Letters to the editor

May 2015 Posted in Columnists & Opinion

Candidates of character 

I am a resident of Silverton and have grandchildren that attend or have attended Eugene Field School. I have known Jennifer Hannan for over 15 years.  Jennifer Hannan is a person of impeccable character. I believe that she loves her school and her students.

I totally agree with her statement “To expect me and my staff to be excluded from a conversation that impacts all of our students and our ability to do our jobs because some have chosen to make this a political issue is, in my opinion, unreasonable.  It is my responsibility as a principal to advocate for the safety and the educational needs of my students and staff.”

Our Silver Falls School District is doing everything it can to make the correct decisions. This issue is not political, it is a real fact. People have had serious medical complications due to the serious structural issues within its walls.

Please do not make Eugene Field’s building problems the basis of a political maneuver. We need to put our children, grandchildren, and the staff as our #1 priority, not whether or not we agree politically. I am looking at the candidates for the school board very seriously before I mark my ballot.  Their motives for why they want to be on the school board will matter to me. Character and dedication to the right thing will be the determining factor for my vote.

Dale Mathews
Silverton

Time for a new start  

This announcement of “FIVE” candidates is very important relative to our school district getting back on track to fiscal responsibility and the spending priority of scholastic achievement. Had a recent past bond measure been passed, fully 47 percent of the property taxes, that come from the true owners of  SFSD, would have gone up in smoke for new buildings.

Having served previously on Silverton school budget committees for close to a 25 year period, as chairman, and as chairman of the high school relocation committees of 1993 and 1999, I personally long for the day that we will have dedicated board members who do not rely just on the word of the superintendent or outside consultants.

For example, you may remember Ole Paulson, Bob Humphreys and Bob Roth. These were dedicated men who focused on fiscal responsibility, not to just approve a cost without their thorough discussion; but even made suggestions as to how unnecessary lights should be turned off. The board meetings were not permeated with slaps on the back and how popular the cookies were that a board member delivered to various schools.

We were blessed with a superintendent, John Thompson, who impressed the department heads, like Andy Bellando, to “prioritize” when their various budget requests were excessive or over-reaching.

The “pledges” representing the “five” currently running to correct the problems and return harmony to Silverton is in the same vein of integrity and devotion the we enjoyed in the past. There is no “rubber stamp” in their purpose; and we will see strong discussion in expression of each of their outlooks as we witness discussions in the open; rather than discussions cultivated by the superintendent, improperly outside of the announced open meetings.

This is the right start. Please vote for the “FIVE.” Vote for Dan, Phil, Steve, Todd, and Tom.

Please pass this along to many; yes, even those you may think are negative. My belief is that most are ready for a positive change in Silverton.

Gene Pfeifer
Silverton

Actions speak loudly 

I would like to thank the SFEA for sponsoring the Silver Falls School District School Board Candidate Forum.  The candidates who chose to participate in the forum (Christopher Bailey, Aaron Koch, Tim Roth, Jim Squires, and Ron Valoff) were well spoken, sincere, and respectful in sharing their thoughts and ideas on issues presently faced by the Silver Falls District.  After listening to their comments, I am confident that each of these individuals would represent their respective zones well.

The candidates who chose not to participate in the forum (Tom Buchholz, Dan Johnson, Steve Kaser, and Phillip Wiesner) missed a good opportunity to publically express their views, causing me to question whether they are as committed to “open and honest” dialogue as their advertisements and social media posts would seem to suggest.  Actions (or inaction in this case) speak louder than words.

David M. Roth
Silverton

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