Public safety levy must get on ballot

Someone is trying to break into your house. You call 9-1-1. The person says, “sorry, there’s no one on duty to respond.” Wait, it’s only 11 o’clock (a.m. or p.m. — doesn’t matter).

A drunken driver nearly sideswipes you as he or she weaves from lane to lane well over the speed limit. You pull over, stop and report it only to receive the same response.

An apprehended felon does not get prosecuted because the district attorney’s office does not have adequate staff.

The foregoing may sound like the plot for a scary movie. It’s not. It is reality.

Polk County public safety funds are at an all-time low. There are too few patrol officers to cover the county full time. There are too few prosecutors to handle what arrests are made.

The remedy for this situation is relatively simple — get the public safety levy on the ballot for the May election. Proposed cost is 45 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. Do the math. On a $200,000 home, that would be $90 per year. That’s 25 cents a day, folks. Pretty inexpensive for peace of mind.

For all the facts, attend one of the commissioner hearings on the issue being held in the next week (see schedule under “Public Agenda” on this page).

Russ Noll

West Salem

Don’t blame police for recent car thefts

This is in response to the letter “Public responsible for crime in area” (Jan. 7 Itemizer-Observer).

I believe that the residents of Polk County are tired of having their taxes increased to fund public safety measures. When the county would like to sit down and disclose what it spends its money on and why it is short when it comes to having 24/7 patrols on the street, then the citizens of Polk County may just pass your public safety measure.

To blame the sheriff’s office for the theft of these two Toyota trucks is wrong. These where stolen within the city limits. This would be Dallas Police Department’s jurisdiction. I do believe that the officers of Dallas do a fantastic job preventing crime in the Dallas area, but again can’t be everywhere at the same time.

It is great to blame the police in the time of reduced patrols, but let’s look at the circumstances as to when and how these trucks were stolen. I am sure it came to a great shock to the owners, but yet did they contribute to the reason these trucks where stolen?

In times of shorten patrols, we must come together as a community and start policing our own neighborhoods while at the same time we should stop using this as a scare tactic to vote in a levy to raise our taxes for increased patrols.

David Christensen


Wrestling event at DHS was first-rate

At a time when we often hear from correspondents regarding what our schools are not doing right, along comes the Brunner Invitational Wrestling Tournament, held Jan. 10 at Dallas High School, to prove just the opposite.

The tournament featured several of the state’s top teams from recent seasons, including Dallas, Crook County and Willamina. An abundance of great wrestlers were competing.

However, the most impressive aspect of the event, named to honor Janet Brunner, arguably the best wrestling tournament director ever, was the atmosphere of good sportsmanship and positive attitudes. Everything about the tournament was first-rate: wrestling, coaching and officiating — even the clam chowder, among other items at the concession table — was top-notch.

Alice Bibler did a wonderful job as tournament director. Coach Tony Olliff and his staff did their share in insuring a positive atmosphere.

Well done, DHS.

Paul Mannen


No excuse for not supporting levy idea

I view citizen refusal to fund countywide law enforcement to be a self-centered logically flawed excuse perpetrated by those who seek local government flexibility or personal political power at the expense of other county residents. Polk County residents can no longer wait for someone else to pay for our law enforcement services.

Yes, there are those of you who view a public safety property tax levy as a pig in a poke. The excuses I have heard include:

• Let someone else pay for county services — community responsibilities are not mine.

• At the final hour someone else, federal grants or increased timber harvest severance taxes, will once again fund Polk County public safety services as they have in the past — wishful magical thinking.

• There really are adequate funds tucked away to support Polk County public safety needs — distrust and flawed information.

• I have been the victim of an unjust application of the law by county law enforcement personnel, so I refuse to support any public safety tax measure — injustice collecting.

• Increases in property taxes are never a good thing — anti-government thinking.

• I am land rich but cash poor — cannot afford $90 more a year on a $200,000 home to fund the sheriff, the district attorney, parole/probation, the county jail, etc.

Sadly, such reasoning does not bring back the levels of law enforcement and public safety the citizens of Polk County deserve. Join me and support law enforcement and public safety in Polk County by asking our county commissioners to once again submit a public safety levy to Polk County voters.

E.M. Easterly

West Salem

Warm clothing drive a success

We would like to thank all the people who made our “Warm & Fuzzy” clothing drive for 2014 so successful.

Every year we are amazed at the generosity and the amount of warm clothing that is donated for those in need in Polk County. We received coats, sweaters, hats, gloves, scarves, socks and cash to buy needed things to make someone’s winter warmer.

Thank you Starlite Lanes staff for once again allowing your business to serve as a drop site for our mission.

Deb Darr

Falls City

Plant employees should respect neighborhood

This is an open letter to Forest River and its employees …

We live near your facility in Dallas and on a daily basis have to deal with your employees taking all the parking spaces in front of our home. We are allowed one vehicle behind our home and rely on having space on the street for the other vehicle. They block garbage cans from being picked up, and the trash from their snacks and lunches is littered around the vehicles.

I have repeatedly called Forest River, asking if they could please address this situation. The employees don’t seem to get it. It would be nice if they could provide an additional parking lot for them to use instead. Then, they could litter on Forest River’s property instead of the public streets in front of our home.

We are not impressed with the vehicles they drive or how loud they can squeal their tires when they leave for lunch or at the end of their shift. It is something we have been dealing with for more than 21/2 years and don’t see it ending. I know it’s not all of them, but it’s a big number of them. I have provided vehicle descriptions and plate numbers to no avail.

It seems like the city or Forest River could do something about the situation.

Valerie Grice


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