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What message is the BOC trying to send?

Spring marks the arrival of countywide governmental budget season. Coos County finished their 2019-2020 budget on April 4, 2019.

Oregon State Law requires that all governmental agencies within the state, give preference in contracting to agencies whose objective is to provide training and employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Except; if the governmental body uses their own staff to provide the same tasks.

Coos County has traditionally contracted with Bay Area Enterprises (BAE) to provide janitorial services at various county buildings including Coos Health and Wellness (CHW) and the County Courthouse in Coquille. Until now.

Remarkably, during budget presentations the Board of Commissioners (BOC) specifying cost containment, stated that they would no longer follow the law, since it contained no penalties for doing so. The BOC further stated that despite receiving one letter from the State and two letters from BAE addressing the issue; they had no plans to respond to either party.

Currently CHW contracts with a private party at a significant savings. This year’s adopted budget doesn’t include BAE providing janitorial work at the courthouse; citing budgetary restraints; the proposed $31,000 increase by BSE was cut; effectively eliminating them from consideration.

Paradoxically; the county will have to secure a private party to achieve the savings. While county staff can provide the same services as BAE; their overall cost would be approximately the same.

Disingenuously the BOC also lobbied the compensation committee for a 12% raise this year; that amount plus benefits would have covered most of the counties additional costs.

The irony of this is that the BOC is forced by state law to compensate the Sheriff at least one dollar more than his highest paid subordinate. Failure to adhere to the law could subject the county to triple damages; in this case they’ve chosen to comply.

With two lawyers on staff; and a third serving as county commissioner; for the BOC to not abide with the law is an extraordinary response; since ordinary citizens are subject to innumerable consequences for openly violating county ordinances.

Should the actions of the BOC be considered the exploitation of a loophole, or a flaunting of the law? More importantly; what message is the BOC trying to send by withholding support to some of the most vulnerable in our community?

Steve Scheer

Coos Bay

Will people leave the area because of LNG?

Will people leave because of LNG? No one can or will be able to convince me that I am safe here if the LNG plant and pipeline are built. It doesn’t matter what Pembina’s safety record is or what some local or state government official says.

Someone will probably make the remark that I am not informed or uneducated. It’s a matter of common sense. Why would I want to live near a large diameter 1600 psi high pressure gas pipeline and/or storage tanks or ships containing thousands of gallons of LNG when there are many other nice places to live?

I will be leaving the area long before the plant becomes operational along with how many others that will no longer feel safe living here? If the LNG project is approved will property values in North Bend and in the areas where the pipeline will be located decline because of LNG fears? For everyone of us that will leave because of the LNG project, there is another that wouldn’t want to live here because of it. What will happen if the project doesn’t end up like Pembina’s glossy postcard? Will the project supporters leave too?

Peter Brandt

Coos Bay

Commissioners are defrauding Douglas County

The timber twins gave their buddy a $50,000 break and intend to let the peasants of Douglas County take up the slack. The Commissioners seem to believe the peasants are so busy working, just trying to pay the bills; they’ll never look up to see what’s going on. Even if they do, they can’t take time off from their jobs to do anything about it. The peasants will work to feed the machine. Where is the accountability to the citizens of this county?

One of the commissioner’s excuses: “Because Hanna let the firefighters use the building to do fire training before they tore it down.” Do they plan to give the owners of the Roseburg Valley Mall a free pass to the dump as well? The RVM allowed the fire dept. to practice there too? What about K Mart? Where does it end?

The commissioners said “They are going to run the county like a business.” If one of Chris Boice’s employees gave away $50,000 worth of tires, do you think they would still be working for him?

While “we the people” pay, library fees, dump fees, park fees, museum fees, copy fees, sheriffs fees, aka, property taxes, the good ol’ boy club gets a $50,000 pass to the dump? I am not afraid to raise my hand and say “YES”, I believe Tim Freeman (he got the campaign donations from Hanna) and Chris Boice, conspired and defrauded the citizens of Douglas County.

What kind of business are the commissioners running with Douglas County? Where is the contract? Somewhere there should have been a contract, stating exactly what was expected. How much Hanna intended to recycle, how much would actually go to the dump and then provide the paper trail to back it up. Checks and balances, invoices and receipts. That is what an honest deal for the citizens of Douglas County would have included. The question now is; what are the citizens of this county going to do about it?

Diana Larson

Myrtle Creek

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