Letters to the Editor

A letter to the editor you should read!


…Incumbents were defeated because of incompetence, not taxes…

Curry County Reporter — Wednesday, July 25, 2012


What changes as dramatically as the weather yet at times circles endlessly going nowhere?

Answer: Curry County Commissioners’ verbal and written commitments; their flip-flopping on key issues; their memory of what they previously said or did.

For years the public has read about the massive unemployment benefits the county will pay should they be forced to lay off employees. Authorize increased property taxes or else. March 21, 2012: Jerry Herbage, county counsel is quoted saying: “Commissioners had previously thought they would need to reserve $1 million [unemployment benefits] … They have discovered that isn’t necessarily true.”

June 6, 2011 during a town hall meeting in response to comments about the commissioners not responding to citizen’s questions or suggestions, Commissioner Rhodes responded with, “We have every intention of answering every letter that comes to us in the future if it’s appropriate to answer. We’re not going to answer questions about land use matters we have to hear.” That commitment has not happened.

August 22, 2011 during the second series of three town hall meetings, Commissioner Itzen displayed a graphic showing a 24 percent spike in wages for the department of Home Health and Hospice. When asked what caused the huge spike, neither he nor the other commissioners had any idea. He later committed to find out why and get back with me on that and a couple of other related questions. A partial answer was received two months later.

The majority of public comments and questions during the August 22nd town hall meeting were regarding the golf course issue in the Port Orford area. The third series of town hall meetings were never even held.

Commissioners have been flip-flopping back and forth about their position on placing a “tax revenue” issue on the ballot since at least last November. Commissioner Waddle was quoted in an Editorial Nov. 9, 2011 saying, “We’ve got to get some kind of levy on the ballot. It has to be in March to be on the ballot in May.” Later his position changed to supporting the measure only if a group of citizens’ requested such a ballot measure.

July 14, 2012 he was reported saying he believed it would be futile to put anything on the ballot in November. Upon learning that the county would receive an additional $1 million timber payment, Waddle then states, “That hurts us more than it helps.”

Commissioner Itzen is on record July 4, 2012 stating, “I have heard from several people that were against the (sales) tax, but none of them told me what they would do.” This statement is absolutely false.

I and other members of the public have made recommendations and asked questions of commissioners to help in providing further suggestions. All have fallen upon deaf ears. The most recent example was the commissioners’ unanimous rejection of recommendations from the Elected Officials Compensation Board. The Compensation Board recommendations included that elected officials pay half of the $1,049 per month taxpayers currently pay for their health insurance, and pay the employee portion of the Public Employees Retirement System which is currently 6 percent of gross wages and paid by taxpayers.

Two recent articles ‘Commissioners invite candidates to look at county’s money issues’ (July 14th) and ‘Out-going commissioners implore candidates to look at finances’ (July 18th) resulted in invitations to some commissioner candidates to speak before the current board during their next general meeting July 25th. Those invited will apparently be allowed five minutes to provide their solutions to the financial woes of Curry County.

November 22, 2011 Curry County Commissioners removed two of the candidates from the list of applicants for the Citizens’ Advisory Committee. They later booted a third candidate off the committee who filed to run for commissioner after being appointed to the committee. Now they want their input, and are allowing them only five minutes to speak!

In closing, many variations of the following statement by outgoing commissioners have been recently published. “Waddle and Rhodes said they believed they were defeated because the other candidates opposed any kind of tax increase.”

Commissioners, you were defeated in your bid for re-election because of your lack of accomplishments and competence.

Thomas Huxley




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