Hermiston herald. (Hermiston, Or.) 1994-current, February 28, 2015, Image 4

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    OPINION
A4 HERMISTONHERALD.COM
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2015
EDITORIAL • COMMENTARY • LETTERS
HermistonHerald
VOLUME 109 ɿ NUMBER 17
JESSICA KELLER
EDITOR
jkeller@hermistonherald.com
541-564-4533
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SEAN HART
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I
Trust me
t is either feast or famine
here at OTB. Some weeks
require power tools to
dig down to the level of a
column, and other times
there is a surfeit of riches.
It’s buffet time!
This week, let’s talk about
“trust.” The instigation for
this particular column is
that happy event many of
our citizenry engage in —
renewal of a driver’s license.
Most folks remember
WKHLU¿UVWOLFHQVH0LQHZDV
a bright pink piece of heavy
card stock from the State
of Pennsylvania. Obtaining
that involved going down to
the State Police Barracks in
Wyoming, Pennsylvania, to
obtain a learner’s permit. At
the barracks I was subjected
to an eye test and a written
test and had to produce my
ELUWKFHUWL¿FDWHWRFRQ¿UP
my age. Then — several
months later — I returned for
the physical driving test and
was issued my “Cinderella
License,” so called because
it was invalid from midnight
WR¿YHXQOHVV\RXZHUH
employed — though what
sort of work a 16-year-old
would be doing after midnight
was the subject of much
conversation. A year later,
after parental approval, I was
issued the tannish “Senior
License,” and I was off on the
highways and byways.
Renewal of that license
involved sending money to
Harrisburg, along with any
change of address that might
have occurred. That was it.
Let’s fast forward to 2015
DQGP\UHQHZDOQRWL¿FDWLRQ
that’s just arrived and the
trust that the State of Oregon
shows me. What used to
be “send us a check and
tell us where you live” has
now morphed into a 10-part
operation. Some of it —
“send us a check” and “tell us
where you live” is familiar,
except that I’m now required
to bring proof of my changed
address and cannot be trusted
to indicate any address
change on the application.
In fairness, two of the items
— commercial driver license
and veteran designation —
are not requirements for a
basic license, unless you are
a CDL (which has a nice
subset of other requirements)
or a veteran who wants that
designated on his license.
I suppose one could also
argue that the more extensive
driver’s license application
(Form 735-173) is not really
a sign of distrust.
But here’s where things
Letters Policy
THOMAS CREASING
OFF THE BENCH
Herald columnist
really go off the rails: Valid
proof of your identity and
date of birth.
Well, that’d be my
driver’s license, right? That’s
the document that works
pretty much everywhere
else in the state. Apparently,
however, a State of Oregon-
LVVXHG,'LVQRWVXI¿FLHQW
ID for me to present to the
State of Oregon. I guess it’s
defective somehow. Instead
of the obvious “show us your
driver’s license,” you go to
oregondmv.com for a list
of “acceptable documents.”
Despite the ODL having
my name, address, picture
and date of birth right there
on it, it’s not acceptable,
even though I’ve been in
the Oregon DMV computer
system as a resident here for
the past 20+ years.
Presuming there’s
some overwhelming social
concern to stop the scourge
of “those people” obtaining
Oregon driver’s licenses that
requires me to produce, say,
a passport — I did that the
LAST time I renewed my
license. Yet for some reason
it is essential that I bring back
the ID to get the ID that is
not acceptable as ID for the
ID I got last time. Got that?
Yeah. Me neither.
There are serious trust
problems with a system
that won’t accept its own
issued ID as proof of what
the ID is supposed to prove,
and requires continued
presentation of the same
documents to renew the ID
that the documents procured
last time. That’s bureaucratic
pettifoggery, which is the
opposite of trust. I’m told that
I should trust the State — but
why should I trust a group that
seems unable or unwilling to
trust me — and is unable to
trust its own documents?
Next time, one of my
favorite column types —
editor taunting!
But that’s just the opinion
of an untrustable — if that’s
really a word — guy. Share
your more trustworthy
opinions in response with
letters to the editor or by
email to hermistonherald
offthebench@gmail.com.
