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The conversation inevitably turns to “I feel as though the city is holding the community hostage by threatening to eliminate library hours, close Osborn Aquatic Center and other services if I don’t vote for one more levy.” It is true that if the current levy, Measure 2-123, does not pass these services and others will be curtailed and/or eliminated. This is so because our city must fund what most agree are essential services — fire safety and police protection. This does not mean that libraries and park programs are not important but rather that without an ongoing levy, there is simply not funding to maintain them at their current level of service and provide needed police and fire services.

I support the levy because, first, I use these services and, second, I know that having a strong cultural and recreational identity adds value to our community. It is this added value that will cause a company to locate in Corvallis instead of nearby.

My "Yes" vote is not a response to a threat by city officials but rather an opportunity to step up and say "Yes" to keeping the library open seven days a week, "Yes" to the Senior Center and "Yes" to those services that our community values and uses.

I hope you will join me in voting "Yes" for Measure 2-123.

Karyle Butcher

Corvallis (April 2)

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