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Letters to the editor

Democrats can't count

Your editorial, Calling all Democrats to stand up and be counted (Oct. 15) is indeed too much to ask. Invoking the guilt trip on hard-working families for not wanting to pay &

36;36 more to help schools, seniors and children is totally unjustified.

When a retired pubic employee makes &

36;50 grand a year, that's a bit much. Let them fill in the gap in the school budget. They're the rich ones! The average Joe would have to make millions in the same time span to earn the same deal at retirement. And you want &

36;36 more for them?

I want to know how your paper can endorse such an irresponsible government that has left Oregon in such terrible debt. Democrats should not stand up and be counted. They should sit down because they can't count! ' Larry Nathan, Eagle Point

Family should choose

In regards to the article regarding the rejection of the family wanting to openly adopt a pet dog from the local Humane Society: I find it appalling to think that someone sitting inside behind a desk can decide who should adopt a particular pet while that same animal is desperately waiting outside in a concrete kennel alone and anxious.

In a country where most pet owners care for their pets better than some people care for their children, I find it ridiculous that a family cannot choose a pet for themselves. Who should decide whether or not the dog would be happy?

— You are correct in rejecting those terrible people who work full-time and want to give an unwanted dog a family and home. It is much better to keep that active dog in a concrete box until the right family decides to adopt him. Shame on you. ' M. Wallace, Medford

Shortfall didn't force cuts

The article in Sunday's (Oct. 12) paper headlined County paid a steep price for mistakes inaccurately states that a shortfall in the county's self-insurance fund forced deep cuts in this year's county budget. The cuts in this year's county budget were the result of state budget cuts and budget committee decisions to reduce funding for certain programs, most notably the library, and to channel the savings into the county's rainy day fund.

The shortfall in the self-insurance fund was filled primarily by transferring reserves that were not needed from other non-operating funds. Only about 15 percent came from operating budgets. This fact was explained in the article, in apparent contradiction of the article's opening line about deep cuts in the county budget. Although it made the budget tight, not a single layoff was necessitated, nor was any program cut due to the self-insurance fund shortfall.

The county has acted decisively to address problems in our self-insurance program and, as a result, we now find that program in what is probably the best fiscal condition it has ever been in. This is the result of the hard work of many county employees in our finance, human resource, risk management, and audit departments. ' Susan E. Slack, Jackson County administrator

Protect taxpayers

Your siren call for Democrats to rally round the tax flag left me wondering why. Why would you oppose the taxpayers? Is it fear?

Yes, Oregon taxpayers are more interested in their own pocketbooks than paying more taxes. Your frayed, old argument that essential services will suffer if the tax initiative passes may be true. At times like this, they should suffer. At the current level of taxation essential services are covered. What are not covered are the demands to boost spending.

In this state, there is a protected class. It is all those who work for the state and the schools. Unions protect them. While the rest of us suffered the full affects of the economic downturn, they did not. Who protects the taxpayer? Who protected the taxpayer from PERS? It certainly was not the legislature, nor the governor.

I urge all taxpayers to protect themselves by joining the cause to put the tax initiative on the ballot. Only then will the voice of the people be heard, not that of special interests and the protected classes. I am willing to hear the voice of the people. Why is the Mail Tribune afraid of that voice? ' Gale F. Trapp, Medford

Animals, not power

It is unbelievable that when we have so many homeless animals out there that the Humane Society decides that power and control are more important than placing an animal with a loving family with a fence who actually wants the dog. Wake up ... or get someone in there who's interests lie with the animals, not with the power. ' Mary Horton, Medford

Republican stance puzzling

I'm puzzled. Why is it that when President Bush asks for &

36;87 billion to fight a questionable war, the Republicans don't bat an eye, but when the state of Oregon asks for &

36;800 million to keep our schools open, they throw a fit? ' M. Lewis, Central Point