To the editor: Congress is breaking the Post Office.
The Post Office would have had a profit of $200 million last quarter if it would not have to prepay future retiree health benefits. In 2006, Congress passed a bill that would require the Post Office to create an endowment for healthcare expenses for future retirees. No other branch of the government is required to do this, nor do I know of any businesses that must do so. The Post Office also has to pay for 75 years in 10. It will take an act of Congress to fix this.
Both the House and Senate have introduced bills that would return the Postal Service to financial stability without using any taxpayers’ money and has not since 1971.
The answer is not to privatize, which would make the prices increase and likely allow for less service to rural communities. Going to a five-day delivery, closing post offices and mail-processing plants would lessen the service and add thousands to the unemployment rolls.
The USPS was created to provide a public service six days a week to residents, businesses and non-profits all over the country with no area left unserved because of profit concerns. That is why FedEx and UPS use the Post Office for the last mile of delivery. The Post Office is an important part of our economy and social fabric. Surveys have shown that the Post Office is the most trusted government agency.
I urge you to write your Representatives and Senators on behalf of the Postal Service. It will take our voices to correct this because big business has deeper pockets and larger PAC funds than do the postal workers.
A pack of untruths
To the editor: Since PJ Kapfhammer announced his intention to run for the Oregon School Board last year, there have been several media articles talking about this “Bad Boy” behavior. In fact, Mr. Kapfhammer was the subject of the headlines in a recent issue of The Press.
While Mr. Kapfhammer readily admits some of the allegations from his youth are true, the most recent ones are nothing but a pack of untruths. The citizens of Northwest Ohio in general and Oregon in particular need to know “the rest of the story.”
One of the responsibilities the five people elected to the school board have, is to spend the money the rest of us work hard for. Based on my experience from attending some of the board meetings, it appears to me things have been status quo for years with the board not taking into account these are hard economic times and money is often very tight for the families in the region. While Mr. Kapfhammer is very supportive of the students, he is questioning the spending habits that have existed for years.
Using the April 17 meeting for example, Mr. Kapfhammer questioned why the board was being asked retroactively to approve spending money for Ms. Gadus to attend a conference when at a previous meeting, the mandate had gone out that spending of this nature needs to be approved ahead of time. While the conference had taken place less than one week before, neither Ms. Gadus nor Ms. Fruth, the district’s treasurer, could provide how much money was spent on the conference. The approval of the money was on the agenda so one would have thought those figures would have been readily available. Mr. Kapfhammer and Mr. Ziviski, another newly elected board member, frequently questioned several spending items. The reply was because these items are a certain dollar amount, competitive bidding was not necessary. Mr. Kapfhammer pointed out that he is a businessperson himself and he tries to get the best deal. How many of us just buy the first item off the shelf without comparing prices?
Ms. Gadus, who is paid $125 to attend each meeting, left at one point to attend her son’s soccer game. One wonders if Ms. Gadus will pro-rate her salary and return to the citizens of Oregon the money she did not earn?
I encourage the citizens of Oregon to attend a board meeting – the schedule is posted on the district’s website at www.oregoncityschools.org. The board is considering placing a levy on the ballot either this year or next. Attend a meeting, see how these five people are spending the money we all work hard to make. Mr. Kapfhammer might not be the “Bad Boy” he has been made out to be.
To the editor: I am writing to reply to letters recently submitted by Ken Smith and Larry Knudson, former members of the Lake Board of Education. In one of Mr. Smith’s recent letters, he makes a reference that correcting your children doesn’t mean you don’t love them, as though his recent letter barrage is somehow correcting.
Typically, when I correct my children, I try to get all the facts first, before I correct them. In this case Mr. Smith could have called the district to try to find out why we needed a PE teacher before he “corrected” us and accused us of using “circular” logic.
As it turns out, with the loss of personnel the last couple years and losses this year, we are having significant trouble with scheduling in the middle school. Hiring a PE teacher allows us scheduling options we desperately need. It replaces a position we had for years while Mr. Smith was on the board and never objected to. It returns courses to our schedule that students have been writing letters requesting to have returned ever since we dropped the classes. The courses will not infringe on valuable classroom space. The courses will not require a fee for parents to cover classroom materials.
Under Mr. Smith’s logic, it would seem that if his children need to be corrected, he would choose to neglect them first and get the facts later.
Mr. Knudson chose to misrepresent the facts to make a case. I could not find Mr. Knudson’s median income figure on the U.S. Census bureau’s website but Mr. Knudson claims the median income for the township residents is $33,125 and he compares this to an average teacher salary of $51,520.
As any mathematician will tell you, comparing medians to averages is comparing apples to oranges. However, if Mr. Knudson wants to do that, he should at least compare the average teacher salary to the median income for bachelor’s degree residents of Lake Township. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, that amount is $56,875. Most our teachers hold a graduate degree for which the median value in the township is $59,231. Clearly our teachers’ average is under both those figures.
Maybe Mr. Knudson or Mr. Smith would agree that loss of almost $8,000 dollars per year for a 35-year teaching career when compared to a township resident with similar education entitles a teacher to competitive benefits package. I suspect they wouldn’t agree.
Principal, Lake High/Middle School