Local politics, the county, and the world, as viewed by Tammy Maygra
Tammy's views are her own, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bill Eagle, his pastor, Tammy's neighbors, Earl Fisher, Betsy Johnson, Joe Corsiglia, President Obama, Tony Hyde, Pat Robertson, Debi Corsiglia's dog, or Claudia Eagle's Cats. This Tammy's Take (with the exception of this disclaimer) is not paid for or written by, or reviewed by anyone but Tammy and she refuses to be bullied by anyone.

See Standard Disclaimer.

$22 million in increased tax's  is….Too much money

There will be two ballot measures this May which should be a concern to the voters in the St. Helens Fire District and the jail levy which includes the entire county. If both measures are approved the voters will be obligated to pay off approximately $22 million dollars. This will raise property taxes significantly, many peoples taxes went up hundred's of dollars this past November. And I can't see either of these measures passing, just from the perspective of already high property taxes.

While I can see both sides of the jail issue "yes" we need a jail but "no" we don't need 250 beds to house federal prisoners. Deep down I believe there certainly needs to be some sound research and fact findings and possibly a new approach in the way our jail functions with in and out expenses. Bringing in a professional who has worked in the prison system regarding finances might prove helpful. Until there is a different approach presented to the voters to solve the jails problems.
I will vote NO.

There was an alternate jail measure offered to the county commissioners which they refused to place on the ballot let alone consider. I believe Sheriff Dickerson has done the best he could with what he had to work with. He was at the mercy of the county commissioners.
The jail fiasco is Tony Hyde's baby; he is at fault and needs to fess up to the people about his mistake in building a huge jail and trying to pay for it with federal prisoners. The county has been supplementing the jail since day one. The county under charged for housing federal prisoners since it was built.
The commissioners should stop the corporate welfare/tax abatements which runs amuck and is like a tax dollar gobbling monster in Columbia County. If stopped we would have enough money to fund the jail and other services.

Now we come to
the biggest scam - the fire department wants $15 million over 5 years. I would say the voters would probably have no problem paying for a new fire truck if needed but do we really need one or several? If yes then I would vote for fire trucks. The fire chief Jay Tappan who is not really a credited/official fire chief wants to pay off the training center that was built at the expense of the taxpayers in the fire district to fund a training center especially for Boise Cascade thanks to your fire board who places corporate welfare over loyalty to the taxpayers and neighbors in the community.

If money is so tight
why did the fire board promote their financial person Ms. Nelson making approximately $70,000 per year to a different job title and give her a $10-$15 thousand raise and will increase her wages in the next few years until she reaches $100,000.00 sounds to me money is not tight at all. Quite a substantial increase- she must be a very valuable employee or is well liked by those holding the purse strings.

Why would anyone give Jay Tappan access to $15 million he was instrumental in squandering nearly $8 million of the taxpayer's money in the Columbia Health district and conspired to fraud the taxpayers through his own admission through recovered e-mails that he sent to the city of St. Helens and other board members. Tappan also inherited a fire department that was running in the black. And shortly after Tappan took the helm the department fell in the red.  Makes one wonder what is going on with Tappan's ability to budget money.

The fire department wants to
expand the sub -station out by the fairgrounds so they will have a big station on the west side of the railroad tracks. Why buy more equipment when there is NOT enough personal to man the expanded station? That certainly does not make any sense. Could it be that emergency response time is being hindered by the long unit trains which is passing through our cities and will be increasing in the future?

The other comment was that they needed
a truck at the Deer Island sub-station. These sub-stations were built by a special levy and the taxpayers were promised that if approved the sub-stations would be fully manned 24/7 and that has not been the case. The reason a sub-station is needed at Deer Island is because a fully loaded truck or tanker has a hard time pulling the steep grade of Canaan Rd. and resulted in to-long response times. Deer Island has only volunteers and not many if any.   Why did the fire department refuse a good used fire truck?
Now with a little bit of information regarding these two costly ballot measures you have to decide which way to cast your vote.

I have decided how I will vote and it will be a NO on both measures.


Home                                More Tammy's Takes