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Sweet: Community service fees are “derivative of tax dollars”

It appears that it is the SCCF board that doesn't know how to handle money.

Sweet: Community service fees are “derivative of tax dollars”

As tedious as many public meetings are to sit through one can almost always mine little nuggets of gold from statements made by elected officials. From the inception of the CEP (Community Enhancement Plan) elected leaders from Rep Caddy McKeown to Commissioner Melissa Cribbins denied or questioned whether the so-called community service fees paid into a private non-profit were public funds. This despite the fact payment of those fees from Veresen, Inc amount to a payment in lieu of taxes and are contingent upon enterprise zone tax exemptions for the proposed Jordan Cove LNG export terminal.

During the most recent BOC meeting Commissioner John Sweet, perhaps already flustered from an earlier altercation, admitted during his final comments that the fees paid into the SCCF (South Coast Community Foundation) are a “derivative of tax dollars.” The statement arose out of a question by Cribbins as to whether the SCCF would use funds to help private, charter and home schools in addition to local public schools. Sweet thought not because the latter don’t receive tax dollars and so would not qualify… Watch the discussion at CoosMedia [01:25:00]

Sweet goes on to discuss the dispute between local school districts and the SCCF over the disbursement of these as yet unrealized funds. Originally, the promise was to disburse half of the estimated $6 million to the schools and place the balance into an endowment. Since the inclusion of Al Pettit on the board, however, that promise is being ratcheted back in favor of increasing the endowment and decreasing payments to the schools. As The World reported earlier, the prime goal of the SCCF is not to help local schools but to fund an endowment and be an ongoing foundation. In other words, they want more funds to speculate with rather than to invest in local education.

Sweet speaks as if the school boards are children who might not be able to control themselves with the money and so smaller increments might be better so they don’t “get used to spending” too much. That view is so condescending and again I think we can attribute the influence of Pettit who regards public employees as parasites “living off the backs of others”, for the conflicts that have now arisen. It appears that it is the SCCF board that doesn’t know how to handle money.

All this is moot, of course, if Jordan Cove doesn’t come to pass which seems less and less likely all the time.

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About magix

Avatar When my oldest son, a Marine, left for war and crossed the border from Kuwait into Iraq in March 2003 I started writing my conscience. After two tours that young combat veteran’s mother is now an ardent peace activist and advocate for social, environmental and economic justice. MGx has matured since those early vents and ramblings and now covers relevant and important local and regional matters in addition to national and global affairs.


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4 Responses to "Sweet: Community service fees are “derivative of tax dollars”"

  1. Avatar
    fred  March 10, 2015 at 8:34 PM

    I got excited reading your last sentence and then thought – maybe I do not understand. Less likely to come here or go away? Your pal Rob Taylor is considering a recall Sweet and Cribbins effort. If enough people pissed off by the dynamic duo gather (those opposed to SCCF, those opposed to LNG exports and pipelines, those with 2nd amendment concerns, those disappointed that Gurney is carrying the load for the fellow elected to carry the heavy load, etc.) (and that’s a majority of the county), and recall is a possibility.

  2. Avatar
    the reminder  March 10, 2015 at 11:31 AM

    Kitzhaber appointed the port, the port influenced local elections, those elected with the ports help created the CEP, the CEP made its promises to the areas school boards, the schools sold out the locals for promises of gold and gave the necessary endorsements to breath life into the CEP and the monster was born. Now they are surprised that it turns on them and changes the deal.
    We have a new governor, now we can see if its still monkey business as usual, will she keep using the port to prop up the local power brokers the way her predecessors have been doing?
    Those schools just got schooled, this is what can happen when you turn against the rest of the county and side with corporations over promised money that should never come.

    • Avatar
      magix  March 10, 2015 at 12:15 PM

      Yes, as someone pointed out recently in a letter to the editor, these service fees are effectively bribes.


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