Letters to the editor

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Illinois Valley News’ encourages letters to the editor provided they are legible and not libelous or scurrilous. All letters must be signed, including name, address and telephone number. The latter need not be published, but will be used to verify authenticity. The “News” reserves the right to edit letters. Letters are used at the discretion of the publisher.

(Editor’s Note: Views and commentary, including statements made as fact are strictly those of the letter writers.)

To the editor:
It’s been some time since I’ve been excited about voting for a political candidate.
In the angry and overwrought political-climate we have endured in recent years, the prospect of our state being led by moderate Betsy Johnson brings me immense comfort.
When Betsy Johnson describes herself as a “Daughter of Oregon” she has a rich history to back up that claim. Continuing a family tradition of philanthropy, political service and business success, Betsy brings a perspective reminiscent of an earlier time when the likes of Tom McCall, Vera Katz and Mark Hatfield could put party aside and work for the betterment of all Oregonians.
I had the opportunity to watch Betsy in action when I served for eight years on the Oregon Board of Forestry. I was impressed by her ability to evaluate an array of conflicting options and home in on a resolution without succumbing to partisan pressures.
Years of wringing our hands about Oregon’s urban-rural divide haven’t produced measurable change from Salem. Coming from a rural background herself, Betsy understands the plight of southern Oregon’s low-income communities. Housing shortages and homelessness, public safety and illegal cannabis are all issues that Betsy speaks knowledgeably about. At a recent visit in Grants Pass it was apparent that she clearly understood the problems created by illegal cannabis production – issues we deal with daily. Betsy was adamant that water theft, unchecked pesticide use and human trafficking are critical problems that as Governor she would insist on being addressed promptly.
Relatives of mine from Clatsop County tell about their good fortune in having had Betsy Johnson represent them, first as a member of the house, and then as Senator. They rave about how often Betsy shows up in their community, whether she’s shucking corn at the Brownsmead corn feed, or supporting the Knappa Schools Foundation fundraiser. Betsy’s indefatigable work for her district has led to her reelection for the past 20 years. Having experienced this steady advocacy, these communities have been wishing that Betsy would run for Governor. I’m pleased that they are getting their wish.
I hope Oregonians who have been unhappy with our current situation will cast their votes for Betsy Johnson and the change she promises to bring to our state.
Jennifer Krauss Phillippi

Say you won the lottery. Would you hand over $195.8 million of your winnings to someone who offers to manage it for you, but has no experience? Of course you wouldn’t.
Yet, John West, in his bid for election to county commissioner, wants to do just that – manage our $129 million dollar taxpayer-funded county budget with no experience.
Mr. West even has trouble understanding our budget, as he promises to “cut the fat” in a county budget that has no fat left to cut. For example, he proposes getting rid of 11 employees in the district attorney’s office. That office has only 7 designated employees.
He also wants to gut other departments by shifting funding – not allowed to be shifted – to the Sheriff’s Office along with raising taxes in an unworkable plan to fund the Sheriff’s Office.
His budget plan (or rather lack thereof) is rivaled in its buffoonery only by Commissioner DeYoung’s proposal that we all buy lottery tickets and donate half our winnings to the sheriff’s office to save it from collapse.

In contrast, Mr. West’s opponent, Brian De La Grange, has a proven record of budget management experience as a member of the Grants Pass City Council, where he balanced the budget after inheriting a $2M shortfall, and as a member of the District 7 School Board.

The county budget may not be our lottery winnings but it is our taxpayer money, and how it’s used affects our everyday quality of life.

Let’s not gamble it away. Elect Brian De La Grange, Commissioner.

Linda Scott
1036 NW Prospect Ave
Grants Pass