School bond will make needed changes possible

I have lived in Baker City, Oregon, off and on for 20 years and am in support of the school bond. The schools are definitely in need of repair and the bond will get the new buildings we need. Please join me in supporting the school bond issue!

Todd Roseborough

Baker City

Reader responds to recent letters to the editor

The only difficulty sharing my feelings with Herald readers is the stipulation that I cannot exceed 350 words. This rule is printed in the info regarding submission of letters to the editor. I once received a phone call informing me that one of my letters exceeded the 350-word limit. I have since fretted, struggled and edited ... leaving ideas unsaid. This brings me to Donald Beck’s letter of Oct. 10, “Why it’s important to vote for conservative candidates” It is over 400 words long. I am curious as to the sudden flexibility in policy? Now that I have used up 93 precious words on that irritation let me respond not just to Mr. Beck’s religious tirade but to most of the other letters printed on Oct. 10.

Mr. Beck makes it clear that we should believe what he believes. A disturbing side effect of many religious zealots. He makes absurd assumptions — “We can ALL agree that Mr. Trump stands for righteousness, justice, freedoms, rights ... and represents ALL OF OUR Christian values”?? Allow me to decline any inclusion in his outrageous beliefs. The other 390 words continue to border on fanaticism. I did learn that in Mr. Beck’s Christian world it’s OK to label and judge people, that both God and Jesus are staunch, ultra conservative Republicans and Democrats are sucking the life from our children through the liberal arts? Moving on..

In the first sentence of Mr. Wilcoxson’s letter he states “the people spoke” when in fact it was our dysfunctional “electoral college.” If it had been just the people — well … and when it comes to violence, crime and masks I can’t help thinking of those “radicalized leftists” the KKK. Painting the Republicans as the party of peace — simply ridiculous.

To Joe Johnson. Passage of the school bond will roughly cost my residence $18,000, minus any inevitable future tax attacks on property owners.

Mae Corwin’s letter is one of the most powerful I have read in a while!! It should be read and absorbed by all.

Remember to vote for Bruce Nichols and McLeod-Skinner. Peace to all!

Mike Meyer

Baker City

I’m supporting McLeod-Skinner and Bruce Nichols

I support both Jamie McLeod-Skinner and Bruce Nichols. I put out signs for both, but not because they are conservative or liberal. Those meaningless labels are designed to garner votes and to put us in categories that divide us. We need representatives to unite and represent us, not represent their own agendas or political parties or wealthy donors.

Greg Walden no longer listens or talks to the citizens of Eastern Oregon. He does not represent our interests, but does represent the political party in Washington, D.C., and his wealthy donors, including big Pharma and energy-related companies, his two largest donors (approximate 40 percent of all contributions). He helped write the tax reform bill that gave billions in tax cuts to the upper 1 percent of taxpayers. In an email, he stated that “...a hardworking couple making $112,500 a year, with a home mortgage, will receive a tax break of about $1,121 according to calculations based off IRS data. ...” That is less than $100 per month which has already been consumed by higher food and gas prices. A pale comparison to the estimated $11 million tax cut that Trump received. I couldn’t find information on Walden. Walden helped increase the budget deficit by an estimated $1.5 trillion over 10 years. Now there is talk of cutting Medicare and Social Security, programs paid for by payroll taxes, to offset tax cuts for the wealthy.

Jamie McLeod Skinner receives contributions primarily from her supports, not from big Pharma (0 percent) and energy-related companies (less than 1 percent). For two years Jamie has traveled in the District, meeting citizens and listening to their concerns. She will work with her peers in Congress to bridge differences to find solutions to our problems and not push agenda of the Party or wealthy donors.

Bruce Nichols will listen to citizens of Baker County. I trust him to be open and transparent. And I believe that he will work to unite us rather than divide us.

Karen Haines

Baker City

Passing school bond can benefit county’s economy

In my 25 years of economic development, I have seen firsthand how public sector investment, such as the school bond levy before us, leads to private sector investment.

Quite often when a company looks to grow or expand in a community their criteria includes access to utilities, current cost of services (and yes, this includes property taxes) and those community amenities we all expect, including strong health care and good schools.

The rational explanation for being opposed to the levy is to avoid higher taxes. In isolation, that might make sense; but, the opposition is short-sighted. There is a link between good schools and local commerce. You see it when new homes are built, retail services come in, and churches grow because the families who are attracted to the good schools want those opportunities.

In my view, quality of life which includes schools we can all be proud of and benefit from will firmly enhance our economy. I hope you will strongly consider Measure 1-88.

Greg Smith

Heppner

Editor’s note: Smith is the contract economic development director for Baker City and Baker County.

