Letters to the editor:
Revenue compromise for education funding needed
State education funding is in crisis. The current budget proposals coming from the Oregon legislature will represent significance cuts to school districts across Oregon, including Sherwood. It is unprecedented to be making these kinds of cuts in a good economy.
A recession occurs every six to nine years on average, if we are seeing these kinds of cuts now, what will it be like when the next recession hits.
I serve as president of the Sherwood Education Foundation and on the Sherwood schools budget committee. I see groups like SEF, the school PACs and various booster clubs, raising money to support programs within our schools; just to watch more funding leak out the other side due to inadequate support from Salem.
We need to use our voices as citizens to demand better for our children.
The State Schools Fund needs to be set at $8.4 billion for the 2017-2019 biennium to avoid a cuts budget. The current figure is $7.75-8.1 billion. This is unacceptable.
A revenue compromise needs to be found now, this cannot be all done with cuts. We need to invest in our own future and this starts with education. Please contact our state legislators, Richard Vial and Kim Thatcher, ask them to support an $8.4 billion minimum funding level and to seek a long term stable and adequate funding solution for our schools.
Of the YMCA contract, RFPs and studies
The city issued an RFP and paid a consulting firm for a report in March of 2014 that contained five recommendations for clarification of the contract with the YMCA. In December of 2014, the city discontinued discussions with the YMCA on this effort.
The city issued another RFP in May of 2016 requesting a consulting firm to perform a feasibility study to evaluate options for providing operational services similar to those currently provided by the YMCA.
The "Scope" statement for this study included the request to provide a five-year operating pro forma for two alternatives — (1) the facility operated by the city and (2) the facility operated by an outside organization. The report included a 5-year Pro Forma for the city operating the facility but did not provide one for an outside organization.
The report does say that the city-operated option would be more costly than the current operations under the YMCA. Since taxpayers have paid "zero" operational costs over the past 18 years, this finding was no surprise.
The RFP did not request, and the report did not include, a market survey of citizens to determine what we would like to see changed or added to the current programs offered by the YMCA. However, it did include a recommendation for another RFP to be issued to solicit bids from the YMCA and others to operate programs in the facility after the current contract ends in October of 2018.
When responses to this third RFP come in, how will we (the citizens) determine which bidder will provide the "best services" for us?