Letters to the Editor

Illinois Valley News welcomes letters to the editor. Please email them to laura@theivnews.com

‘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 The latter need not be published, but will be used to verify authenticity.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.)

DeLaGrange is best prepared!
Not only is it popular now to malign candidates with the claim they want to “defund” the police, it is applied to voters who don’t do what commissioners want them to do. Commissioner De Young recently accused those who oppose his sales tax proposal as joining the “defunding” ranks. But considering the long standing funding problem the Josephine County Sheriff Department has faced since logging revenue started evaporating in the 1990s, voters should ask De Young why the commissioners waited so long to develop this murky plan. Were they too dependent on federal and state monies to solve this problem on their own? According to a local Chamber of Commerce poll, many business owners see the sales tax as punitive and cumbersome. Both county Democrat and Republican parties oppose it. If it fails, which is likely, commissioners admit, there is no “fat” in the county budget to render into sheriff funding. John West, a commissioner candidate, claims he could supply 80 % of the needed funding by taking money from Public Works and County Parks departments. He also believes state and federal agencies want more wildfires because they get money to fight them. (He forgets to mention his own fire-fighting profits.) We need to elect someone who is experienced, prudent, and realistic. Brian DeLaGrange is best prepared to develop permanent sheriff funding and address wildfire risk. He will work toward real solutions for our county’s big problems and bring common sense to the board of commissioners.
Jane Slama
Grants Pass

Why shouldn’t everyone contribute instead of just the property owners?
Finally, a concept where everyone helps pay for services that we want and deserve. Usually, it’s the property owners. The property owners that work hard to “actually pay” for what they want in their lives. The property owners who pay the bills for everyone around them to benefit from. Why doesn’t everyone contribute? It’s always more taxes and its always more taxes for the property owners. This ask is for more taxes but instead of coming out of the property owner’s pockets, it will be paid by people who are shopping between the months of April through October. Not shopping for essentials like food or medicine but other shopping. The kind that we all enjoy. We don’t necessarily need it to survive, but we still want to buy that groovy outfit, or get out and socialize and spend a little something. It’s called living. It’s 3 cents out of each dollar. When you go spend $25 you will be paying 75 cents more to support law enforcement. Seriously, is that a terrible thing?
Yes, there is a burden on the retail stores to collect the 3% but did you all know that they will be keeping a percentage off the top of what they collect to cover the energy they spent to collect the tax? Excellent! And did you also know that if any of us go out and buy something big during the months of April 15th through October 15th – you know like a car… we are only going to pay $60 tops! Not 3% of the car purchase.
The team that put together this tax concept really spent some energy thinking about how it was going to affect everyone. And this is permanent funding! No more begging and defending why this levy or that levy needs to pass.
If you’ve been hearing how these taxes are going to be split up, you will know that Grants Pass is getting a pretty big chunk because they have a larger population. Why do they need it? They already have a police force. A police force that their citizens currently pay $1.79 for every $1,000 of property value that they each have! With this tax concept, that $1.79 is going to go down to $.79/$1,000.00. So, it’s a win win for GP! And that is fine! Everyone deserves to be safe and protected. And for those out there that have never had to ask for help – then you are blessed. For the rest of us, when it hits the fan, I want someone there to help. It can be as simple as finding a young adult man in my forest, lost and acting strange. Why was he there? Was he dangerous? Was he hurt? What am I going to do? I needed someone to help so I called 911 and Josephine County Sheriff Department responded. They arrived on the scene, comforted the lost, mentally challenged young man, made sure he got home safely, made sure that home was safe, and everyone lived happily ever after. That’s what I want in my life.
I know it sucks to have to pay more taxes. Get real people and let’s be honest. This county is 70% federally owned lands. We don’t get one penny of tax from those lands. That leaves us with 30% to contribute to all the services that we all want and deserve. And then you take away all the tax deferments and reductions for this reason or that reason, and there is hardly anything left. It’s insane that our County has made it this long with the little funding that has been available.
I don’t want to go back to the days when Josephine County Sheriff’s Department lost nearly their entire workforce because a levy didn’t pass. I want to know that when I pick up the phone, someone will be there to talk to me; Someone will respond to an emergency; I want a police presence driving in my town to remind those horrible criminals to think twice and for crimes that are committed, there will be consequences. Please think about the results of a no vote and how cool a yes vote will be.
~Becky Patton
Josephine County Citizen
Born and raised in the Illinois Valley