To the Editor,
I just read your Opinion piece in the Oct. 3rd edition of the Voice. In fact, I read it twice. On so many points I fully agree with you. Especially your analysis of what the fall out of higher rates will do to Vernonia’s ability to attract new residents, keeping the ones we have and, of course, businesses. Businesses will have to pass the additional cost on to the residents. We can kiss the possibility of new businesses goodbye.
Where I take issue with your piece lies mainly with you comparing W.O.E.C. to the city and school when it comes to budgets. The city and school are handed a finite amount of money. They then figure out where it will be spent. If they want or need more money they go to the voters to try to float a bond. If the bond doesn’t pass, they learn to live with it by making he hard decisions, even if it includes reducing staff.
Now W.O.E.C. has borrowed until they can borrow no more. They do not ask their members what they want; they just raise the rates to cover their behinds. No one has lost his or her jobs. No project has been cut back.
As for those who dared to run for the Board… Historically, only incumbents win. Why? No one runs against them! Why would that be? Well, it’s an attitude grown from a feeling they can’t win, an attitude that is shared by many Co-op members. There are also those who trust. Case in point, W.O.E.C. originally proposed a 12% rate increase, but after 100 plus members came to the Sept. 17th meeting and expressed opposition, they increased rates by 14%.
To anyone who tries to buck the status quo and tries to run for the Board, I say, “Bravo!”
I think you should do some investigating into how things are done, why they’re done and who’s doing it before you make blanket statements of support. You may still feel the same way or…maybe you won’t.