No vote on levy is for accountability

(Measure) 27-117 is about responsibility. Timber dollars did not disappear overnight. Everyone paying attention knew this was coming. A handful of state representatives have been warning of a funding crisis coming to timber counties for nearly 10 years.

This problem is not new; it began in the days of the spotted owl and is now being talked about as something that just happened.

We have to ask ourselves why our elected official waited until now to begin to fix the problem. This is an opportunity to demand accountability and vote no on 27-117.

Bob Miller


Yes vote to bring justice for victims

The county is seeking the public’s help to add necessary and vital criminal justice services. This levy is a necessity for our county. We immediately lack the ability for the DA’s office to prosecute offenders.

The DA’s office is running on fumes trying to get cases indicted for victims in our county.

Without adequate support and funding, there is potential for these offenders to fall through the cracks yet again. We simply do not have the staff to run an effective justice system in Polk County. This is a disservice to all crime victims!

Please vote “yes” for public safety.

Kelli Carpenter

Monmouth Police Officer Association


Sheriff should

re-prioritize needs

“The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is limited to 10 hours of patrol per day and has forced the District Attorney’s Office to prioritize cases,” a quote from the article in the April 29 edition of the I-O.

I was ready to give a yes vote until the other day when I saw the Sheriff's Patrol on the river in their boat checking ID’s and boater registration and etc.

The Sheriff’s Department has let me down on what they call priority. I really feel that time on the water should be spent right now in other duties of the sheriff’s office.

Glen Harmison


Editor’s note: The Sheriff’s Marine Patrol is funded through a grant by the Oregon Marine Board.

Raises, timber money means no

Polk County will be faced with a controversial tax measure — safety levy. Ironically, at one time, I was in favor of this measure — to adequately fund the Polk County Sheriff’s Department.

However, two months ago, Congress approved the funding of O&CR (Oregon & California Railroad Timber money.) Also it was disturbing to learn “Polk” was added to the levy; 2 percent raise to county employees.

This has turned into a mindless tax measure; therefore, I’m urging voters to reject this levy.

James Allgood


County’s levy record is good

In 15 years working with all departments in Polk County, I found talented and dedicated employees doing their job with fewer people and less money.

I challenge anybody's statement that “he is leery of the commissioners’ verbal promise.”

There have been three successful ballot measures for Polk County (two road bonds and jail bond). In all cases, the county did more than they promised.

One last observation, I personally worked with Sheriff Wolfe throughout my career, and you will never find a nicer, more honest and loyal public employee. I support this levy and ask you to support the same.

John Graham


‘Rainbow girl’ glad Garden to be fixed

I read with interest about Mr. Bob Collin’s purchase of the Blue Garden building and his intent to “bring it back to what it was.” (April 1) I spent my first 18 years growing up in Dallas (1941-1959), and graduated from Dallas High School. So, this qualifies me to send my “Blue Garden” story.

I was a Rainbow girl, following a strong family tradition of “lodge” affiliation. Eventually I “went through the chairs” and served as Worthy Advisor in 1959. We held our meetings in the Masonic Hall above the Blue Garden on Monday nights. Many of the Rainbow functions specified formal dress. It was a grand opportunity for a young girl to go to one of the Salem department stores to be outfitted in a confection of pastel satin and tulle, as dictated by late ’50’s fashion.

It was de rigueur for me and my Rainbow friends — Judie, Page, Nancy, Kelley, Carol Woods, and Karen Casey among them — to stop in at the Blue Garden after we descended the stairs from our Rainbow function and sip a Coke. We slid ourselves, clad in our bouffant formal gowns, into one of the Naugahyde booths, where we must have provoked an indulgent smile from the regular denizens of the Blue Garden’s adult nightlife.

Visiting Dallas in later years, seeing the decline of Main Street and the adjacent downtown has saddened me. Bravo to Mr. Collins for launching the “old girl” on her way back to her former glory, art deco sign, glass brick and all. One hopes that she’ll prove a leader for the venerable Main Street on its much deserved road to a comeback.

Eloise Van Tassel

Sebastopol, Calif.

Levy is small price to pay for safety

We deserve 24-hour sheriff’s patrols in Polk County and a District Attorney’s office with resources to prosecute every criminal, not just the worst. Each of us paying a little more so all our residents can be safe is a small price to pay.

Let’s be responsible citizens and pay for essential public services instead of hoping the feds will do it for us. Vote “yes” on Measure 27-117.

Wanda Davis


No guarantee how money will be spent

County punishing voters into submission.

There were many ways the county could have resolved its budget without reducing the number of sheriff’s deputies. They chose to reduce the most obvious and most needed group of employees purely to coerce voters into voting more money for them to spend.

Nothing in this measure actually commits to more deputies on the road. This measure leaves open the possibility of spending for anything they want. They could have found other areas to cut last time, and there is no guarantee they won’t use the same tactic next time they want more money.

Daniel Betts


Levy benefits all in safer communities

The public safety system is an “umbrella” that encompasses patrol, prosecution, jail, community corrections and juvenile, but this system is nearing collapse without additional support. This levy will cost 45 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. But in return, residents will receive restored 24-hours patrols, adequately staffed jail, protection for emergency medical responders, backup for municipal agencies, prosecution of felony and misdemeanor crimes, preventative drug enforcement, and countless other benefits from living in a safer community. I urge a yes vote on Ballot Measure 27-117; its passage will support all parts of the Polk County public safety system.

Mike Ainsworth


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