Battle Buddies has good turnout

On Oct. 19, Polk County Battle Buddies had our first support group meeting. We had close to 20 veterans show up for a good hot meal and good conversation. Members of the committee as well as special guest Beth Jones brought food; nobody went home hungry.

The veterans that attend were made up of veterans of Vietnam all the way to the Global War on Terror. Progress was made in both the caring and openness of those attending. Thanks to all those who have served and are supporting this program. The next meeting will be the third Monday, Nov. 16.

If you have any questions, or would like to donate or be involved, or for more information, you can contact Wayne Crowder at 503-510-1015, Beth Lillibridge at 503-480-6254, or Mary Smith at 503-580-8001.

Beth Lillibridge


Time to restructure county government

My September letter invited readers to question why our Polk County Commissioners pay themselves salaries and retirement benefits with our property tax dollars that could be used elsewhere. Readers expressed agreement with my questions but wanted to know what voters could do to change this practice.

For starters, we need to collect about 1,250 signatures from registered voters to start a review process. That is certainly doable if citizens are willing to become involved. Polk County citizens have done it in the past.

Four years ago Polk County signature gathers put a referendum on the ballot changing the election of county commissioners from partisan to a nonpartisan election.

We did it last spring when a small group of dedicated Polk County voters successfully worked to secure approval of the public safety levy.

The citizen restructuring of Polk County government by establishing a county charter committee offers an opportunity for voters to increase representation and to better utilize Polk County’s limited resources.

We can do it with your participation. Join in the revitalization of Polk County by supporting the Polk County charter initiative. Need more information; want to become involved? Contact me at emeasterly@comcast.net.

E.M. Easterly

West Salem

Wage increases have consequences

Minimum wage wars. Why does everyone think raising minimum wage will help the economy? Don’t they realize someone has to pay those wages? Prices for most things will go up, taking up that extra income people will be getting. Anyone who has employees will raise costs to compensate for the inflation.

So, our everyday purchases are going to rise: grocery stores, gas stations, fast food, etc. Businesses will be strained and may have to let people go to afford to pay the ones who are lucky to keep their jobs. This will not solve any problems; it will create more.

Sherry Garcia


Thankful for story, in spite of error

A belated thank you to Emily Mentzer's coverage of the Western Compass (campus ministry club) vigil held at Western Oregon University on Oct. 3. Her sensitive presence and lovely photographs captured the quiet concern of those attending. One correction — I was listed as “a pastor at WOU”; actually, Jill Mayer is the Program Director of Western Compass.

I am a pastor in Monmouth and Falls City, and a member of the ecumenical Advisory Board of the United Methodist, Presbyterian (USA), and Episcopal-sponsored ministry at WOU.

We will continue to endeavor to be a “safe place” for college students in the area.

Thank you again for your responsive coverage of our local news!

Rebecca Strader

Pastor, Christ’s Church Methodist and Presbyterian United and Falls City United Methodist Church

Valuation soars at 86 percent increase

My mother, a resident of Meadow Creek Village, just received her property tax bill. She anticipated an increase in her real market valuation of approximately 56 percent due to the information recently received from the assessor. Instead, her real market valuation went up 86 percent.

She was told the increase was due to the sale of seven properties in Meadow Creek in a 15-month window of time where the sale prices far exceeded what the assessor had identified as their real market value.

Because of the increase in sale prices, the assessor separated out Meadow Creek from all the other manufactured home parks in Polk County. The higher sale prices are largely the result of the appearance of the park as a whole and the curb appeal of the manufactured homes being sold, not the value of the manufactured home itself.

Those living in Meadow Creek do not own the lot their manufactured home sits on, but residents are required to maintain the lot per the CC&R’s.

I can’t help but wonder what the staff in the assessor’s office has been doing that all of a sudden they discovered this issue.

The assessor indicated that no other property in Polk County experienced this increase in real market value. Good thing, because folks would be screaming at the top of their lungs and Meadow Creek residents shouldn’t sit quietly either.

Residents of Meadow Creek are predominately senior citizens living on fixed incomes trying to juggle how to pay for their medication, food and heating bills.

Now they also get to worry about this substantial increase in their property values and how it impacts their taxes. I encourage all the residents of Meadow Creek to demand a review of their taxes.

Taxes go up, but not 56 to 86 percent in one year?

Theresa VanDusen


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