Month: October 2011

In favor of Measure 24-324

To the Editor: When it comes to voting yes or no on the City of Keizer measure 24-324 (Public Safety Emergency Communications Fee) the facts make it clear.  The City of Keizer is unable to provide the level of public safety expected by our citizens with the current resources provided. Some facts that could guide your vote: 1.    The City of Keizer property tax rate $2.08 is the lowest in the State of Oregon for a full service city. 2.    The City of Keizer has the fewest number of employees per capita of any city our size in the state. 3.    The City of Keizer has dramatically cut its General Fund over the last two years resulting in the elimination of the Codes Enforcement Officer, Assistant to the City Manager and four frozen vacant police officer positions 4.    The Keizer Police Department budget has been reduced over $500,000 in the last two years. 5.    All non-represented city employees have taken a pay freeze for two years 6.    All city of Keizer Union employees voluntary gave up their cost of living allowances that were scheduled in their labor contracts. 7.    Due to the hiring freeze in the police department the City of Keizer Police Department  now has only 37 police officers, the same number it had in 1998. 8.    The City population has grown by 20 percent since 1998 and...

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Opposing Measure 24-324

To the Editor: Wow, the 911 supporters really know how to market a really bad tax. You need to read the back of their flyer closely so you can tell that nothing will change if this new tax does not pass. Their flyer does not say anything about the increase in 911 funds for the first two quarters of this year. Their flyer doesn’t say anything about the increase the city council can impose after the fifth year, which could include the CPI increases for the prior 5 years. I’ll be a no vote on this tax. Jim Keller Keizer   To the Editor: Have you had enough of increased spending by Keizer Government? We have! Consider the following if you are a taxpaying property owner citizen of Keizer: If you are like us, taxes paid to the city of Keizer and to the Keizer Fire District have increased by 5.1 percent over the last three years. Additionally, taxes to the Urban Renewal District have increased 19 percent in five years. Taxes paid to other taxing districts show similar increases. Now, the city wants to add an additional charge to our water bills for 911 phone service. It just does not make sense to attach a phone fee to water bills. They have nothing in common. Ask yourself. Have you received similar percentage increases in your wages or income...

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What it takes to sing (When your voice fails you)

By ERIC A. HOWALD Of the Keizertimes American novelist Henry Miller once wrote: “To sing you must first open your mouth. You must have a pair of lungs, and a little knowledge of music. It is not necessary to have an accordion, or guitar. The essential thing is to want to sing.” Miller never met Camille Nelson. The McNary High School senior, and veteran of the best high school choir in the state, wants to sing more than most people her age. She would settle for singing along to the radio in her car, but for the foreseeable future, even that small grace has been denied her. If Miller had met Camille, he would have known singing also takes vocal cords, two of them, and Camille has been relegated to just one. “It’s a really weird feeling. I was driving in my car and I just started singing along to the radio and then nothing came out. My mind knows what it’s supposed to be doing, but it just doesn’t work,” Camille said. Camille spent much of her young life focused on bettering two skills – singing and soccer – but a diagnosis of thyroid cancer early last summer and a surgery that left her with a paralyzed vocal cord has hampered her efforts at both. Camille fell ill with strep throat near the end of her junior year,...

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