County commissioners baffle me. Recently, they voted against having a ballot measure for a $7 to $10 monthly surcharge to fund the jail. That measure would have freed up monies that would support libraries, OSU Extension and other services.
Now commissioners propose a measure that would solely fund libraries for approximately the same cost. I don't get it. Maybe they need to go back to the drawing board. — Margaret Bradburn, Eagle Point
Gov. Kitzhaber and the legislative leadership finally submitted a proposal that goes further than putting a temporary patch on our school funding holes. It's the long-term solution that Jackson County schools need.
Republicans and Democrats each have their qualms with the deal. It's politically challenging for Republicans to vote for new taxes. It's politically challenging for Democrats to vote for pension cuts. That's why it's going to take our entire community to get this done.
And if it doesn't happen now, there's no guarantee we'll get another chance at a deal like this. This fall, Medford schools will see pension costs go up again by $3.1 million. That's after a temporary reduction in pension rates approved by the Legislature a few months ago. Rates are set to go up even more significantly on July 1, 2015.
The modest PERS and revenue reform measures in the governor's proposal will provide additional funding to add back needed programs like elementary music in Central Point and parent-teacher conferences in Medford.
For more information, attend the PERS and Revenue Reform Forum at 6:30 tonight, Friday, Sept. 27, at the OEA building, 2495 S. Pacific Highway, Medford. — Karen Starchvick, Jacksonville
From the recently attended seminar regarding the upcoming health care requirements (MT Sept. 13) I took home questions, such as:
1) What is an exchange, the insurance product which is so strongly promoted? I heard that a website is the only place to buy it from.
In which direction is it taking U.S. citizens? Since others will be excluded from having to buy them? After the first two weeks these exchanges can only be bought online. What about the people without Web access?
2) Our cost: what is being exchanged? What has to be given up to get what? I think that the answer is to be found in the several thousand pages of Obamacare, of which Nancy Pelosi said it must first be passed to know what's in it.
I see (in presentations attended) the Affordable Care Act described as a mouth-watering good plan. Yet the "unintended" results are more than scary.
I think that our state of Oregon has great brains that can accomplish far better results as a self-supporting health care provider. I expect our state's leadership to take us in the right direction. — Ingrid Le Bleu, Medford