What’s in store for us going forward?
With the election season now behind us and our elected officials now safely ensconced for the foreseeable future, now may be the time to review what they may have in store for us going forward.
The cities of Coos Bay and North Bend have explored to the point one ballot measure was submitted that would have supported additional public safety by imposing user fees. The Coos County Board of Commissioners and Sheriff this year have explored raising taxes to support the jail.
In April the Sheriff made two proposals during his budget presentation regarding a jail levy. The first was in the amount of $2.6 million or $.48 per thousand, the second was for $5.3 million or $.97 per thousand. This will probably be the starting point for forthcoming discussions.
You have to ask how these additional monies are to be allocated by the respective City or County Budget. Will it supplement their current budget? This would not relieve their budgets of future demands. Would it supplant their current budget? This would free up the tax amount from the budget, relieving future demands. However, would the budget now freed up by these dollars, become subject to new spending? Or it could be a hybrid of the two.
As tax payers should this concern us? Firstly the voters in the Coos Bay school district just passed a bond that raised taxes on approximately 33% of County citizens by $1.60 per thousand. On a $200,000 property the jail levy would incur an additional $100-200 per year in addition to the $320 per year increase reflected on this year’s tax statement. Can citizens on fixed incomes shoulder the additional cost? Will citizens of Coos Bay support the burden of future obligations within their city on top of those passed and proposed?
Housing is already tight and rents are increasing. These costs will have to be passed on. How will this affect homeowners and renters already on the edge? Could this lead to more homeless? What about those currently homeless trying to transition into housing. Will that goal become even more daunting? Will people just give up and leave the area? Will the dynamics of the Bay Area change?
Whether called a user fee or taxes they have consequences, sometimes unintended. Government policy can actually harm the livability, economy and growth of the area and the citizens they serve.
LNG profit is not worth our safety
So, picture that Alaskan earthquake here in Coos Bay. If you listen to our local First Responders and OSU, the major earthquake expected here isn’t about if, but only when ... and is expected to be same size or bigger and considered to be overdue. How in the world can there be any legitimate LNG pipeline proposal considered for this area?
Do you all remember that the methane in that pipeline only needs to have a 3 percent mix with air to cause a fireball as high as 1,000 feet? (That happened in San Bruno, CA., just a few years back ... it happens multiple times a year, but we don’t always hear about it).
The expected earthquake here will be enough of a disaster without adding ruptured pipelines and huge fire risks! What is really sad and scary, is that over the last 10 years, this community has gotten FERC to deny Jordan Cove two times already, and agreed that this is not the right place for LNG. But big oil money has deep pockets, so here we go again, with more money and more glossy propaganda than we have seen to date. Their information has lies and ignores important issues.
I am scared that their push is mighty and people get weak around money and hear what they want to hear ... not stand up for the truth. Let’s wake up and remember earthquakes really happen and exploding pipelines could start a fire storm around here like California just endured ... none of that has to happen ... say no to Jordan Cove. Their huge profit (and the little bit we get from it) is not worth our safety and homes.