Day: April 9, 2010

Health care costs

To the Editor: I believe most Americans wanted lower cost for health care when they went to the polls in 2008. Unfortunately, all they got was a socialist health care plan with big profits for a few. When government takes money and service from someone and gives it to another, this is socialism. I don’t mind helping the poor and unfortunate but not to the extent of the new health bill. Putting an additional 36 million people into the health care system will certainly take service away from most of us. There is only so much medical care available in this country today and putting more people into the system without increasing providers is just plain crazy. Everyone but Congress knows there are not enough primary care doctors in this country and nothing has been done to address this problem. I believe the federal government should create and/or finance more medical schools and teaching hospitals around the country. There are plenty of qualified candidates for medical school but there is not enough capacity in the schools at present. Making everyone buy health insurance will certainly raise premiums for everyone and this is good for the insurance industry. The insurance companies’ stock prices rose immediately after the health bill was signed. The lobbyists got their way again. I believe health insurance companies should be not-for-profit as they once were. There...

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Vote no on home charter measure

To the Editor: Let us not fix what isn’t broke.  In my lifetime home rule charters have been referred to Marion County voters three times and all three times it was defeated.  The creators of measure 24-292 have brought this issue to voters because of differences in opinions on land use planning. The real issue is control.  With three commissioners, each is elected by and is a representative for the entire county.  Proponents of Measure 24-292 have suggested that having five commissioners instead of three will allow the board to be more “collaborative.”  A glass of wine after work and private meetings behind closed doors two by two by two by two is not my idea of more “collaborative.” You may remember this type of decision making happened with a rather large decision in Multnomah County.   The decision made by this type of back door “collaborative” system required by law the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples.  No notice.  No citizen testimony.   No public meetings. This same type home charter process has Lane County, the proponents model  for success, in a lawsuit for breaking Oregon’s public meeting law.  This is not how Marion County does business. Marion County Commissioner’s office has an administrative budget of $1.9 million.  Lane County Commissioner’s office has an administrative budget of    $3.1 million.  Saying that Measure 24-292 won’t cost tax payers more...

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Urban renewal and jobs

It is nice for cities to have  green parks with lots of amenities.  It is even nicer for cities to have jobs for its citizens. That’s where the city council should be putting its focus—creating opportunities for jobs and recruiting businesses to Keizer that will offer living wage jobs. Despite the cheers about 166,000 new jobs in the country, that pales compared to the more than 10 million lost since the recession began almost two years ago.  The fact that the stock market is flirting with 11,000 gives hope, but pales in comparison to the thousands of feet of empty retail and factory space. Keizer does not exist in a vacuum.  Although our employment base is heavily weighted toward government jobs, more than 75 percent of our jobs are in the private sector.  Our local unemployment rate hovers around 10 percent and that number doesn’t reflect the underemployed and those who have dropped out of the job market all together. The city should be focused on bringing to Keizer the kind of jobs that will support a households.  If that means that improving parks has to be put on the back burner for a while, so be it. We are big boosters of Keizer’s parks and understand the role parks play in the livability of a community.  Funding everything that keeps Keizer’s quality of life at desired levels is...

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Home rule charter debate Fri., April 16

A debate on the upcoming home rule charter referendum comes to Keizer at noon on Friday, April 16, at the Keizer Heritage Center. Rick Stucky, a former Salem city councilor, will argue in favor of the charter, while Marion County Comissioner Janet Carlson will make the case against it. Bruce Anderson of Northwest Natural will moderate the discussion. Attendees will have an opportunity to ask questions. The event is sponsored by the Keizer Chamber of...

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