Names of the terminally shy
will be withheld on request.
— Thomas Creasing is a
Hermiston resident, munici-
pal court judge and Herald
columnist
The Hermiston Herald welcomes original letters for
publication on public issues and public policies. Submitted
letters must be signed by the author and include the city of
residence and a daytime phone number. Phone numbers
will not be published. Letters may be mailed to the
Hermiston Herald, 333 E. Main, Hermiston, OR, 97838;
or emailed to editor@hermistonherald.com
Preparing for the future
T
humbs up to the
Hermiston School
District for doing
its due diligence when
investigating the options
for alleviating space
issues anticipated next
school year.
The school district
really did not leave any
rock unturned before
recommending the
School Board lease an
existing 24,000-square-
foot building, formerly
El Gran Chaparral
grocery story, near
the corner of Orchard
Avenue and Northwest
11th Street, for no
more than $1.05 per
square foot per month,
which amounts to
about $300,000 per
year from the general
fund. The building will
house about 70 to 80
district employees, from
technology services
employees to counselors,
currently spread
throughout the district
at different facilities.
Moving them into one,
centralized location not
only makes sense from
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JESSICA KELLER
HERMISTON HERALD
Editor
it also frees up space
in some of the existing
district buildings to
accommodate students.
At Monday’s
School Board meeting,
Deputy Superintendent
Wade Smith said it
bothered him that
district employees are
using classroom space
while the district is
erecting modulars to
house students. That
is an understandable
sentiment.
Leasing the building
from Double H LLC
for administrators and
support staff also makes
VHQVHIURPD¿QDQFLDO
and practical standpoint,
too. As Smith pointed
out, when researching
different leasing
possibilities in Hermiston
and before being
approached by Double
H LLC representatives,
GLVWULFWRI¿FLDOVOHDUQHG
they would likely have to
lease several buildings to
suit the district’s needs
as there were few to no
facilities the size suitable
to accommodating
everybody who needed
to move. As well,
leasing costs on those
buildings were much
higher than $1.05 per
square foot. Purchasing
more modular units was
also cost prohibitive.
The district would have
needed to purchase four
more modular units to
suit its needs at a cost of
more than $1 million. As
it is, the district only has
$150,000 remaining in
its fund for purchasing
modular units.
While people should
be encouraged that the
school district found
a solution to its space
needs next year, they
should not put the
matter out of their minds
because it does not
directly impact them.
The School Board’s
decision to lease the
former grocery story is
only a temporary solution
to its space limitations.
As Smith reiterated to the
School Board Monday,
future discussions about
needing additional space
to accommodate students
are on the horizon.
And modulars will
only take the school
district so far before
they become impractical.
First, according to Smith,
the cost of one modular
could pay the salaries
of two teachers for one
year. Second, a district
full of modulars is not
the image Hermiston
should be comfortable
with presenting to the
rest of the state.
If demonstrating a
need is necessary to
getting a bond passed,
then, the way things are
headed right now, the
school district is well
on its way to putting
WKH¿QDOWRXFKHVRQLWV
arguments. At some point
in the not-so-distant
future, a school bond will
be necessary, and that’s
something that will affect
all Hermiston residents.
— Jessica Keller is
the editor of the Herm-
iston Herald. She can
be reached at jkeller@
hermistonherald.com
LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Municipal Court judge
should be elected
to cronyism, and I feel that they al-
ready have a friend in mind for the
position. The mayor states that the
Editor,
city will have more control over bud-
I would like to respond to May- geting and management. I think the
or Drotzmann’s commentary about public will have more control over
Hermiston charter’s being carefully the position and remove them by the
drafted. The public should know that next election.
the authors of the charter were based
Let’s look at past appointments of
upon a Portland-based company who the City Council. We just got past an
knows very little about our city, its ugly scene with our past chief of po-
history and its culture besides what lice. He was arrogant and abusive to
the mayor and city manager have KLVRI¿FHUVDQGZHORVWPDQ\JRRG
provided.
people because of him. What did
It is funny that these two people the city do? Nothing for eight years.
have less time living in Hermiston Then they started an investigation.
combined than my older children, What was the result? A hefty sever-
but, yet, they can speak volumes ance package for a badly appointed
about my hometown of 50 years. police chief.
