Month: October 2015

Many issues keep my mind busy

From the Capitol by Bill Post Once again I am honored and privileged to serve you the good people of Keizer (along with St. Paul, Newberg and parts in between) in the Oregon Legislature.  This month is sort of a “grab bag” of thoughts. First off, I am always surprised at how many people I talk to who aren’t even aware there is an Oregon Legislature.  I talk to a lot of people around town, by e-mail and social media, and many are not aware that the session of 2015 even happened, especially those it affected the most: businesses.  In the 2015 Session, there were several laws passed that will further burden businesses in our district and that greatly concerns me.  I get excited to read the Keizertimes and see new businesses start up or old ones grow larger – this is success for all of us, not just the business owner.  This is the main reason I am opposed (not as your state representative, but as Bill Post, the guy who lives in a home in Keizer) to the Salem-Keizer transit payroll tax.  I have seen the very difficult choices business will have to make beginning in 2016 thanks to the Oregon Legislature – they don’ t need another burden. Second, I love the weekly poll in the Keizertimes, as it tells us a little bit about our...

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Is the world of the middle class coming to an end?

Many a Christmas Eve ago, at the height of the Cold War, after the kids were put to bed, I laid there listening to the adults talk. One topic of conversation scared me so bad I never forgot it:  They discussed whether a war they believed was imminent would make that Christmas Eve the last one we’d ever celebrate. The end of the world was most likely discussed during the Ghengis Khan invasions, the Black Plague in Europe, the Great Depression and the World War II.  To a certain degree, end-of-world comments land on the demise of the American middle class and the extreme, irreversible, concentration of wealth, delivering our nation to plutocracy where the unelected one percent rule. What will happen to tens of thousands of American youth who seek a future like the one their parents believed they would realize?  There’s increasing doubt that our economy will recover enough to benefit most of us and that the middle class is close to extinction. Addressing these matters and others, the Oregon Economic Forum was held at the Portland Art Museum where two relevant questions were explored in reference to recovery from the so-called Great Recession and the middle class crisis. Along the same line of possibilities, Oregon’s Employment Department reports that, after a three-year growth spurt, this state has increased unemployment from 6.1 to 6.2 percent. This fact, apparently, has not caused economists here to believe there will be a...

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Opposition to payroll tax

To the Editor: I was listening to a fellow business owner this past weekend.  This is how he explained the impact of the proposed employer payroll tax on his business:  “It will cost me, personally, one month’s pay. This means that I will get paid for 11 of the 12 months I work.”  As a small business owner in Salem myself, I adhere to the old adage for business owners, you have to do right by your partners (if any), employees, suppliers, creditors and customers.  Then if there is any left you take care of your family and yourself. In this instance, my fellow business owner will take a pay cut if this tax passes.  Please vote no on the employer payroll tax.  No one should go without their paycheck. Eric T. McMullen Salem To the Editor: These are reasons why I am encouraging you to vote no on Measure 24-388. First, we need a broader conversation on the wants and needs of mass transit in the Keizer-Salem area. Mass transit is a need, weekend and later hours during the weekdays, in my opinion, is a want. Secondly, the percentage of people using mass transit is too small.  I applaud Cherriots for making the changes in the first phase of their Moving Forward. With the correct focus and encouragement, more people will find that taking the bus to work...

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Support for payroll tax

To the Editor: Salem-Keizer once had one of the state’s leading community transport systems. Less than a decade ago, the district enjoyed a ridership exceeding 5 million. Unfortunately, revenue cutbacks, inevitably followed by service cutbacks, have resulted in declining ridership. Last year, Cherriot carried 3.6 million. Salem is currently the only city in the Northwest with more than 100,000 people that does not have Saturday bus service. Our community now has an opportunity to restore services that were cut and to create a pathway for increasing ridership in the future. That’s why I am voting “yes” for the Salem-Keizer Transit (Cherriots) measure (No. 24-388).  And I hope you will too. The measure would allow Cherriots to provide weekend and holiday bus service, extend bus runs later into the evening hours during the week and offer free bus passes to middle- and high-school students. It would also allow the CherryLift to operate on weekends and holidays and, more generally, enable to Cherriots to fully implement its “Moving Forward” agenda, helping to meet the growing transit needs of Salem and Keizer. All of this would make our community a better and healthier place to live and likely give a bit of a boost to the economy by way of increased business activities and more vibrant, community-connected neighborhoods. It would certainly help those without cars – seniors, students and the disabled –...

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