Letters to the Editor 4/12/2023


Last updated 4/11/2023 at 10:21am

Support SPRD local option levy

To the Editor:

I have called Sisters my home since 1978, and worked as a school nurse in the Sisters School District for many years. My family and I have had the opportunity to learn and be active through Sisters Park & Recreation District (SPRD) programs, from preschool for my granddaughter, summer soccer camps for my grandson, and music lessons and healthy activity for myself. Supporting SPRD supports all of us as a community, providing opportunities to meet and engage new friends, stay fit, and learn new skills.

I urge you to continue to support our SPRD Local Option Measure 9-160.

I have seen how their excellent programming has benefited the children and families of this district, from offerings for pre-school children through senior programming. Summer soccer camps, educational offerings such as guitar and ukulele lessons, and many other sports and recreation programs all enrich our children’s and families’ lives.

The local option levy is a renewal request, and would continue the current rate of 15 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. No increase in taxes would occur as a result of your vote of support of this measure.

SPRD uses these funds to keep the cost of programs reasonable, provide scholarships, train staff, maintain the facilities, and sustain and expand programs for youth, adults, and seniors. If it is not renewed, the SPRD budget would be reduced by 20%. We would see fewer programs, or increased fees, and the necessary maintenance of facilities might be postponed. Most importantly, the health and well-being of our children and adults who live here would be negatively affected. Your support is very important to keep SPRD operating and improving, and to continue to provide their excellent offerings, for all of us.

Please vote YES to support the SPRD Local Option Measure 9-160.

Sally Benton

s s s

To the Editor:

As president of the board of directors for Sisters Park & Recreation District (SPRD), I urge you to support Measure 9-160, the local option tax levy designed to maintain and enhance services provided by SPRD. Passage by the voters of the initial local option levy in 2018 provided much-needed relief to SPRD, a publicly supported agency that had been getting by on bare-bones budgets for many years. The renewal of the local option levy would continue the current levy rate of $0.15 per $1,000 on total assessed value, which means the owner of a home of $255,000, the median assessed value, pays less than $40 annually.

The passage of the levy in 2018 reaped the following benefits: 1) allowed hundreds more children to engage in high-quality preschool and after-school programs; 2) offered over 300 programs, with a strong emphasis on health, wellness, and outdoor activities, available for all District residents; 3) continued events, like the Sisters Basketball Shootout and SALI Lacrosse Tournament, that greatly benefit both the community and local businesses; 4) reduced the backlog of maintenance projects and funded a capital reserve account; and 5) recruited and retained experienced staff providing high-quality services to Sisters Country residents.

These results closely align with what the Board pledged to do with the funds generated by the 2018 levy.

If the levy is renewed for another five years, SPRD will continue to expand recreational services and care programs, hold community-wide events, and chip away at the remaining maintenance backlog. Additionally, SPRD will continue its work with the Sisters School District to convert the existing elementary school to a community- focused activity center in 2024.

Without passage of Measure 9-160, SPRD would be forced to cut back many of its services to pre-2018 levels, and the Board would be required to reassess the ability of engaging in any expansion projects.

Please join me in voting YES on Measure 9-160.

Peggy Tehan

s s s

Give responsible dog owners

a thumbs-up

To the Editor:

To all anti-dog owners: please put away the pitchforks. Every spring in every town across America, the dialogue ignites about dog owners who do not take care of their dog’s, uh, business. Those violators make the rest of us dog owners look pretty bad. But the letter penned in last week’s Nugget was a bit harsh and borderline Cruella de Vil-ish.

It’s a bit coldhearted to say that if you don’t clean up after your dog, maybe you shouldn’t have one. Would you say that to cat owners whose animals roam free and make any place their litter box? Or, how about that kid who dropped his empty drink container on the sidewalk? Should that family give up their kids? Let’s rein in the emotions a bit.

The commonly used term is curbing, which a Google search defined as: “Picking up your dog’s poop, preventing them from peeing in your neighbor’s gladiolas, and just being generally conscientious about your pup’s excretions.”

That’s me. I’m a good neighbor and I curb my dog. There are hundreds of us locals who curb their dogs. Ever notice an empty dog bag station and its full trash bin at the park? We’re taking care of business and disposing of said business in the proper way. Trust me, there would be much more if no one properly picked up and disposed of their dog’s waste.

Seeing this “crap” frustrates me, too. But that doesn’t mean I know that person. Just because I own a dog doesn’t mean I have access to every other owner’s contact information or Instagram handle. I also don’t carry a DNA test to check those brown lumps to prove my dog’s innocence.

I say this because I was approached one day while walking my dog. There I was, full bag in hand, getting a lecture from a concerned neighbor about cleaning up. I raised my odiferous bag as proof, but she continued on anyway. I politely listened to a talk that I should not have gotten. I should have just walked away. I’m sure this has happened to other good dog owners at some point of their dog’s life, as well.

So here’s a few ground rules to those violators dragging us down in the dirt with them:

1. Clean up after your dog. No exceptions. If you don’t see a trash receptacle, take that bag of smush and throw it away at home.

2. Just because you walk your dog after dark doesn’t mean the poop isn’t there. This isn’t a Schrodinger’s cat paradox. Bring a flashlight.

3. Attention hikers with dogs on any trail: Leave No Trace pertains to poop bags. Rangers and volunteer trail crews have enough to do. The word “butler” is not in their job description.

4. And a heads-up to everyone else: Give good dog owners a thumbs-up once in a while. We don’t deserve your sideways glance of disdain. Stop profiling. Overall, we are a responsible pack.

Now, let’s talk about all that deer poop.

Marlene McCormack

s s s

Support local option for schools

To the Editor:

The voters of Sisters School District will have the opportunity to renew the current local option levy in the May 16 Special District Election by voting “yes” on Measure 9-161.

For two decades, Sisters voters have voted to renew this levy that creates some extraordinary educational opportunities for our children. A “yes” vote will not raise property taxes. Sisters schools will still have the lowest tax rate in the region.

A “yes” vote will allow our schools to provide excellent educational opportunities for our children. We can continue to have smaller class sizes than other districts. We can continue to offer programs like flight science, guitar-building in the woodshop, and outdoor classes at the middle and high schools that make our district unique. We can continue to provide counseling services in each of our schools.

The local option makes a difference. Our high school graduation rates are consistently well above the state average. Our test scores are amongst the best in the state. We can attract top-quality teachers who want to teach in a district with such great community support.

I urge Sisters voters to support our children by voting for the local option in May.

Jeff Smith


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