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I am an unabashed progressive, an enthusiastic supporter of the police, our schools, the library, Aquatic Center, Senior Center, parks and recreation, etc. I was also a business owner selling to industrial and food processing plants for 30 years. And I voted for the $200 million school bond as I value our children’s safety (as I have voted for other bonds in the past).

However, I am concerned by the city and county’s increasing budgets and requests for more funds. We’re on a fixed income and our property tax now consumes 12% of our before-tax income. It becomes more and more difficult to justify increasing that percentage even though I value the quality of life here. And when I see there has apparently been 25-40% cost overruns for the school bond projects, my confidence in the management of my tax money goes down precipitously. In my experience in private industry a cost overrun of 5% might be tolerated if carefully justified. You might even get away with 10% if there were extenuating circumstances. But a 25-40% overrun would have gotten your contract canceled and in all likelihood, the purchasing agent fired.

I wish I had some answers to the issue of bond requests. I also wish that the city wouldn’t threaten cuts in services that cater to children and elders such as libraries, the Aquatic Center etc. It seems like a disingenuous political ploy. Please look to other services or cuts in city management before you target the most popular services.

Fred Hughes

Corvallis (April 28)

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