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I am voting for Caddy McKeown to continue as our state representative. Back in 1987-95, I served on the Oregon Transportation Commission. Even then we could see that, as vehicles got ever-better gas mileage, the revenues flowing to our road and highway systems were declining, while the costs of materials and labor for roads and highways were going up. Things aren’t much better now. Just more cars on the road and worse pavement conditions.

Caddy’s opponent, Teri Grier, devoted her entire primary election voters’ pamphlet page to berating Caddy’s success in leading the legislature to finally adopt a comprehensive funding plan for transportation in Oregon. She needs to know that under Article IX, Section 3a, of the Oregon Constitution, all taxes on the “ownership, operation or use of motor vehicles” MUST be used for the “construction, reconstruction, improvement, repair, maintenance, operation and use of public highways, roads, streets and roadside rest areas in this state.”

That means that all the taxes Ms. Grier is complaining about are going to the state highway fund, county road funds, and city road and street funds, all of which badly need additional revenue. Just look at the potholes in our city streets. We all seem to agree that rebuilding the Scottsburg Bridge is a very good idea. If it wasn’t for Caddy, that would not be happening. She is recognized throughout the state for her work as head of the legislative committee that caused the new tax bill to pass, and she should be praised for that, not carped at by an uninformed newcomer to our area.

One final point: While all gas taxes and registration fees go to highways, roads and streets, in most cases that is the ONLY money that the state, counties and cities are able to use for those purposes. General fund revenues rarely find their way to making our travel safer, easier and more convenient.

My vote is going to a proven leader, Caddy McKeown, who knows and cares a great deal about the South Coast, where she has lived and served her community all her life, not to a glib recent transplant from Arizona.

John Whitty

Coos Bay

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