Look at the base rate

I would like to thank the Mail Tribune for the chart showing the various water rates in the Rogue Valley. It clearly demolishes the argument that Talent charges less for water than Phoenix because they have a greater population. As the chart shows, the difference between Phoenix ($42.40) and Talent ($42.35) at 10,000 gallons is just .5 cents. However, where the real difference lies is in the base rate. Phoenix charges $33.50 for 5,000 gallons base rate and Talent charges $12 for 3,000 gallons.

The rates created in Phoenix by the auto mechanic and the ex-federal bean counter place the major burden on the low-water user while Talent says the more you use, the higher the rate you will pay. If the chart was extended out to show the 50,000-gallon rate, Phoenix would be cheaper than Talent by nearly $100.

One system (Talent) says the more you use — and therefore place more burden on the infrastructure — the more you pay, while the other (Phoenix) says the less you use the more you subsidize the large users because the base rate needs to cover expenses. — Steven A. Schulman, Phoenix

Long story disappointing

I am very disappointed in the Tribune for attempting to make a huge story out of very little. Of course I'm referring to Superintendent Phil Long's renewal of contract being deferred.

His "offense?" Saving teachers' jobs.

We would do well to remember that Mr. Long is a highly qualified and highly ethical educator who possesses the three main qualities of a supervisor: firm, fair and friendly. Too bad all members of the School Board don't measure up to him.

Do not mistake an in-your-face demeanor for good communication; do not mistake a quiet demeanor as weak or secretive. It is the responsibility of both parties in a message to make communication work. Thank you, Phil Long, for your dedication and service. — Carol Jo Pettit, Talent

Hopalong Cassidy and the posse

Last week, two young Medford men were held on $75,000 bail for chasing down and beating another man who had just molested two sisters — immediate inexpensive justice, what?

In the old cowboy movies, often an ancient sheriff would organize a posse to help Hopalong, Gene, Roy, or The Cisco Kid catch the bad guys. When the sheriff was not available, the locals just joined in without becoming deputies.

Today, "Walker, Texas Ranger" movies copy the Roy Rogers scripts except that Walker is a government employee, honest locals are not armed like him, and Walker never deputizes nongovernmental employees.

But all the good-guy vs. bad-guy TV serials are similar. Only government employees can protect us helpless waifs from evil. Taking the law into one's own hands simply threatens the power, salaries and pensions of a host of government employees and they will immediately band together at every level to nip any threat to these "exclusive" privileges in the bud. — Gerald Holmquist, Shady Cove

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