By Charles Thomson

Do you have a point you’d like to make or an issue you feel strongly about? Submit a letter to the editor or a guest column.

I read with interest your article about the Juniper Ridge area. I could not help but laugh to myself when you were describing how the Bend City Council was trying to figure out why Juniper Ridge has not developed the way they wanted it to.

In my opinion all the City Council has to do is look to themselves for the answers to those questions. Correct me if I am wrong, but the plan all along was to have the college located at Juniper Ridge. The property was perfect for that use. I remember the people on the west side rebelling against any idea of building the college where it now stands. The problems that have resulted such as parking and traffic have created everlasting hard feelings with the people that live and work and own businesses in the area around the college. It also creates a real hardship on the students that have to find a place to park. And now that the college wants to expand, the huge cost of preparing the additional acreage and making it safe and suitable for construction is going to be a very costly, even before a single foundation is laid.

I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m pretty sick and tired of watching my tax dollars squandered. Using the Juniper Ridge property as was originally planned would have eliminated a tremendous amount of waste of our dollars, it would have been in an area where are there could’ve been plenty of parking, and it would not have cost nearly the amount that is how it going to be spent to make this site feasible. In addition like it was said in the movie “if you build it they will come.” I can’t help but believe that with the college being placed in Juniper Ridge you would’ve seen living quarters being built in the way of apartments and businesses to service the students, restaurants and stores just to supply their needs. It doesn’t take a mental giant to assume that other businesses would’ve followed suit. I would like to know, as I’m sure many others would, why did the City Council go along with giving the greenlight to build the campus where it now sits. It seems to me that the City Council has some questions to answer about itself.

Obviously at this stage we have to live with the decisions that were made, but there’s a new decision that has come down from our City Council. That of the plastic bag single usage. I was always under the opinion that this country as well as the city was a democracy wherein the people had a say in what was going to happen. As I am going to have to live under this decision I demand that the City Council provide us the public with the data that backs up the reason for the decision to do away with the plastic bags. I don’t go around making decisions just to make decisions. I make them because there has to be concrete reasons behind my decisions. I for one would like to see the City Council provide the reason for doing away with the plastic bag (other than just a feel good liberal political idea because California did it), and I would like to see concrete evidence of exactly what it will accomplish. If they cannot come up with reasons that make sense, I would like to see them rescind that rule or at least let us (the public) vote on it.

— Charles Thomson lives in Bend.