Questions remain about content of the city's recently-released city budget; vote for Don Loving for CPRD board

City budget does contain fee/ tax increases

To the editor:

Regarding the Page A9 story on the city of Newberg's budget entitled "City proposes $113 million 2019-2020 budget," I would like to clarify the comments I made in the article.

I was contacted before I had a chance to fully read the budget document, and before we had received the city manager's budget message, as it stated in the article. However, I do need to point out that the proposed budget has a number of increases in fees and taxes that I was not aware of when I talked to the reporter.

Included are a $3 increase to the municipal service statement (water bill), a 3 percent increase in the city's property tax levy rate and a 2 percent increase to the garbage franchise fee.

While some of these increases are very small to families living in Newberg, others are more significant.

Currently a number of us on budget committee are working hard to find ways to reduce or eliminate the amount of increases in fees and taxes with efficiencies or service cuts. This is going to be a difficult process and I appreciate all of the volunteer members of the budget committee who are taking the time to read the more than 170-page document.

Personally, I have made a commitment to try to control the costs of the municipal service statement since the passage of the transportation utility fee. As a community we need to start having a conversation about our funding priorities and how we want to approach city services when it comes to the increasing costs of healthcare and PERS.

I would also urge people to attend the budget committee meetings and share their thoughts. Meetings are usually on Tuesday and Thursday nights at 6:30 p.m. for the next few weeks, to let us know what they think.

Patrick Johnson, Newberg City Council

Re-elect Don Loving to the CPRD board of directors

To the editor:

Financial stability, accountability and citizen involvement have been hallmarks of Don Loving's tenure on the Chehalem Park and Recreation District board of directors.

Given the district's recent successes -- the cultural center renovation and the state-of-the-art aquatic and fitness center, and earlier successes like the championship golf course and the always-busy softball complex -- Don Loving deserves to be re-elected.

As community members we are fortunate that someone as dedicated and experienced is willing to serve in this volunteer and often thankless capacity.

I strongly support Don Loving's re-election and encourage you to do the same.

Rick Rogers, Newberg

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