Harvey will fight for the citizens of Baker County

I have been extremely curious as to why a sitting member of the Baker County Board of Commissioners feels the need to run against a fellow board member. Mr. Nichols was elected to Board position 1, and has two years remaining to serve his term. If Mr. Nichols is elected to Mr. Harvey’s position, this will create a vacancy for position 1. This means that Mr. Nichols and Mr. Bennett would need to appoint someone of their choosing to fill that vacancy. The voters would have no say in the matter. Maybe they are hoping to appoint another “good ol’ boy.” This smells a lot like dirty politics to me.

The people of Baker County elected Mr. Nichols to do his job, not seek out someone else’s. The reason we have a multi-member board is to bring different ideas/solutions to solving common issues in the best interest of Baker County. It has been rumored that some folks don’t care for Mr. Harvey’s temperament in regards to his dealing with the U.S. Forest Service and other federal agencies. Personally, I want someone who will fight for the citizens of Baker County, and not just someone who “gets along.”

Cindy Frazier

Baker City

Proud to support Walden, Oregon’s lone GOP rep.

I proudly support, and am voting for Greg Walden! You know why? Because I resent a candidate like Jamie McLeod-Skinner coming into our District who just registered to vote in CD2 on July 10, 2017, using her mother’s home Crooked River Ranch address. She is a candidate who briefly worked in Phoenix, Oregon, and was terminated for creating a hostile work environment.

I also resent the rent-a-mob McLeod-Skinner uses in her tour of each county. During the Miners Jubilee parade lineup, her group was behind the Baker County Republicans’ float. There were only one or two in her group even from Baker County! They were very hostile as we were decorating our float with American flags, Uncle Sam and other patriotic trappings. This group apparently did not think we could hear their comments. We ignored them, or tried, until one aggressively came up to our float and tried to pick a fight with a Baker City resident about Greg Walden.

I also resent this same rent-a-mob trolling Walden’s Facebook pages and making nasty comments nonstop. If you research these people back, you will find they are really fake accounts, or people who do not live in CD2, Greg’s district. And McLeod-Skinner is funded by out-of-state corporations and organizations, according to the FEC reporting page.

These people are targeting rural Oregon counties. They want to take out our only Republican representative for a reason. Vote for Greg when you receive your ballot in the mail.

Suzan Ellis Jones

Bridgeport

Late audits an example of why Nichols best choice

Recent letters in support of the two candidates for county commissioner, Bill Harvey and Bruce Nichols, have left out one significant fact. Mr. Harvey is 100 percent or full-time on the job. Mr. Nichols is 25 percent. This would suggest that the delays in completing the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 audits, as reported in the Baker City Herald (Published Oct. 10, 2018) are a management failure on the part of our 100-percent commissioner, Bill Harvey. Failure to make the deadline can result in a financial penalty, taken from funds destined for the county’s coffers.

“Baker County is the only one of Oregon’s 36 counties that has not submitted its 2017 audit.” (Baker City Herald). The ability to responsibly manage the county’s affairs must depend upon the knowledge of the state of the finances. Audit is a verification that the figures presented are accurate. There is no excuse for lack of an ongoing overview of the financial health of any entity, be it a household, a city or a county. Imagine buying a car with no gas gauge after the salesman cheerfully tells you, “You’ll know it needs gas when it stops running.”

Mr. Nichols has repeatedly offered to assist with the current lack of timely financial data and been rebuffed for his efforts. I believe it is past time for the chaos in financial reporting to be corrected and that Mr. Nichols is best qualified to make that correction. A clear view of the road ahead can take the anxiety out of county operations. In order to live within our means we must know what we have and what we owe.

Raymond G. Rienks

Baker City

Support for school bond is a vote for quality of life

When my late husband Duane and I relocated our family to Baker from Klamath Falls in the 1960s, Duane’s first volunteer service in this community was on the Baker 5J School Board. Our family holds strong support for the importance of great public schools as it relates to the quality of life within our local community. Today, our grandson Kevin continues this effort as he now volunteers his time on our local school board.

Measure 1-88 is a comprehensive approach that provides benefits to all students at all grade levels. The plan also gives consideration for improved use of existing facilities while incorporating a safe, energy-efficient and appropriately sized elementary school.

I occasionally hear some criticize Baker 5J for not maintaining our facilities over time. I believe that issue rests on us as a community for not supporting appropriate local resources when past school bonds have not been successful. The district continues to focus its resources on the programs and staff needed to educate our kids — all while being hindered by the increased costs associated with an aging infrastructure. Now is the time to support our local schools by providing this investment in one of our most important community assets — our students!

Let’s do our part to ensure the current and future health of our community and the best possible opportunities for our kids here in Baker. Join our family in voting Yes on Measure 1-88!

Martha Jane Cassidy

Baker City

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