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Letters to the Editor, March 8

Counterproductive tax

I will be voting “no” on Measure 15-133. The reasons:

1) Our inexperienced new county commissioners have not told us why it is necessary to spend $100,000 of taxpayer money on a special election, when the cost would have been substantially less if they had waited until the May election.The need for urgency is unclear since the Legislature must pass legislation to allow local jurisdictions to tax marijuana.

2) If it were legal, the intent of the measure is unclear. Since the potential 25 percent tax is much higher than proposed taxes in cities, it could induce producers to move into cities, and into energy squandering indoor facilities. It could also encourage sellers to also move into our cities, and closer to most of our schools. Would that be a desirable outcome?

Dr. David Gilmour, former Jackson County commissioner, Central Point

Missing the point

In most of the media coverage of Israeli Prime Minister Bejamin Netanyahu’s visit, the focus has been on the supposed conflict between Obama and Netanyahu. That misses the point of the significance of his visit.

The issue is not whether Obama likes Netanyahu, but whether the American people can be once again misled into believing that there is a nuclear threat that must be stopped by coercion and eventually by military action.

The foreign ministers of Britain, France, Germany and the European Union have all publicly declared the negotiations with Iran are highly promising. But Prime Minister Netanyahu — together with major support in both parties engendered by the Israeli lobby and Christian Zionists — is seeking to persuade the U.S. to launch military strikes against Iran and begin an even worse Middle East war than we’ve already been in. Will we really let that happen?

Kathleen Gamer, Ashland

War not the answer

There is nothing Bibi Netanyahu would like more than to scuttle any agreements the U.S. or international community might make with Iran. There is also nothing he would like better than to send (and perhaps he now can) U.S. troops into war with Iran. He, of course, would then be able to jump in — finally, and with our blessing.

Iran is a serious threat to israel and to the rest of the world. We should continue our unflagging support for Israel, but American troops, bombs, and casualties, are — once again — not the answer.

Don Azar, Phoenix

Vote no on tax

Jackson County has been less than transparent about the current special election. The Voters' Pamphlet incorrectly listed the chapter as 866. It is actually 886. When trying to locate the actual text of Chapter 866, I was informed of the error, and that the ordinance could be found on the county website under Ordinance 2014-8.

The proposal to tax reimbursement for medical marijuana is ridiculous.

The proposal to only tax those that live outside city limits (when some cities have already decided not to tax marijuana) means that only some growers have to ask $560 a pound more in compensation should they wish to vend their excess.

Jackson County has spent good money on a bad election. There is no guarantee that this will even be allowed under final state law. More money will spent to defend this unless we vote no! Stop this vote.

Melanie Barniskis, Phoenix

Gold Hill facts

Regarding the March 2 report of the Gold Hill City Council meeting, the article is full of half-truths and innuendo that are misleading and hurtful to Gold Hill.

Here are the facts: in June, Council President Silva and I were contacted by Deputy Recorder Goddard, who made allegations of harassment and sexual harassment. I immediately called our insurer, City Insurance Services; then I contacted the League of Oregon Cities, then our city attorney and finally Mr. Hohnbaum.

Within a few days, we hired a private investigator from out of the area, and a determination was made that there was no merit in the allegations. Ms. Goddard had not previously complained to her union, but then chose to make a Bureau of Labor and Industries claim in November. BOLI made no finding of fault, but came up with a recommendation (seconded by CIS) that the city staff and council would attend a workshop dealing with the rules and principles governing questions of harassment, and this was signed in February by all parties.

Jan Fish, Mayor of Gold Hill

Letters to the Editor, March 8