Letters to the Editor: January 27, 2023

Taxing concerns

How do we know that the fire district merger is popular with people who live in Mac? This is a question I’ve been trying to answer for several months.

I think the idea of improving our fire service response time is popular. But I’m struggling to support creating a new fire district, transferring fire department assets to it and increasing property taxes.

During the recent process of creating the city service fee added to our utility bills, public comments in the News-Register and on the IHeartMac website were almost unanimously opposed. So were friends, neighbors and coworkers I spoke to in the course of my daily interactions.

I am hearing many residents again say they don’t want new taxes levied in conjunction with the fire district merger process either. They are saying that will take more money out of our paychecks at a time when we can least afford it, due to the increasing price of housing, food, gasoline and healthcare.

The city council is saying we are already paying a tax for city fire service, so our overall taxes won’t go up much. But at the last meeting, councilors discussed continuing to tax the same amount we used to pay for city fire service, in addition to the new dedicated fire tax, and just spend it on something else.

If the merger was put on the ballot by a citizen-led petition requiring the support of 3,500 residents, I would be more confident it was a popular solution. But since the three county commissioners placed it on the ballot for us, I’m concerned this proposal to increase taxes is moving forward before we understand whether or not it’s right for the people.

Buck Newman



Enough taxes and fees

Regarding the Jan. 20 article, “City leaders propose keeping tax authority,” by Scott Unger:

Our city councilors are considering retention of a $1.50 tax charge so they can grow city coffers by $4 million a year.

These are the same people that just hit us with a $13 “utility fee,” a monthly charge without a time frame for removal.

Why? Because they can’t live within their means. They need this $13 per household ad infinitum, because they overspend.

What part of “don’t spend more than you make” gets a pass when it comes to government? Basic budgeting sense tells individuals, don’t do it!

Why are our representatives so blasé about our money?

Suzanna Sandoval



Build elsewhere

During Historic Landmarks Committee deliberations, I spoke in opposition to the Gwendolyn Hotel proposal. So I was pleased to see that a majority of the commissioners appear to be opposed to granting a permit for the demolition of three historic buildings on Third Street to make way.

In your recent article, Mr. Reddick makes the argument that the six-story, 92-room hotel, with its underground parking and rooftop spa, would be a gift to our community. He implies our economy will falter and some other community will become the hub of wine country if the project is rejected.

Really? Are we to assume that the sole piece of buildable land for such a magnificent hotel in McMinnville can only be obtained by demolishing three buildings on our historic main street?

Is our town truly in dire need of this luxury hotel? If so, I would not object to its construction somewhere off of our main drag.

Surely there is another property in McMinnville that could accommodate it without demolition of historic buildings. And even if those buildings were to be demolished, it would be better to replace them with a building of smaller profile and better-matching character.

McMinnville needs housing, not hotels. There are professional businesses in the area that cannot hire needed employees because there is no place for new hires to live.

The Planning Department should be working to keep McMinnville livable, not deluding itself to believe McMinnville can live by tourism alone. Visitors won’t find our main street charming when all that’s left of our historic downtown are places that accommodate tourists.

I have lived in places that have sacrificed their lovely local downtown in exchange for tourism dollars. I can assure you, the loss to the local residents is irreparable!

I encourage all concerned McMinnvillians to get involved!

Phyllice Bradner



Clear-eyed in Sheridan

How could I be so wrong?

I really thought that Carlton had TV reception. But two letter writers from Carlton, Angerano and Polite, apparently don’t. Either that or they are being gaslighted by the News York Times.

They are upset by the Make America Great Again movement and election of a leader in the House who reflects that. I look at the House election differently.

Our elections have become contentious, so why should House and Senate leadership elections be any different?

A group of Republicans did not want business as usual. Well, neither do I!

We don’t know what went on behind the scenes, but a couple of things the holdouts wanted were single-issue House bills and term limits for speakers. Those seem reasonable to me.

Mr. Angerano wants the House to be “controlled.” Really? I thought this was a Democracy!

He also wants the government to “help us in our homes.” Really?

Mr. Polite indicts the holdout Republicans as “election deniers.” Well, I could say that about Hillary Clinton and Stacey Abrams as well.

He also accuses them of criminalizing abortion. How absurd. Oregon has the most lenient abortion laws in the nation and they haven’t changed.

Freedom and democracy? You mean vaccination, masking, electric car mandates and a Jan. 6 committee short on Republicans.

I think that Carlton is a lovely stop on the way to Forest Grove. But it must be the gaslighting capital of the U.S.

Leonard Leis



Packed with love

I am writing to thank McMinnville-area residents for sharing the true meaning of Christmas with children in need this past holiday season.

Generosity throughout contributed to a successful shoebox gift collection season at drop-off locations for the Samaritan’s Purse project Operation Christmas Child. Across the U.S., more than 9.3 million shoebox gifts were collected. Combined with those collected from partnering countries, the ministry is now sending nearly 10.6 million gifts to children worldwide.

Through shoeboxes packed with toys, school supplies and hygiene items, McMinnville-area volunteers brought joy to children in need around the world.

Each gift-filled shoebox is a tangible expression of God’s love. It is often the first gift these children have ever received.

Through the continued generosity of donors since 1993, Operation Christmas Child has collected and delivered more than 209 million boxes to children in more than 170 countries and territories. It hand-delivered its milestone 200 millionth shoebox to a girl in Ukraine.

Although local drop‑off locations for gifts won’t reopen for the season until Nov. 13, you participate in this life-changing project online by visiting https://samaritanspurse.org/buildonline. These simple gifts, packed with love, send a message to children worldwide that they are not forgotten.

Lizette Miller

Boone, North Carolina


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