Appropriate place for trash; City Hall was under budget and overdue; Who's watching the taxpayer henhouse — Letters to the Editor, Feb. 6, 2018

More appropriate place for trash

Kudos to the Siuslaw 97J School District for putting trash cans up at the high school campus on Oak, both at the corner with 27th Street and at the edge of the path through the woods from the parking lot.

Of course, the grounds look a lot better now that people have a more appropriate place to throw their trash. 

Thank you!

—Ivy Medow


New city hall was under budget and overdue

Certainly, someone like Loren Parker (“Why a Taj Mahal,” Feb. 2) who has lived here for 45 years has noticed the growth and need for expanded services in our community. 

More than 750,000 visitors spending $136 million tourist dollars here annually is a strong indicator that Florence is definitely a destination.

The recently remodeled city hall was previously completed in 1967.  Since then population has increased nearly 400 percent. It stands to reason that the old facility would need upgrades and additional space, while presenting a welcoming appearance. 

It is being completed $3 million under the original bid of $6 million. 

That isn’t something you see often.

Those who feel strongly about how dollars are spent should take the opportunity to voice their opinion at city council meetings before the final decision is made. Every city council meeting allows for public comments.

Those who wish to speak should sign up at least 15 minutes before the meeting begins.  Meetings are recorded to be viewed from the comfort of your own computer. You can sign up to receive email notification and the agenda.

The City of Florence monthly newsletter, to which you can also subscribe, contains information about current and upcoming items of importance.

Remember the words of Benjamin Franklin: “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

— Jacquie Beveridge


Who’s watching the taxpayer henhouse?

Loren Parker's Letter to the Editor ("Why a Taj Mahal for City Hall?" Feb. 2) tells the story of the average taxpayer who questions the spending wisdom of our city council and city management, which appear to be one and the same.

Like Loren, I am dismayed with the cost of the new Kingwood public works building for such a tiny municipality like Florence.

The mayor’s State of the City address focused on these two projects as well as city arts — really a private not public responsibility. The mayor also boasted about the municipality’s intervention concerning housing, which translates into government subsidizing so-called “affordable dwellings” instead of free enterprise being the determinant.

Housing is the business of business, which is the business of capital formation. Most of the mayor's congratulatory colloquy dealt with the growth of government, accompanied by the onlooking smiles of bureaucratic approbation.

The question that citizens like Loren and myself have is: Who is guarding the taxpayer henhouse? In my view, we have seen no evidence of special restraint by any of our elected officials and certainly not the unelected staff whose special responsibility appears to be growing our local government.

Where is the city councilor who will stand athwart history and say, “Stop?” At this juncture, who among us can discern between city management and elected officials?

The Chamber of Commerce executives who should be protecting the populace from onerous city spending is instead talking about ephemeral busy-work issues in lockstep with city spending desires.

In order to expand capital formation for thriving business expansion, the City of Florence, with Chamber lobbying, needs to annex surrounding areas so large business corporations have certainty in working with localities. City and Chamber leaders must work tirelessly on changing the laws and regulations in Salem for a friendlier coastal entrepreneurial environment.

Eighty-year-old Loren Parker has the wisdom of a  modern day James Madison inferring that those we elect must be increasingly influenced by the taxpaying citizenry rather than unelected, self-congratulatory city management.

May the good Lord bless Florence to become a mecca of thriving capitalism and booming business — not a braggadocio of big government.

—Joel Marks

City of Florence Budget Committee

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