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Only non-elected government workers adversely affected by the shutdown; city must address rent burden issue

Elected officials should be subject to same laws as the rest of us

To the editor:

Government shut-down? The only people negatively impacted are those who are not elected.

There is an ongoing war between the major political parties, which all of us taxpayers are paying for. They are not interested in working as a governing body. We need a constitutional amendment to require all elected officials to be subject to the same laws, rules and regulations as the people they represent. Elected officials should not be above the law.

Cleve Rolfe, Newberg

City needs to fix rent burdened housing issues before approving other plans

To the editor:

The Jan. 10 Newberg Planning Commission agenda included a 20-lot planned unit development at 112 N. Springbrook Road (directly between Hayes Street and Fernwood Road). Currently there is only one letter in opposition to this housing project.

If the issue of rent-burdened households is also going to be discussed, will system development charges on the 112 N. Springbrook Road housing development pay for additional city services (police, code enforcement, etc.)? Or will our new mayor and city councilors simply raise municipal service fees to pay for the needed services?

If municipal service fees are increased, owners of rental properties will pass through these additional fees to their renters, further exacerbating the already rent burdened households.

City staff has stated that many rent burdened households commute to jobs outside of Newberg and what is needed is more jobs.

To further complicate the rent burdened households dilemma, the city manager wants to create a homeless center for runaway teens and foster children. The funding from United Way will not be sufficient to address the needs of these children, thus the door will be opened for the nonprofits who are constantly circling city hall like sharks looking for food. Most of these children have smart phones despite their homelessness and alleged abject poverty.

Once the word on the street is out in the blogosphere that Newberg is offering free rent and other services, Newberg will be inundated with troubled teens from Washington, Marion and Polk counties complimenting Portland's community of homeless teens. The nonprofits will surely have their hands out too for money to provide services for the homeless teens, but no money for compensating the taxpayers of Newberg for the additional city services required of this project will ever be forthcoming.

It seems to be these projects should not be allowed to proceed until the additional rent burdened households are identified and addressed.

David Wall, Newberg

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