Let’s take the elephant and consume
Let’s look at the City Council’s
it bite for bite.
next appointment. The council ap-
The mayor and manager have one pointed Mr. Anderson. What in his
issue that is a burr in their saddle. time on City Council did Mr. An-
They want to have the City Coun- derson do? Well, he consistently
cil pick who would be our munici- went and wrote articles about Mr.
pal judge. As you all know well, this Primmer and Mr. Kirwan when they
has been the citizens’ constitutional were running for City Council and
right since the beginning. The mayor, set a bad taste on the council with his
manager and one vocal councilman statements against the candidates.
have stated favor for ,this. I have In many, he stated illegal actions
been at the City Council and have against Mr. Primmer especially. In
heard it directly.
addition, while on City Council, he
The mayor states in the article was an attorney for several persons
that the change in the charter is an who sued the city. Ask how much the
attempt to align Hermiston with the city paid out in legal fees and judg-
rest of the state. Does the data from ments with these two appointees?
the League of Oregon Cities say that
The city was hapless in their past
this is the best way to go? They did managements of these appointed
not say, but as citizens, it is for us to positions and should not be given
make that determination, not people complete control and take away our
who do not live here. Just because constitutional rights to vote the judge
ZHDUHRQHRIWKHODVW¿YHLQWKHVWDWH in. When few people get great power,
doesn’t make us wrong. In addition, corruption is not far behind. What a
this can leave the door wide open slippery slope this would create. Just
think if the city of Hermiston con-
trols its judge, and then three county
commissioners would like to appoint
our circuit judges, and then the state
will want to control who we have for
our state circuit judges. It will be too
late then, and socialism has ruined
our democracy.
7KH ¿QDO SRLQW RI WKH PD\RU¶V
comments is that the mayor and
council’s most important task is to
oversee the funds of the city. I’m
sure the $30,000 crappy paint job
on our water tower was money well
spent, wasn’t it, Mr. Mayor?
The city charter is over 60 years
in age and has suited us well un-
til recently. The charter needed to
be changed so Mr. Drotzmann does
not have to keep running every two
years. I can see that, as it would be
DQLQFRQYHQLHQFHIRUKLPDQG¿QDQ-
cially more appealing. Yet, past may-
ors have lived within these guide-
lines. But I can live with a four-year
term. You see Hermiston has been so
wrong all these years, and we need
the mayor, manager, City Council
and a Portland consulting company
to make it all right. Yes, Big Broth-
er is right, and all is well, comrades.
Don’t take the bait. Vote for your
judge, and do not let anyone take that
away from you, ever.
PERRY W. HAWKINS
HERMISTON
— Editor’s Note: In the city char-
ter measure on which residents will
vote in May, the Municipal Court
Judge position will remain an elect-
ed position. In a separate amend-
ment, voters will decide on whether
the Judge should be appointed by
the City Council.
ELECTED OFFICIALS
STATE
District 29: Sen. Bill Hansell,
R-Umatilla Co., 900 Court St. N.E.,
S-423, Salem, OR 97301, 503-986-
1729. 101 S.W. Third St., Pendleton,
OR 97801 (541) 278-1396. E-mail:
ssen.billhansell@state.or.us.
District 30: Sen. Ted Ferrio-
li, R-John Day; 900 Court St. N.E.,
S-223 Salem, OR 97301, 503-986-
1950. 750 W. Main, John Day, OR
97845, (541) 575-2321. E-mail: ferr-
ioli.sen@state.or.us.
District 58: Rep. Bob Jenson,
R-Pendleton; 900 Court St. N.E.,
H-480, Salem, OR 97301, 503-986-
1458. 2126 N.W. 21st., Pendleton,
OR 97801, (541) 276-2707. E-mail:
rep.bobjenson@state.or.us.
District 57: Rep. Greg Smith,
R-Morrow, 900 Court St. N.E.,
H-280, Salem, OR 97301, 503-986-