Letters and comments for May 5, 2011
Letters and comments for May 5, 2011
Good schools matter
I am writing in support of the upcoming bond levy for our schools. As the hospital board chair, I have opportunity to talk with prospective physicians about our wonderful community and sell them on why they should locate here instead of the dozens of other opportunities they may have. There are two primary things they are interested in when they visit
La Grande: first is the hospital and second is the schools. How are we going to attract needed specialists to our community when our schools so desperately need to be updated?
The administration, teachers and staff work hard to conserve our tax dollars. Larry Glaze performs double duty by not only acting as the superintendent but also as the principal of Willow School. The high school principal told me that the people at the high school got tired of emptying buckets that catch rain in the high school library from the leaking roof, so they now have strategically placed plants that cleverly catch the rain water.
We have hardworking community-minded people of integrity that I know personally (administrators, teachers and staff) who have worked above and beyond the call of duty to keep our hard-earned tax dollars in the place of highest priority, which is in the classroom. For too many years now, we have dramatically underfunded our schools. The teachers are doing their part and taking pay cuts.
I encourage you to direct your questions to board members and not to the uninformed who wrongly claim mismanagement of funds is the issue. Vote yes for the children of our community and our schools.
The La Grande School District is asking voters to approve a local option levy to provide much-needed revenues for district operations. With a child in the school system, and as an active, responsible and tax-paying member of this community, I think it’s time we support the education of our kids. I’m voting for the option levy because I believe in the future.
Yes, the costs of living are at an all-time high — they’ll be higher tomorrow and next month and next year. It is a fact of life that costs go up; it’s called inflation. To address these increases the school district has done mighty well at cutting costs and reducing services a bit at a time to balance budgets. Well, all the bits have been cut and inflation marshals on. Any cuts that happen now will be into the heart of services, meaning more kids per class, program eliminations and fewer school days. All this equates to one thing: less chance for our kids to get a full and proper education, like the kind we got.
Supporting our children is about investing in the future. It’s about reducing the costs of social services and criminal protection and justice, and increasing business productivity and economic vitality. Supporting education is the right thing to do, the community-minded thing to do. Please join me in voting “yes” for the
La Grande School District local option levy.
For years the Island City Council pointedly ignored the Fregulia trucking operation on Buchanan Lane, never even requesting a home occupancy business application. Finally they were forced to initiate the process.
Then, ignoring overwhelming evidence that the operation failed to comply with every home occupancy business provision, the IC councilors and mayor unanimously voted according to personal bias and granted the home occupancy permit.
The ruling was appealed to the county where our three commissioners unanimously concluded there was no way the trucking company could comply with home occupancy requirements, thus reversing IC’s decision.
Rather than enforcing clearly stated conditions for a home occupancy business from the start, Island City officials created a controversy that devolved into emotionally charged confrontations that divided neighbor against neighbor. Laws are written to define legal and illegal behavior as a means to avoid such factious situations.
Zoning laws are written to give people some assurances for the future so they can invest accordingly. The Buchanan Lane business park across from the Fregulias should have been a cautionary note.
A longtime Buchanan Lane resident applied to operate his crop spraying operation from his home “pasture’’ rather than remaining at the airport. No neighbors contested his application and it became a neighborhood commercial zone. Soon that land was split from the house and became a virtual business park quite incompatible with the rural neighborhood. I’m sure in the process a couple of good old boys profited handsomely. But the neighborhood continues to bear the consequences.
Island City should recruit candidates to contest entrenched incumbents. Mayors and councilors are elected to objectively enforce laws, not to capriciously circumvent them for friends.