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Letters to the Editor

Hospice thanks Phil McMillian and Don Eubanks

Dear Editor,

For the past several years, Phil McMillian and Don Eubanks have produced several southern gospel music concerts, hosted at the First Baptist Church of Byron, with donations from the concerts supporting the work of Serenity Hospice and Home (formerly known as Ogle County Hospice).

The continued community support for these concerts is a true testament to the talent Phil and Don put together time and time again.

Serenity Hospice and Home extends heartfelt thanks to the many musicians who put on these concerts, First Baptist Church of Byron, and the generosity of those who attended.

The combined donation total from the Jan. 13 and March 17 concerts was $691.50 and will go towards providing care to the patients and families of Serenity Hospice and Home.

Lynn Knodle

Executive Director

Serenity Hospice and Home

Take a look at your tax bills

Dear Editor,

It was brought to my attention recently that there is a referendum on the upcoming election ballot that would raise our sales tax by 1-percent in Ogle County and is going to the schools.

I am hoping that your readers will look at their real-estate tax bills and see how much our poor school districts are taking from us already.

It seems like every government body has their hand out asking for more money. I don’t know about your pocket, but my pocket is just plain empty.

This is a sleeper election where funny things happen. They know turn out is low so this is the time for zingers.

I happen to know I’m going to be out of town that day so my wife and I cast our ballots at the courthouse already.

By the way the referendum is on the backside, don’t miss it.

Donald Conn


Stranberg does not agree with Marty Wittig

Dear Editor,

In last week’s editorial Mr. Marty Wittig (who is not a resident of Rockvale Township) wrote a letter trying to persuade voters that Rockvale Township needs a new road commissioner.

I disagree, Mr. Wiltfang brings many years of experience to this position. He and his crew have been doing an excellent job in maintaining our roads and right of ways.

His impeccable attention to the maintenance and cleanliness of our township vehicles and equipment is quite noticeable.

He knows how to write a workable budget and stay within the budget.

Voters, this is something that we should not take for granted in these tough economic times, I am not ready to turn this position over to someone that does not have the experience as Mr. Wiltfang.

Mr. Wiltfang does sit on the board of Seward Ag, a position in which he held prior to becoming the road commissioner.

I believe that our residents and board of trustees might have addressed this early on if they thought it to be a conflict of interest as suggested in the previous editorial.

I would like to express my support and confidence that Mr. Tim Wiltfang will continue to be an excellentroad commissioner.


Keith Stranberg


Longtime resident of Rockvale Township

(Editor’s note: While Marty Wittig is not a resident of Rockvale Township, he owns property there and pays real estate taxes on that property.)

Griffin supports Robert Bowers

Dear Editor,

I urge Forreston Township voters to support Robert Bowers for re-election as road commissioner.

His 16 years of experience and dedication to Forreston Township qualify him to continue the outstandingjob he has done in maintaining our roads.

Please vote for Bob Bowers on April 9.

Jerry Griffin


Snodgrass will vote for Wiltfang

Dear Editor,

To the voters of Rockvale Township:

Please cast your vote April 9 for Tim Wiltfang for Rockvale Township Road Commissioner.

He has done a very good job in the past, and I’m sure he will continue to do the same in the future.

Keep up the good work, Tim. Thank you.


Merle Snodgrass


McCanse trusts Wendy Nelson

Dear Editor,

Having known Wendy Nelson for almost 6 years, and having served on the library board for 17 years, I can wholeheartedly recommend Wendy for the office of Library Trustee.

Wendy has 3 teenagers in the Oregon school system and cares deeply about our town.

While working full-time and raising 3 children she recently earned her MBA. She would like to become more involved in her community, and more specifically the Oregon Public Library.

Wendy is highly intelligent, possesses amazing organizational skills, and has an outstanding work ethic.

I cannot think of a better candidate.

Rick McCanse


New library is too extravagant

Dear Editor,

While I realize that our current library is inadequate, I feel that the building being proposed is too extravagant for a town the size of Oregon.

Why do we need a teen lounge, activity room, study rooms, meeting room, and kitchenette? How many computers do we need in the library?

According to the library brochure computers are needed for school work, job searching, and surfing the web. Computers for “surfing” the web? Really? My tax dollars used for someone to spend time on Facebook, etc!

One of the justifications for a bigger library is to purchase more CDs and DVDs. I am bothered by this.

Why should my tax dollars fund someone’s entertainment?

The library is trying to wear too many hats. Our library should be for books and programs directly related to books.

According to the library brochure, a $100,000 home will see a tax increase of $102. Do the math; a $150,000 home will see an increase of $153, a $200,000 home will see an increase of $204, etc.

A non-resident only pays $128 for a library card.

By living in the district I will pay considerably more for my library card than a non-resident. This seems unreasonable.

We need to go back to the drawing board and design a smaller, more affordable building.

Lynda Johnson


Grant can only be used for a new library

Dear Editor,

I am an avid reader and use the library frequently. I am also a grant writer; it is what I do for a living.

I appreciate the fact that our library board and executive director took the initiative to pursue a grant that will help us build a wonderful new facility that can accommodate everyone.

