. Since the mantra of the no-growthers cult has been smaller lots and greater density, one would think the prospect of including 'skinny houses' would be supported by the group. But some just want to complain about something, so here we are!

If this new plan doesn't have the 'street appeal' or 'the complimentary design flow' of Shadden, on whose lap does this fall? Would it be those who successfully clamored to vote down one of the best designs ever presented to the city? Yup!

So when it comes to pointing fingers at 'what is' compared to 'what could have been', there is ample evidence who made this all possible! I'll give Englebrecht and his cronies the credit they deserve -- nice job -- you own it!


Mudstump, what "damage" are you referring? McMinnville has had one of the best City Planning Depts. in Oregon. The Senate Bill 1573 was approved by the Democratically controlled State Senate and House of Representatives (with the support of a Democratic Governor). Was your derogatory statement about "Our own Rep. Jim Weidner" nothing more than a shallow/invalid political dig with little meaning? The vote was a bipartisan vote with more Democrats than Republicans voting for the Bill. Are you suggesting that the Democrats were wrong ... and why?


One thing is for certain about SB 1573. The citizens of the State of Oregon were in dire straights, our peace, safety and health were being directly affected in an adverse fashion. We were going to suffer economic calamity, our health was going to suffer tremendously and all of our safety was terribly threatened. The sky was falling and only the Oregon Legislature was smart enough to realize it. So no matter who voted for it, they saved us from ourselves...and those who voted against it should be raked over the coals - excoriated for putting our safety, health and public peace in extreme jeopardy!

SB 1573
SECTION 3. This 2016 Act being necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health and safety, an emergency is declared to exist, and this 2016 Act takes effect
on its passage.

So sit back and thank the Legislature for once again saving our bacon!

Don Dix

As I see it, Seabiscuit, in nearly every case of 'special session bills', all the legislature has to do is add these 4 words to the end of the proposed bill ... 'and declares an emergency'.

So, if any bill or wording is found to be mistaken, unworkable, or even just unpopular, the explanation is usually founded on 'the emergency' of the situation. Clever use of wording, but even more underhanded and devious to the public and their trust of lawmakers. That simple legislative act makes one wonder if integrity has retired or taken a powder! Conscience of mind matters, right?