No littering; People taxed out of homes; Florence better than this; Bond benefits more than students; Math correction; Miltenberger qualified — Letters to the Editor, Nov. 3, 2018


Isn’t Florence better than this?

It’s unfortunate that the discussion surrounding Councilors Joshua Greene and Susy Lacer has been blown out of proportion in the community. I’ve known Joshua Greene for many years and have worked with Susy Lacer. They have both contributed enormous time and energy to serving the Florence community and care deeply about its growth. The hostility toward them is unwarranted.

I believe their interest in communicating with a candidate who has been unwilling to enlighten the public about why she is running or how she envisions her role in the future of the city was motivated by caution and concern for the City of Florence and for the electoral process.

If, as suggested, there are outside influences at play, this muddies the waters of what could be a good faith process. 

And more, the wanton attempts to pick apart the public service of Maureen Miltenberger, a woman who is native to Florence and has dedicated much of her life to working for the benefit of the communities she has served, is also disturbing.

Is Florence better than this, or are we going to be swept up in the divisiveness currently affecting the nation?

—Joanna Henderson

Florence

Can’t have people taxed out of their homes

After perusing my current property tax bill, I noticed that over half has already been allocated to education (schools). I decided to do the math on the proposed increase to $2.72 per $1,000 of assessed value and was aghast at an astounding $1,000-per-year increase.

For those of us living on fixed incomes, this is no small, paltry amount in my view. Going from .90 cents per $1,000 of assessed value to $2.72 per $1,000 of assessed value is simply outrageous — and all of this for over 30 years.

Oregon has now been rated sixth as the most taxed state in the union. No wonder people get taxed out of their homes.

With all the technology going on today, is this the only option we have for funding schools?

—Camille Nesbitt

Florence

Work to do on concept of not littering in our town

I have heard people talking about confronting strangers in traffic about trash being thrown out of the car and off the motorcycle.

Yet it occurs to me, as I pass the high school almost daily along Oak Street and also along 27th Street, that we have work to do with our own community members on the concept of not littering. 

Food wrappers, cups, bags, clothing, school supplies and even the occasional syringe can be found with alarming regularity along this route. 

How can we foster community pride in them, so they will use trash containers at the school or in their homes, as most of us do?

—Ivy Medow

Florence

Bond will benefit more than students

This is directed primarily to my friends and peers: The seniors and retirees who, according to a recent demographic, make up more than half of the citizenry of the Florence area. 

My position is that we can’t afford not to pass this bond. 

As of June 2019, the prior 20-year bond will retire. That rate is .90 cents per $1,000, and $2.72 minus .90 cents equals [a net increase] of $1.82 per $1,000 — which would be the net increase of new assessment for 2019.

Bonds aren’t assessed until the money is spent, so the net increase of $1.82 per $1,000 on the new bond will be assessed incrementally over an 18-month to 2-year period of construction.

I get it. Retirees and seniors worked hard for a lifetime to be able to retire. They want to get value for their money so they ask themselves, “What’s in it for me?”

First, one has to understand that the Florence area is in as housing crisis. We cannot grow our workforce because we can’t house our current workforce. There is little affordable housing, which means places like PeaceHealth cannot hire new medical personnel because they can’t house the new hires. 

That affects all us geezers.

I’ve spoken with many employers and many agreed that they can’t grow their businesses because they can’t bring in new help — they can’t house them. Students represent a large workforce already living in Florence.

The Florence economy is top heavy or bottom heavy depending on your perspective; too many seniors and retirees. Retirees do not produce goods and services yet are the largest consumers of both in our community.

That’s just bad economics. 

Additionally, the new high school will provide an emergency shelter for 5,000 people — more than half the population of Florence.

To summarize, for $1.32 a day, we can provide children in this community with outstanding facilities to learn and grow while, at the same time, help senior population by educating medical workers, construction people, mechanics and more.

Le’ts step up and help the community that welcomed us. I will vote “yes” for the Siuslaw School bond.

It’s not just for the kids, it’s for the whole community. 

—Eric D. Hauptman

Florence

Math correction

I read with interest the letter from Sally Wantz, (Siuslaw News, Oct. 24), in which she expresses a misunderstanding of the financial cost of the proposed school bond.

In actuality, her payment of $255.55 becomes a minimum of $766.65 per year should the bond pass, not the $255.55 she affords now.

Just take the amount you’re now paying for the expiring bond, and triple it; and you have your yearly cost for this proposal.

My cost will increase from $460 to $1,380 per year; a staggering amount when funded only by Social Security and personal savings.

I do understand educators wanting to champion this issue, but there are many in the community who simply cannot afford tripling their payments for this new bond.

Nullifying compression in these bond measures is a slap in the face to those of us struggling to afford these proposals. Shame on you.

Just delivered property tax statements detail long lists of numerous taxing districts which we already support, and will have to continue to do so, as the affordability of our homes is being increasingly exacerbated.

This is a balancing act for many, leading to the last straw for some.

—Mary Jo Leach

Dunes City

Miltenberger is more than qualified

I am a strong supporter of Maureen Miltenberger who I have known since grade school in Newport.

Anyone who attended the City Club forum or listened to her interview on KXCR radio heard that she not only has experience in local government but can speak her truth and own her opinions — as a confident woman telling us why she is qualified. 

Sure, Maureen is a Democrat and Mayor Joe Henry is a Republican. But city council positions are “non-partisan,” as they have been in the past.

I’ve known Maureen long enough to know she is capable of putting her partisan views aside for the good of the community.

—Jen White

Florence

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