Letters to the Editor for July 8, 2011

By Jayson Jacoby / The Baker City Herald

Sen. Wyden a good public servant

To the editor:

Public service is an honorable profession. It is also an extremely difficult one, especially if the public servant is an elected official. If he is elected by a majority of 51 percent he is still required to represent the wishes and needs of the 49 percent who disagree with him whatever their reasons might be.

An employee needs to know the basic skills of his job and to please his

employer; a doctor needs to know about the human body and mind and help

his patient's health problems as much as possible; a lawyer needs to

know about the laws pertaining to his client's problem and to promote

his interests; a politician is expected to know everything about

running the government and everything else, and to promote the well

being of all the people he represents no matter how much they disagree

with each other.

An employee, if dissatisfied, can look for another job; a doctor whose

patient thinks he has done harm has the protection of malpractice

insurance; a lawyer can refuse to accept a client; an elected public

official does not have these options and he needs to be able to

withstand being repeatedly maligned, to expect being intensely

scrutinized in all his activities past and present, public and private,

to be frequently blamed and seldom rewarded, to have the tongue of an

angel and the hide of a rhinoceros. How many of us are capable of doing

this?

Doctors, lawyers and politicians are mostly good but a few are not. I

think Senator Wyden is a good public servant. Let us remember that we

hired him with our votes and those who failed to vote helped us to hire

him, by not voting for someone else.

Miriam "Gus" Aschim

Unity

Council was right on parking spaces

To the editor:

After reading all the articles with regard to supposed public safety

issues involving some parking places at the In and Out Drive-In, I

finally drove by that business to see for myself what the fuss was

about.After seeing for myself what was involved I have to say that I

totally agree with the decision by city council.And I might add that I

agree with the remarks made by Commissioner Beverly Calder in today's

paper with regard to an editorial written last week by the Herald.

It seems to me that even as a pedestrian, a person has a certain amount

of responsibility to be cognizant of what is going on around them, and

help prevent accidents as well as a driver of a motor vehicle. To

those commissioners who found that the parking situation at the In

and Out was a grave concern for public safety, I would have to ask,

how is that any more dangerous to public safety than backing out of a

parking spot at Safeway, Albertsons, Bi-Mart, Rite-Aid or any other

parking lot in this city.How is it any more hazardous to public safety

than the angled parking on some streets in town that almost prevent a

motorist from seeing if the intersection is safe to pass through or

not. How about the Ford dealership in town. Wouldn't backing out of

the parking there into traffic lanes constitute a public safety?

It just seems apparent to me that someone didn't get "their way" on

this and that's what all the hollering is about.City Council made the

right decision.Let's just leave it at that.

Jim Scott

Baker City

Councilor disagrees on purpose of minutes

To the editor:

Councilor Beverly Calder is wrong about the purpose of minutes of a

public meeting. It is apparently her belief that if a speaker is "of

order" the minutes must omit whatever statement was made. That is not

so.

Oregon law requires that the minutes "give a true reflection of the

matters discussed at the meeting and the views of the participants." As

used in the statute, the word "participants" includes Assistant Public

Works Director Gary Van Patten, the gentleman to whom Ms. Calder

attributes the "outburst."

Mr. Van Patten spoke quietly as he always does. (Anyone who knows him

would doubt his capacity for outburst.) He did not speak out of order.

He spoke usefully and knowledgeably.

Milo Pope

City Councilor

Baker City

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