Letters to the Editor Questioning how money is spent in district

It’s refreshing to see an effort to maintain a program necessary for student development, but as the article is read one wonders about the necessity of this action originally (“District officials bypass pay hike,” Courier-Herald, April 1).

It’s refreshing to see an effort to maintain a program necessary for student development, but as the article is read one wonders about the necessity of this action originally (“District officials bypass pay hike,” Courier-Herald, April 1).

In an effort to ensure everyone received credit the White River School District central administrative team is named in its entirety in paragraph six. By all appearances there are many individuals handling very specialized functions.

But what does the approximately $80,000 saved constitute? If it’s their pay hike, wow, $80,000 at 3.5 percent means those 10 people collectively divvy up $2,285,714 in salary each given year, which is a lot of bread. If those unproductive days that are given up by principals are included, their dollar amounts should be so noted, so they could be discounted from the $80,000 figure, then the public could see that they are paying for what appears to be a top-heavy administrative team.

As school taxes are greater than 60 percent of our already inflated property tax bills, I would thing the public could expect and answer.

Marvin Sundstrom


It was nice to see strangers

work as a team

On my drive from Buckley toward South Prairie March 31 around noon, the wind brought down a very large tree across both lanes of the road at mile marker 20 before the Wilkeson Y. Cars and trucks began to stack up behind it in both directions.

In the time it took me to call 911 to get assistance, one lady and several men hopped out of their vehicles, pushed the log off the road, then scraped the debris off using their feet like brooms. It was heart-warming to see the spontaneous reaction of people rising to the occasion and solving the dilemma like they worked together doing this on a daily basis.

I don’t know who this wonderful group of strangers were, but they made my day. Thanks to these thoughtful people for their fast actions that prevented a road jam and saved everyone a few tax dollars from having to call out emergency crews.

Rhonda Madison


Giving thanks for important job well done

We just had an experience in our household that most people do not expect, or even give much thought to, if any.

As usual, my wife had taken a muscle-relaxing pill at bedtime. A couple of hours later, she got up to use the bathroom facilities. Due to the pill, she promptly slipped to the floor and could not get up on her own, or even with my help. I called 911 for assistance.

Our need was urgent (at least to us) but not life-threatening. The 911 team displayed swift, courteous and knowledgeable support. I am talking about the assistance we received from the person who initially answered my telephone call to the on-site team that took care of the situation. I doubt if we would have been any more satisfied had we still be living in L.A.

I have purposely not passed on any names or dates here, as I want to see all those associated with the 911 effort given full credit for their actions.

Leon Miller


Rattling off what Obama did right

President Obama re-turned to the United States fresh off the European leg of his Trash America on Foreign Soil tour. I was prepared to write about everything he did wrong. However, I don’t have the time and the newspaper doesn’t have the space. So, I decided to call an audible and write a letter about what President Obama did right. After all, he will give me plenty of fodder in the future to write about. Militarily, medically, socially, economically, morally and ethically he is on a fast track to take the U.S. down from its’ “Super Power” status to the mediocre level of Europe. But I digress.

President Obama showed true leadership and did the right thing when he called European nations on the carpet for their failure to step up to the plate when it comes to helping the U.S. in fighting the war on terror. President Obama was correct in reminding European leaders that Europe will be impacted most if terrorism is not defeated. Other than Great Britian, European nations have failed miserably. Unfortunately, Europe continued their decades old tradition of being cowards and did not commit any more troops to battle Islamo-fascism despite President Obama’s best efforts. It seems the French have taken over Europe.

This speech came shortly after President Obama called for more troops in Afghanistan. Another good move. He also resisted the urge to close down Gitmo right away and pull troops out of Iraq immediately. He is also continuing the rendition program and sending unmanned flights into Pakistan to bomb villages where Islamo-fascists are hiding. It sounds very George Bushian. It is good to see that in regards to the war on terrorism, he has distanced himself from his campaign rhetoric, distanced himself from the left wing nuts and picked up where President Bush left off. In fact, he just called for Congress to give him 83 billion more dollars to fight the War on Terror. Yet, another good move on President Obama’s part and a move that I have no problem with my tax money going toward.

How ironic is that? President Obama goes from street agitator in Chicago, to “throwing bombs” at President Bush from the halls of Congress, to the White House, where he promptly follows in the footsteps of President Bush when it comes to prosecuting the War on Terror. It will be enlightening to see how liberals are going to justify the actions (actions I support) of President Obama when they spent many years skewering President Bush for doing the same thing. Break out your hypocrisy meters because here it comes.

J. Buss


Businessman concerned abour mayor

As a small-business owner, I am very concerned about what amount of increase I might see in my city gas bill. When the Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission makes its decision regarding the amount of financial penalties against the city I hope the increase is not passed along to the ratepayers. However, at an emergency council meeting, Mark Bauer, city administrator, clarified that the city insurance would not cover the fine but that any financial penalty would fall upon the ratepayers. The current fine could be as high as $11 million.

I was saddened to learn, once again, that Mayor Wise withheld information from City Council regarding the certified letter he received from the UTC on Nov. 17, 2008. If he had disclosed this information in a timely manner, perhaps the council would have had time during their budget process to make some decisions. They could have added another employee or two to help the gas department take care of some of the non-compliance issues the UTC had found.

Mayor Wise should have shared that letter with council. Though he did apologize for his actions, somehow that doesn’t soften the impact from potential fines that the ratepayers will bear. Let’s hope that administration is able to negotiate some type of reduced fine or better yet, no fine. But that still does not excuse Mayor Wise from withholding information from City Council. This appears to be a continued pattern of secrecy. The council was not informed about the Nestle water issue for approximately nine months, the logo was kept under wraps which caused a council member to inform the attorney general about a possible public disclosure violation by the mayor, and now this.

Should the rates increase, maybe Mayor Wise would like to pick up the tab for all of us. I am certainly glad this is an election year because Mayor Wise has shown poor judgment and leadership. Maybe he’s not a “Wise choice” for the future.

T. Pierick


Nothing wrong with showing some emotion

In response to Susan Laurnen’s letter regarding the “negative tone” at the meeting to discuss taking three months of school time from our children (Courier-Herald, March 18):

After reading this letter I’m thinking, would she wish that the tone in Washington, D.C., be more polite when so-called lawmakers are speaking to AIG executives and the people in charge of oversight of the millions of dollars that went to bonuses? Let’s all be polite and not speak with any passion. Let’s all sit with our hands folded and not respond to others’ comments. Let’s all speak in monotone like our country’s savior B.O.B.

No. I’m sorry but many of us are passionate about what we believe in. And I for one want my children to get as much education as they can. The district’s proposal of eliminating three months of children’s school hours is unacceptable. Do the math. That’s the school time our kids would lose. The Washington State Department of Education is dead-set against this, as many parents are. However, the powerful Washington teachers association went to Olympia a few years ago with lots of donations and political power and made this half-day stuff legal.

Anyone that owns a business knows that this would never work in the business world. Schools are no different. Schools are contracted to produce something also – educated children. If you take children out of production, they won’t be a finished product. Teachers went to school to educate our children and a great majority do just that. In the end, the district is going to let the kids off one hour early on Friday. Knowing how government thinks, I suspect that in a short time the district will decide to add to that hour. That way we don’t have such a “negative tone” when they do it.

Ted DeVol


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