Letters, May 15


Pool too fancy

To the Editor,

I’m not voting for the MAC; if my taxes are increasing for that, I say no. I live on a street in bad need of repair and G Street is worse yet. I would much rather pay to keep the streets in good repair.

The MAC board keeps saying things were really positive looking when the pool was built. Then only one prison is used and not very many people moving into Madras. I’m sure we’re all guilty of overspending and let’s face it, when that happens we have to find a way out, but I don’t believe it should be by raising our taxes.

I will admit I don’t use MAC and haven’t even been up for a tour. But if I did, I still wouldn’t vote for the increase. I’m not convinced we needed a pool that fancy.

Bev Jensen


MAC: families

To the Editor,

Another election is upon us and here in the Jefferson County area, we have several decisions to make that will affect the future of our community in a big way. I believe the most important decision I face this election is in reference to the bond levy for the Madras Aquatic Center.

Many things could be said that would highlight some of the positive impacts the MAC has made on our community. However, I would rather focus on one issue that stands out to me above all else as I prepare to cast my vote in support of the MAC levy.

As I go to and from the MAC, I see children and young adults that are part of the swim and water polo teams. I see the children that are at the MAC on weekends or in the evenings during open swim times and although I like the fact that these kids are developing healthy lifestyles that will hopefully follow them for a lifetime, I notice something that I think is even more important. You ask what that is? What I notice is the parents that are with them.

Prior to the MAC coming into our community, I believe what we were missing was activities that the family could be involved with together. We can look all around this country and see what occurs when parents are not taking an active role in their children’s lives. We see children maturing into adulthood that not only have a lack of values, self worth and character, but also a lack of drive, a lack of vision and a lack of community.

Now, I don’t want to make it sound like the MAC and the activities going on there are a “cure all” for all the ills of our society, but I do believe that the cost of the damage done by a lack of those things that help bring families together and make them stronger far surpasses the cost of this levy. Vote yes for MAC.

Steve Webb


MAC: no way

To the Editor,

What do you do to pass a MAC levy?

1) You place Support the MAC signs on city, county and state right of ways. That is illegal.

2) Over the last three weeks, you place extended stories in the Spilyay Tymoo (Warm Springs paper) telling the fine people they need to vote yes on the levy because they pay no Jefferson County taxes. You forgot to mention that if the MAC is closed for several months more revenue would go to the Kah-Nee-Ta pool complex.

3) You forgot to mention that business owners will pay personal property taxes on the pool and then will be hit again on their residence. Landlords will pass increased taxes (on the pool) to all the renters.

I’ve lived in Madras for over 55 years. In the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, Mr. Hardbeck and others started a pool fund and set it up in a local bank through donations and fundraisers. They gathered almost $10,000 to be used only for a pool. This money disappeared.

You overbuilt and overprojected the future, now live on what you got.

Vote no.

Don Rowan


Back Culver bond

To the Editor,

I understand that there is still anger out there over the property purchase that Culver School District made in 2008. It was purchased at the wrong time, for the wrong price, in the wrong way, and for the wrong reasons. And while this may not have been so clear to some people back then, it is obvious to almost all now. We can criticize what was done in the past, but the question we must deal with now as those who are part of the Culver School District, is what are we going to do about this error?

The 2008 property was purchased with a full faith and credit obligation, which means we are obligated to pay the debt one way or another and that there is no possibility that we can be relieved from paying this debt. Our list of options at this point is short. We could move to sell the property. However at the current market rate, the sale would only cover a small portion of the debt, leaving the remainder for us still to deal with.

Our other option is to allow the school to pay for the property out of the operating budget. This right now is the default position if we do not pass the current bond measure and it has severe consequences. The operating budget for the school is already drawn thin, so to add to it the payment of this debt will mean real cuts in what is supposed to be dedicated to educating our children. The unintended consequence will be that the maintenance cost involved in keeping the school buildings operational in their current condition will also pull extra money out of the operational budget that could and should be used for education.

Our third option is to pass this current bond, which will include payment of the debt for the property purchase. While I do not favor an increase in taxes, this option to me is the least objectionable and accomplishes what is necessary to address our debt without cutting into the education of our children.

You may still be angry about the purchase of the property that took place five years ago, but directing this resentment at the current bond measure by voting no will be destructive. It will hamstring the school district from accomplishing its purpose of educating children. If you are angry, I encourage you to do the right thing by voting yes on the bond and then direct that frustration in the right direction. There are many boards, committees, and volunteer positions in our school district that need people to fill them. Become involved in the work of our school district and have a positive influence on the direction our schools go from here.

Jason Potampa


I'm voting yes

To the Editor,

If we were all judged by an action that had unintentional consequences and from that day forward had a label pinned on you would that be fair? If as a teenager you wrecked your parent’s car and from that day forward you were labeled a bad driver, would that be fair?

I have had the privilege of living and working around the Culver community since 2004. I have two children in the school district, but have no association with the schools beyond what I do as a volunteer. It is my hope that the voters will see all of the positives that it will bring to our community. The Culver School Board does much more than just making decisions about purchasing ground that’s been a point of contention with some.

The board is made up of community members that are voted in every four years, whose main job is to oversee the administration of the district through the superintendent. They also review policy, work with administrators to amend policy to fit the needs of our district and approve the policies once those things have been thoroughly reviewed, supervise the superintendent, give her support and be a part of hiring committees for district positions. They review, amend and approve the operational budget for the district each year.

These unpaid volunteers have a heart of service and do other things within the community. Please get to know the Culver School Board. Ask questions and realize these board members have taken on a necessary task that many wouldn’t do. I would judge school district and the school board not on its one move that some do not agree with, look at it as a whole and vote yes on the Culver school bond.

Michael Knepp