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Letters to the Editor for October 25, 2017

Published on October 31, 2017 3:21PM


Approve Ballot Measure Prop. #1

Your ballot should have arrived for this November’s election. One item to look for is Proposition #1, Real Estate Excise Tax. If enacted by you, as a Pacific County voter, this measure will provide much needed revenue to be used for capital expenditures. With the economic downturn, the county has prioritized maintaining services over facility maintenance, capital improvements, or construction projects. However, as county facilities deteriorate, funds will have to be redirected to address facility needs rather than supporting services.

This tax will not increase your property taxes! It impacts only those who sell property. Many sales are made by those living out of the area, with the largest sales associated with companies like Weyerhaeuser, Rayonier and Hancock. The tax on a $200,000 sale would be an additional $500. The amount of money generated each year will depend on the amount and value of properties sold within the county, but is expected to be in the range of $300,000 per year.

Revenue generated by this tax can only be used for capital expenditures. The revenue will be used to help cover the $315,000 annual payment on the South County Facility, which was built to better serve the public. Our historic Courthouse in South Bend and other county structures are in need of long deferred repairs and maintenance. In 2017, the list of much needed capital repairs and projects the county could not afford to tackle totaled more than $2.3 million dollars. This does not include larger, longer term projects like jail facility expansion.

As other sources of county revenue continue to stagnate or shrink, passing this measure will provide for the preservation and maintenance of the structures required for the County to serve you. Please join me in voting for Proposition #1 on this November’s ballot.

Frank Wolfe

Nahcotta

Long ideal for port board

I want to take this opportunity to present the candidate that I know is committed to the community, cares about the people he represents and understands the importance of public, private and nonprofit partnerships to get things done. I was fortunate to work for Dennis Long for 18 years as he served as President of Bank of the Pacific. Sid Snyder, chairman of the board at the time, saw the wisdom of hiring Dennis. He brought us a vast amount of wisdom and experience in financial management, budgeting, investments, lending, governmental financing and strategic planning. He was highly motivated and had an incredible skill to motivate all around him, he accomplished this with compassion, consideration and truly caring about the people in our company. The company’s mission vision and values continue to be a big part of who we are today, the legacy of a true “Team Player” and a “Comprehensive Strategic Planner.”

Dennis grew up in the small community of Elma, his parents were small business owners; he has a big heart for the community, which he wants to serve. He was instrumental in obtaining foundation grants as well as public support for the World Kite Museum building on Sid Snyder Drive. He also played a significant role in bringing the Grays Harbor College Annex to our area.

Dennis will bring a fresh voice and new ideas along with his diverse financial knowledge and leadership skills. “Great people help you to reach your full potential” and Dennis will be no different with his commitment to the Port of Peninsula.

Please join me in voting for Dennis Long for Port of Peninsula Commissioner District 2 position.

Laura C. Smith

Long Beach

Vote for Mary DeLong

I have known Mary DeLong for 20 years and have had the privilege of knowing her through her many years of service to our local communities.

DeLong spent seven years as financial director for the Port of Ilwaco.

She then moved on to be the Port of Peninsula as port manager and was there for 12 years. She retired in December of last year after helping to recruit and develop a dedicated and talented staff to take over the management of the port.

She has been a community steward for us as a board member for the Pacific County Council of Governments, she has served as co-president for the Long Beach Peninsula Visitors Bureau and spent years on the Board of Directors of the Great Northwest Federal Credit Union. She worked with Cathy Russ and many other community leaders to promote and protect local businesses for the Pacific County Economic Development Council. She also worked with the Coastal Resource Alliance and the Lewis and Clark Bi-centennial planning group. During her experience with the ports she participated in the planning, funding efforts and project development for the First and Howerton, Waterfront Way project that basically rebuilt Ilwaco almost 15 years ago. She planned, secured funding, permitting and managed the buildout of the Ilwaco Pavilion and a groundwater filtration system for that boatyard.

Her accomplishments at the Port of Peninsula include the replacement of the service pier, providing infrastructure security for the continued development of commercial activities by businesses dependent on the services of the Port, such as the addition of an Ice Plant which has furthered those efforts.

Her relevant experience and proven track record are more impressive than the excess of signs and paid political adds by her opponent Dennis Long. The last thing this port and our communities need is a corporate Banker who knows nothing about the ecology and environmental issues of Willapa Bay, has no experience with the oyster growers or fisherman concerns and has no knowledge of port management issues. Sorry, Melissa, and many of those who endorsed candidate Long. You don’t live in the district. If you have the privilege of voting for Mary DeLong, she is by far the best candidate.

Mike Dutchuk

Ocean Park

Issues affect entire county

As a candidate for South Bend city council position No. 1, I would just like to say how enjoyable it has been going to the residences of South Bend and talking with the citizens about issues coming our way from federal government policies.

To pay for tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations with cuts to Medicaid would threaten our hospital. Immigration enforcement could threaten our school population, which is over 40 percent Hispanic. The feds also would like to get rid of the marijuana industry, which has been a substantial job creator here in North Pacific County. The fact that half our residents here cannot meet basic necessities makes it amazing that I get a nearly 100 percent compassionate response and agreement about these issues.

We face many of the same issues as you in South Pacific County, however, there are differences. Our contribution to a clean bay costs South Bend residents a $116 per month sewer bill, making our total utility bill over $200 per month. Recently our public access to timberland has been gated off. I would think this affects all the county, as I am sure some visitors would not vacation at a place that only has public access to only a 100-foot-wide narrow strip of land along Highway 101 or Highway 4 or Highway 6 or Highway 105. These are the issues we face. We all need to keep talking about them.

