East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, June 22, 2019, WEEKEND EDITION, Page A4, Image 4

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East Oregonian
Saturday, June 22, 2019
News Editor
Hermiston Editor
Founded October 16, 1875
Tip of the Hat,
kick in the pants
utgoing Milton-Freewa-
ter school superintendent
Rob Clark deserves a tip of
the hat for shepherding a new school
bond to voter approval.
Any attempt to convince voters to
approve a school bond is often a dif-
ficult endeavor. Especially in rural
areas of Eastern Oregon voters are
often skeptical of spending more of
their hard-earned money.
So that means school leaders must
work very hard to make the case for
the green light. That means talking
to voters face-to-face and ensuring
that the need for the bond is clearly
Investments in education are
always a good thing and pay off in
ways that are, at least initially, hard
to measure.
Clark managed to navigate a nar-
row path and convince Milton-Free-
water School District patrons that
the need is there and their invest-
ment will pay off. That takes a spe-
cial kind of skill based on honesty.
Clark’s dedication and his compe-
tence will be missed by Milton-Free-
water School District patrons but his
efforts to help pass the school bond
will not be forgotten.
Oregon Senate GOP lawmak-
ers deserve a kick in the pants
after departing Salem last week in an
attempt to derail House Bill 2020, the
state’s proposed, and sweeping, cli-
mate change bill. While we believe
Senate Republicans had no other
choice, we also believe that the walk-
out signals a total failure in the polit-
ical structure of the state. GOP law-
EO File Photo
Milton-Freewater School District Superintendent Rob Clark talks about the passing of the
school bond at a ground breaking ceremony for the new Gib Olinger Elementary School in
May 2017 in Milton-Freewater. Clark counted the bond and the new school it resulted in as
one of the highlights of his tenure at the district.
makers have made their point but
now both sides need to come together
and work out a compromise.
A tip of the hat to Robert
Peachey, who spends a lot of time
fighting weeds. The Echo man, while
disabled, uses an electric wheelchair
to amble around the town and kill
weeds with a pair of pliers and a lot
of ambition. Maybe Peachey’s efforts
may seem small compared to other
public service projects around the
area but his town and the local area
should give the Echo man kudos.
One man, can make a difference. Just
ask Robert Peachey.
Proposed home-sharing
law ripe for abuse
he Legislature may not have
enough days left for a bill that
would give people a property
tax break if they rent out rooms in their
homes to low- to moderate-income peo-
ple. And because the bill has at least one
big problem, it’s just as well.
Senate Bill 1045 seems well-inten-
tioned. It would provide homeowners with
an incentive to provide more affordable
housing through sharing their home.
The bill’s details are a mouthful. The
bill would cut up to $8,000 a year off the
property tax bill of up to 500 homes in
Oregon if rooms are rented out to peo-
ple who are not family members and who
are making less than 60 percent of area
median income. It might cost local gov-
ernments some $2.6 million in lost rev-
enue. The argument is, though, that cost
would be cheaper than having to deal with
the cost of people who are homeless or
who are forced to spend so much of their
income on rent.
Some cities across the country already
have similar formalized programs,
according to an article in the Bend Bulle-
tin. Many of them are focused on helping
seniors find a place to live and compan-
ionship. And there is at least one Oregon
business that provides services to people
who want to home share, such as back-
ground checks, connecting renters and
homeowners and collecting rent. That
business and others like it would obvi-
ously benefit indirectly from the tax-cut
When the bill came before Oregon law-
makers, some questioned a property tax
break is the right mechanism for provid-
ing the incentive. Others wondered why
homeowners need the incentive to begin
with. They would already be making rent.
The bigger problem is that the program
seems ripe for abuse. It would be easy
enough for government to determine if a
renter was a family member. But it would
also be easy enough for a couple that is
not married to be in full compliance with
the law and also get a big, fat tax break
when that is not all the intent of the bill.
SB 1045 comes with at least one severe
flaw. The Legislature should not pass it
this session.
Donald Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Comments: 202-456-1111
Switchboard: 202-456-1414
Kate Brown
160 State Capitol
900 Court Street
Salem, OR 97301-4047
Ron Wyden
221 Dirksen Senate Office Bldg.
Washington, DC 20510
La Grande office: 541-962-7691
Jeff Merkley
313 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Pendleton office: 541-278-1129
Greg Walden
185 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
La Grande office: 541-624-2400
Unsigned editorials are the opinion of
the East Oregonian editorial board. Other
columns, letters and cartoons on this page
express the opinions of the authors and not
necessarily that of the East Oregonian.
Greg Barreto, District 58
900 Court St. NE, H-38
Salem, OR 97301
Greg Smith, District 57
900 Court St. NE, H-482
Salem, OR 97301
Bill Hansell, District 29
900 Court St. NE, S-423
Salem, OR 97301
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