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Newspaper Archive of
The New Era Paper
Sweet Home, Oregon
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September 26, 2012     The New Era Paper
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September 26, 2012
 

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Page 4 -- COMMUNITV OPINION :11  ra - September 26, 2012 LETTERS TO TIlE 00J)ITOR District still in deficit spending Editor: The definition of constitu- ency is defined as the residents or voters of a district represented by an elective officer. A Sweet Home School Board member is an elected officer. Sweet Home has nine elected school board members, each one representing a constituency. When a School Board mem- ber votes during an official meet- ing, should the member keep in mind his or her constituency? I can't think of any elected posi- tion where this would not apply. During the August School Board meeting, a vote" was taken to give the highest-paid employee in the district a raise. The mem- bers voted 6-1 for a raise. Two members were absent. Under Board Policy BBA, "Board Powers and Duties," it states that the board is respon- sible for providing adequate and direct means for keeping itself informed about the needs and wishes of the public and for keep= ing local citizens informed about the schools. During the 2011-12 school year, last school year, the fund- ing picture delivered was a very grievous portrayal. The bud- get cuts suggested ranged from $800,000 to $1.9 million. I think it settled in around $1 million. The four-day school week came to the front page for debate for months. It could be a cost sav- ings for the district of between $300,000 and $400,000. A large part of the savings connected with the four-day week is in the salaries and benefits of the classi- fied employees. During the February board meeting, the four-day school week was approved by board action 5-3. Furlough days were added back. Other savings were made to plug the deficit. The end- ing fund balance was drawn down to the lowest I believe it has ever been. Sustainability at this level was a goal, but I believe it was not achieved. One-time monies were used again. Soon after the cuts were made, the budget fore- The 00'rm :00ra A locally owned newspaper founded Sept. 27, 1929 Scott and Miriam Swanson, Co-Publishers wnw.sweethomenews.com Office: 1313 MainSt., Sweet Home, Oregon Mailing address: The New Era, Box 39, Sweet Home, OR, 97386 Phone: (541)367-2135 Fax: (541)367-2137 WHO WE ARE Scott Swanson, Editor/Co-Publisher scott@sweethomenews.com Sean C. Morgan, Staff Writer sean@sweethomenews.com Miriam Swanson, Advertising Manager, Co-Publisher miriam@sweethomenews.com Chfisb/ Keeney, Classified Ads classifieds@sweethomenews.com Firiel Sevems, Advertising Sales firiel@sweethomenews.com The New Era (USPS 379-100)is published each Wednesday. Periodical postage paid at the Sweet Home, Ore., 97386 Post O$ce. Poslmaster: Please send address changes to The New Era, Box 39, Sweet Home, Oregon 97386 SUBSCRIPTIONS In Linn County: $32 Elsewhere: $40 Snowbird: $38 NEWS QUESTIONS/TIPS Call (541) 367-2135 or e-rnai] news@sweethomenews.corn From Looking back on more than 80 years of coverage in east Linn County... September 27, 1962 Jeffery Johnson, 16, walked out of the wilderness early Tuesday morning after being missing over- night in an area near the Trail's End ranch on Quartzville road. Johnson returned to the ranch just as Linn County Sheriff's depu- ties were organizing a search par- ty. He told authorities that he was forced to spend a night in the woods after darkness prevented him from finding his way home. Willamette Industries has opened their land for hunters this year, unless fire dangers due to weather conditions make it neces- sary to close the areas. In extending the company's welcome to hunters, special maps have been prepared for distribution to hunters at the gates of the com- pany's land. September 23, 1987 Highway Division crews will start changing speed limit signs from 55 to 65 miles per hour on Oregon's rural interstate freeways next week. The crew will be putting up about 300 signs, and will take them about three days to complete. All vehicles except trucks, school, church, or worker trans- ports will be allowed to travel the new speed, but only on 1-84 and 1-5. cast improved for the next bien- nium. During the September board meeting, the administration and confidential salary schedule and proposal was on the agenda for a vote. This was taken off for fur- ther review. Look for it in Octo- ber. The Sweet Home School District does not have an excess of money. I believe we are still deficit spending. I believe any in- crease in pay or benefits given at this point is nothing more than re- distributing the wealth. The bud- get forecast for the state that had gone up has since dropped some. The increase in Public Employee Retirement System costs will eat up some of the future monies. The savings given above will have to be proven. To end my conversation, I believe everyone wishes this recession to be over yesterday. Public services are based on tax- es. I believe the budget forecast is based on taxes from two years ago. Oregon still has a very high unemployment rate. Disclaimer: This has been my personal opinion and in no way reflects the views of the Sweet Home School Board. Chanz Keeney School Board member It's just reality; Times are tough Editor: The teachers union and teach- ers need to understand a lot of people are out of work, or their job hours have been cut back. It's rough, the economy, on everybody. Quit complaining and belly- aching about hours or benefits that are no longer available. Learn to improvise, adapt, overcome. Either give up teaching or find a part-time job to go along with what you already have. Grow up and face reality. Royce Cantrell Sweet Home 'Dilapidated' can be neighbors' call Editor: The City Council is dealing with a "dilapidated building" def- inition in its proposed nuisance law (Sept. 19). Why not leave it open, so that if three neighbors (within one block of said building) agree to petition the city regarding a nuisance building, then the city could investigate? Neighbors usually know about real nuisances, without un- duly attacking a merely untidy place. Joan Scofield Sweet Home Regulatory "minefield" not land of the free By Christina Martin Americans live in a regula- tory minefield. Consider the tens of thou- sands of statutes, regulations, and court precedents that affect nearly every aspect of your life: The United States Code is 50 vol- umes; the Code of Federal Regu- lations is 150,000 pages; state laws, administrative rules, and city codes add tens of thousands more pages. Add the myriad court inter- pretations of these rules, and you understand why the U.S. has more than 1.2 million active attorneys. Most of these rules have nothing to do with protecting your rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of hap- piness. Most have everything to do with limiting your choices: what kind of home you can live in or business you can start; forms you must file and licenses you must WRITE A LETTER We encourage re to express their opinions in letters to the editor on matters of public interest. Letters should be typed and may be submitted by mail, e-mail, fax or in person at The New Era office. E-mailed letters may be sent to sweethomenews.cem Please include a telephone number in case we need to contact you. Also, we require that you include your name and city of residence or your letter will not be published. There is no length restriction, but letters may be edited for length and all letters will be edited for libelous content. We discourage letters that attack or complain about private citizens or businesses on a personal level. Also, letters containing comments on topics deemed by the editorial staff to have been exhausted in previous letters will be edited accordingly. acquire; taxes you must pay; the goods, food, and medicine you can buy; and much more. Why should we have so many rules? Laws, when rightly estab- lished, prevent us from harming each other. But when wrongly es- tablished, they keep us from living freely and smother the lamp of cre- ative invention and entrepreneur- ship. John Quincy Adams wrote, "[T]he laws of man may bind him in chains, or may put him to death, but they never can make him wise, virtuous, or happy." Instead of heapmg more regu- lations on us, legislators should cut red tape so individuals and busi- nesses can reach their potential in freedom. Christina Martin is a policy analyst for the School Choice Proj- ect and Director of the Asset Own- ership Project at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon's free market public policy research organiza- tion.