Daryle Buchanan

South Bend

Long knows money management

Vote for Dennis Long as commissioner of Port of Peninsula District #2.

Dennis has had a long history of money management and fund raising on our Peninsula. He served on the Board of Directors and was instrumental in raising funds for the acquisition of property for the World Kite Museum. He is an active and enthusiastic Rotarian, where he recently spurred his club successfully in its membership recruitment effort and he is an active participant in the Pack2School program.

AA team player and excellent negotiator, Dennis is best known in our area for his work in banking — as president and chief executive officer of the Bank of the Pacific, then as president of its holding company. Ultimately, he served as chair of the Board of Directors of the Western Independent Bankers Association, an organization comprised of most of the community banks west of the Mississippi.

He remained CEO of the Bank of the Pacific until his retirement.

Now at home full time, Dennis desires to serve our community as a Commissioner for the Port of Peninsula. I encourage your vote for Dennis A. Long.

Janice Peterson

Peninsula

Elect Forner as mayor

Vote for Gary Forner for mayor! He has been on the council for seven years and he knows Ilwaco and how to continue to make it a great city. He loves this place and has been a resident many years. Thanks, Gary, for being there for us!

Jim Berglund

Ilwaco

DeLong is best choice

Please vote to retain Mary DeLong as Port Commissioner Port of Peninsula (Nahcotta). This choice a no-brainer in my opinion. As someone who has worked out of the Port of Peninsula for over 40 years, I really don’t understand the motivation for a retired bank president with zero experience at running a port, to run against Delong, who has vast experience and qualifications.

DeLong just finished 12 exceptionally productive years as port manager and executive director at the Port of Peninsula, and served as Finance Director at the Port of Ilwaco for 7 years before that. I can only speak personally to Mary DeLong’s work at The Port of Peninsula, where she is currently a port commissioner. The Port of Peninsula is a working port, meaning a majority of what goes on there is commercial activity — oysters and fishing — with some recreational activity. As port manager, DeLong over saw the funding and permitting of the complete replacement of our service pier. We went from having a wood pier that could only serve one dredge at a time, and was literally falling apart, to a larger concrete and steel structure that has 3 hoist, a boat hoist, and fuel station. This dock can service five functions or boats at once! This is a huge improvement over the old dock. It also levels the playing field between the large companies and small companies.

This is a point I can’t emphasize enough: Mary has worked hard to always try to protect our smaller farmers by making sure they had the infrastructure and support they needed to stay in business and avoid takeover. This fact I can attest to personally as a small shellfish grower. A good example of this is when the State Department of Health implemented new regulations that required huge amounts of ice to be used during the handling of shellfish. Ice machines that can produce large volumes are very expensive and cost prohibitive for a company my size. The Port installed an ice machine that many farmers and fisherman use to stay in compliance, and in business! DeLong knows the port, its users, and their needs intimately. She has a track record that proves she understands the needs of its users, and how it can best benefit those users, large and small, and how to best serve the community around the port. Delong has proven these things already with her actions.

Why would we want to change what’s working well? Why would we want to take a chance with an inexperienced person? I’ve seen over 12 years of proof that DeLong not only can do the job, but has done it with the highest level of integrity, professionalism and fairness. Why would anyone want to throw all that away and gamble on an inexperienced candidate? Because he has half-page adds and bigger signs? Don’t make your decision based the amount of money a candidate can spend on a campaign. I’m asking all of you to join me in voting to keep Mary DeLong as Port Commissioner because she’s already proven she’s the right person for the job.

Warren Cowell

Ocean Park

Insult to Armed Forces

Every time an NFL team member “takes a knee”; every player who stays in the locker room during the National Anthem; every time a high school band walks off the field during the playing of the National Anthem; every time the crowds at games turn their backs on the field during the National Anthem — the spirits of 619,000 members of the Armed Forces, whether they be black white, brown male or female have been gravely insulted. Whether they feel they have a legitimate gripe about social injustice, they have insulted the very spirits of those who made the ultimate sacrifice so that they can express their dissatisfaction with the way things are in this great nation. Perhaps they should travel to Russia, Pakistan, South Korea, Singapore and try their tactics and see what happens.

Allan Pilger

Long Beach

Control city utility costs

City of South Bend water, sewer and garbage rates are out of control. Unfortunately, the city’s attitude is “Oh, well, nothing we can do about it,” or “It’s the previous mayor’s fault.” Well, I say no, high utility rates should and can be managed. The city is just accepting the status quo. Engage your brain, not blame others. There are many strategies that can and should be developed, but nothing is being developed, except just pass the expenses on to the citizens. Enough already!

I understand that additional “water supply improvements” are being studied which will add more costs to our water rates. The city of South Bend has a high percentage of low income and retired households who are challenged each month to pay their utility bills. Many are forced to make hard choices between medical, food and utility expenses. But the city just keeps piling on the costs. I say stop! Mayor and council, collect yourselves. Challenge those who are advising you to keep spending. This is like getting a second independent option. The elected city officials are not expected to be experts in utility engineering, but they are expected collectedly to have some common sense.

I was a part of a county-wide citizens group who fought for years to stop the very expensive, poorly designed Public Utility District No. 2 Tokeland power extension. The project which was finally canceled in March 2017, saving PUD #2 ratepayers many millions.

I have recently spoken with City Council candidates Kuiken, Martin, Markwell and Giacoma and received feedback that they share my concern. This is a start, if they are elected.

Summary: Mayor and council, stop being bamboozled, develop some strategies and get a cost effective plan together to move forward. You need good professional help.

Ron Craig

South Bend



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