Letters to the Editor for July 6, 2011

By Baker City Herald Readers July 06, 2011 08:21 pm

School food director says thanks, goodbye
To the editor:
I would like to say thank you to all the people of this community that have been so wonderful to me during my time as Food Service Director for Baker School District 5J. I will be leaving this position soon to assume similar duties in another school district in Idaho.

It has been a pleasure to feed the students of this district. I will never forget their faces! Regardless of where I go or what I do, I will always remember the warm reception I received when I began this job and the friends that have been so good to me during the past three years. The food service staff has endured a lot of changes and they have remained loyal and worked hard toward the goal of providing good nutrition to the students. I know the new Director will be an asset to this program and to the community and I am sure they will be shown the same appreciation you have always shown me. 
Thanks again and goodbye.
Jean M. Dean
Baker City

Council represents public, not press
To the editor:
The Herald has strict rules for printing Letters to the Editor yet chastises me for asking that an outburst be removed from the minutes of a council meeting. Much like the Herald policy, the City Council has rules for conduct at public meetings.
Anyone wishing to speak must be recognized by the mayor or is out of order. The Herald can report on anything said in a public meeting and the outburst is recorded in the audio record. The Herald opinion does not qualify an outburst to become part of the approved minutes; we serve the public not the press.  
The City Council considered testimony from citizens and had asked questions of staff in order to make a wise decision about the E Street modifications during the previous meeting. The council was satisfied and voted with a majority of 5-2 representing our citizens and the community we are elected to serve.
The Herald’s opinion that we missed an opportunity to compromise appears to overlook the point of representative government. The E Street proposal would have negatively impacted an independent business with 60 years of service, a family operation that pre-dates the BHS location and a taxpayer that has NO HISTORY of pedestrian accidents. There was also NO citizen support for the staff proposal.
There are many employers in Baker City that have similar parking arrangements and this action could have adversely affected all of those businesses. The council is committed to job creation and offering support to existing employers. E Street is not a through street and there is no established street crossing at that intersection. Pedestrians have been walking between the In & Out Drive-in and what is now Paizano’s Pizza for decades to reach the crosswalk at D and 10th streets. These are facts, not opinions.
I personally have advocated for sidewalks and pedestrian safety and in my opinion could see no reason to remove parking from a business to create a sidewalk that does not connect to any other sidewalks or pedestrian patterns. I voted based on the facts not solely on my opinion.
Beverly Calder
City Councilor
Baker City