I am responding to the guest column by Lance Colley in The News-Review on Sunday.

I read the offering three times.

Mr. Colley laid out the school bond narrative rather well.

I cannot help but suggest a few facts very missing.

This is not Portland with a huge tax base. Those subject to the bond live in a very limited geographical area with limited a number of tax payers.

It does not matter what a great deal we citizens are getting with increased taxes as compared to other places. We cannot afford more takes with so many just holding on.

There is no huge industry here to support more taxes.

This is a retirement town consisting of fixed incomes.

Some folks work in government jobs and some union operations. The majority of workers are nonunion and working retail and numerous other occupations that pay a living wage to a bit higher.

Many have to hold down two jobs with two adult households still having to work multiple jobs to pay the bills and taxes and hold on each day by their fingernails.

Fluff or no fluff, a bond issue in these troubling times is bad. People cannot afford it when they are just barely keeping their heads above water.

Bad planning seems more likely the root cause of the "we need it now" approach.

Start managing and balancing a budget seems appropriate. What message does this sort of thing send to the students?

Poor management and no strategic planning can be washed away by using the holy grail words here in Oregon: schools/education.

Better come up with some accountability and good reasoning to justify tax increases.

Mike Benjamin


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(3) comments


Mr. Gilbert, I've done my best through this election cycle to keep an open mind, including for this school bond. I've spent the time to research the facts including the impacts it impacts it will have on people who have limited financial resources. I've also tried to learn more about how this type of bond works to verify the information that the people running the campaign have shared with us. In response to your concerns, how is it that Winston-Dillard school district or Glendale school district, or Reedsport school district, or Glide school district, or Elton school district all have passed school bonds, but somehow Roseburg shouldn't pass one? Are you telling the public that Glide has more corporations and a larger tax base than Roseburg? Are you suggesting Winston-Dillard has larger businesses and a larger tax base than Roseburg? Unfortunately, it appears you haven't spent the time as many others have reviewing the information that has been provided to us. I believe they have made their case as to why we should support this school bond, especially for recruitment and retention of professional workers we desperately need. It's those professionals that will help small businesses like your own. I understand the concern that if older people of fixed incomes have a tax increase they will be less likely to pay for yard services, but it will also mean that they we have more accessible health care without having to travel in order to receive it. Which is more important to someone on a fixed income?




Interesting, Mr. Benjamin, how you use negative phrases, empty words and your own opinion about the demographics in the area to justify voting no on a bond whose advocates, in every walk of life, including many on a fixed income, have presented evidence in tables, charts, text, graphs, and testimonies to counter every empty argument you have made. How short-sighted to say, “We are poor, and we intend to stay that way!”

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