What needs to be understood about the grant is that it cannot be used for anything other than a library.

It comes from a special bond issue that the state has created to specifically pay for libraries.

The money, if turned down, will not go for street improvements, public safety, schools, or any other public service; it will simply go to another library district in Illinois.

While many of us do not understand why the state would chose to fund libraries at a time when our schools so desperately need money, it is a decision that has been made and we should work with it rather than against it.

The state’s bonds will be paid back with tax dollars generated by every land owner and income generator in the State of Illinois; this includes us, the citizens of Oregon and everyone in the Oregon Library District. We are helping to pay for these bonds.

By voting yes on April 9 we will bring these grant dollars to our community.

Oregon will benefit not only from a new library but the community will benefit by creating construction jobs which ultimately help our restaurants, gas stations, local contractors, lumber yard, asphalt plant, insurance companies, and so on.

I strongly encourage our citizens to vote yes on April 9 and keep these dollars in our community. Let’snot send grant dollars and jobs somewhere else.

Amy Trimble


Likes Benesh for Rockvale twp.

Dear Editor,

We are writing in support of Jason Benesh for Rockvale Township Road Commissioner.

We have know Jason for many years. He has always been very honest and truthful with people. He has many years of experience working with heavy equipment and doing road work.

He has removed the snow in the city of Oregon as well as the Byron Nuclear Plant for over 10 years.

We feel he will be an asset to Rockvale Township for more than just the road commissioner.

We plan to vote for Jason and ask you to cast your vote for Jason Benesh to be Rockvale Township

Road Commissioner on April 9. Thank you.

Craig and Karen Hummel


In favor of new library building

Dear Editor,

A referendum for a new library in Oregon will be voted on April 9.

The man the library board hired to manage construction (should that be approved) I interrogated about the design of the library.

I asked questions concerning whether the design would lead to minimum construction cost and lead to minimum continuing costs (very important, as the new building likely would be in use for 100 years or more).

His full answers to my questions convinced me that it would be.

To build and operate a new library would require higher taxes – true.

However, a considerable amount of the cost of construction would be provided by a grant of money from State of Illinois, decreasing the tax revenue needed to be supplied by library district real estate owners.

Also, the new library would increase real estate values, indirectly offsetting increased tax; after the loan taken by library district to contribute to construction would be paid in full (20 years), the new library would continue indefinitely to support higher real estate values.

Now, both interest rates and construction costs are unusually low, favoring the current action.

However, as building construction activity increases, as it will in the coming years. These cost will rise, making future construction more expensive, and raising costs to real estate owners, should the construction be done later.

Henry Tideman


Do not support a sales tax increase

Dear Editor,

We should not support an increase in sales taxes to the State of Illinois in the name of fundingeducation.

This will not solve the problem, only shift the burden from the state to the residents of Illinois.

The state won’t reduce your real estate taxes because of an increase sales tax so you wind up paying more and the state gets out of their obligation to fund schools while now having more money to put in the general fund for the state.

So if the state takes in for example, $20 million from the new states tax for education, they will also take that much out of the funding that they give to schools now so they benefit, you loose and pay more taxes.

Let us remember back to when the lottery was supposed to fund schools and end the problems. They did exactly what they said they would do which was to give the lottery money to schools.

But they did not tell you that the funding level from the general fund would be reduced by the same amount.

Thus, schools received the same amount as always, no more, and the state had more money in the general fund to spend else where.

When do we say enough is enough! When will the State of Illinois get a balanced budget?

No one including the state, can spend more money than they take in! You wind up in bankruptcy in the end.

Yes I feel bad for the schools, but we all have been hit hard with job losses, lower wages, higher insurance premiums, higher food and fuel costs and we are doing it on less income than before.

It’s time to say no more. This is not the time to add more taxes when our citizens and our towns are fighting to keep their heads above water financially.

One more thing, look at your last real estate tax bill breakdown. I did the math and the portion to schools and teacher pensions accounted to just over 60-percent of my total tax bill.

I say vote no on the education sales tax proposition. We don’t need more taxes!

Jerry Stauffer

Mt. Morris

Not in favor of a new library

To the Editor,

As I review the articles in the newspapers and fliers regarding the proposed new library, I have realized I have as big a problem with WHAT they want to spend the $8,200,000 as I do with the huge sum itself.

In addition to the traditional amenities/attributes of a library, they want to expend money to create meeting rooms, acquire more movies to rent, and establish an area for teens to hang out at.

I would prefer that we make our current library handicapped-accessible, and consider an addition. This could most certainly be achieved for a small fraction of the $8,200,000 price tag of the proposed new structure, plus we won’t have to pay taxes for two buildings.

As you may be aware, there are 18 empty buildings in Oregon, as well as two big new subdivisions with no new houses being built. What does this mean? It means there are no new businesses or residents to support the proposed new library.

I urge you to wake up! We just can’t afford to spend this kind of money with the city in a period of negative residential and commercial growth.

It’s the 21st century, and most folks are using electronic devices such as smart phones and personal computers to access information from the internet.

Please vote “NO” on the 9th of April, 2013.

Stan Olson


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