Day: November 12, 2010

Paying for 9-1-1

The city council will consider giving the city of Keizer the authority to assess fees on wireless providers to offset costs of 9-1-1 and public safety communications. The council is not expected to actually impose fees at Monday’s session.  The ordinance would only allow the city to impose fees on gross revenues of telecommunication companies that provide wireless phone service in the city. Currently the city is subsidizing its share of 9-1-1 costs from the general operating budget to the tune of more than $600,000 annually. That is money that can be used to bring the Keizer Police Department to full personnel strength and other general fund items such as parks. Franchise fees that phone companies pay to the city help pay for Keizer’s share of the 9-1-1 costs.  More people are opting out of land lines for cell phones; cellphone and wireless providers do  not pay a franchise fee to the city.  The result is that dwindling franchise fees are paying for increasing public safety communications which includes the 9-1-1 emergency service, communications systems, and a records management system. The current communications franchise fee is not sufficient to fund the city’s share and is not sustainable with decreasing land line usage. Public safety is the top priority for any government and the 9-1-1 system is a key part of saving lives and responding to crimes.  The system is...

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Eagle project is huge success for library

To the Editor: I am extremely grateful for the help of the Keizer community in the completion of my Boy Scout Eagle project. I could not have completed my Eagle project without the help from many members of the community. The goal of my Eagle project was to collect 5,000 books. We collected over 8,125 books, CD’s, DVD’s, and books on tape. These materials will be added to the library’s collection or sold to fund library operations. I received help from many different sources. I want to thank those family members, fellow scouts, leaders, friends, and library staff that passed out flyers and then collected, counted, and sorted donated items. I would like to give a special thank you to three local businesses. Roth’s Fresh Markets, True Value Hardware, and the Keizertimes allowed me to place collection bins at their businesses. The bins received many donations. At the end of the project, True Value Hardware offered to keep a collection bin in their store for continued donations. I would like to specifically thank the following citizens and associated businesses: Rick and Iva Curry with Budget Rent a Space. They graciously donated a storage unit for storage and sorting activities. Mark DeWilde with Select Impressions helped prepare and then donated thousands of flyers. Lyndon Zaitz of the Keizertimes helped significantly. He helped promote the project with coverage in the Keizertimes,...

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Book drive will help community library

To the Editor: I would like to call attention to and express my appreciation for the very successful book drive that was arranged and supervised by McNary High School sophomore Grant Gerstner for the benefit of Keizer Community Library. This project, which was designed to meet his  Eagle Scout qualification requirements, was completed October 31 and  resulted in the donation and collection of more than 8,000 books and related items (books on tape and CD, VHS tapes and DVDs, etc.).  In accomplishing this, Grant was aided by his family, other scouts,  their parents and by members of his church.  Well done, Grant! Art Burr, Library Director, Keizer Community...

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The reality of state employee pay

By KEN ALLEN The election is (finally) behind us, a new governor will take office in January and soon thereafter two important events will occur: the 2011 Oregon Legislature will convene and the state of Oregon will sit down with our union and others to open bargaining on new contracts for state employees. The legislature being in session is an important backdrop in this round of negotiations, as it’s well known the state faces serious budget challenges in the upcoming biennium. And, as is often the case, many are calling for the budget to be balanced on the backs of the state’s workers, whom they see as overpaid. There are two problems here. One, the state’s budget gap of $3.2 billion is exponentially larger than the kind of numbers we’ll be bargaining. Two, quite simply, state employees are not overpaid. Indeed, there have been several independent confirmations that Oregon’s state workers are in fact underpaid when properly compared to their counterparts in the private sector — including academic studies, a state report and exhaustive articles by both the Oregonian and the Salem Statesman Journal. When I say “properly compared,” the key component is examining jobs that require comparable education, experience and duties. It’s this type of “apples to apples” comparison that’s frequently lacking in debates of public vs. private sector compensation. Conservative talk show hosts, in particular, love to...

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Leroy J. Gooch

Mr. Gooch, of Salem, died Wednesday, Nov. 3, 2010. He was 91 years old. Born March 26, 1919, in Brookfield, Mo. he moved with his family to Walla Walla, Wash. in 1937. They moved to Oregon later that year, settling in the Salem area. He wed Iris Phillips in 1940. Mr. Gooch worked as a building contractor until retiring in 1984. He was preceded in death by his wife. Survivors include: his son, Daryl (Sue) Gooch; two daughters, Linda (Louis) Walker-Choate and Doneva (Larry) Miletta of Salem; grandchildren, Darren (Jennifer) Gooch of Warrenton, Shelley (Brian) Watts of Salem, Mindy Walker of Keizer, Jonathan (Jamie) Walker of Salem, Brandon Miletta of Culver City, Calif., and Amber Miletta of Salem; and six great-grandchildren. Funeral services were held Friday, Nov. 5, at Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Oregon Hunters Association or the Rocky Mountain Elk...

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