Council members, I read with interest your Sunday guest column detailing your vision for ending homelessness. Almost completely absent was any statement of what you hope to achieve and how residents will determine the success or failure of your efforts.
The one exception was your goal of creating facilities to house 500 people. On the surface, this seems both reasonable and admirable. But as a goal, it is pretty worthless.
For several years (decades) governments at all levels have struggled with executing objectives our leaders believe are strongly desired by their constituents.
One way for leaders to mask this struggle is to not set specific measures of success or failure, or to state them in such a way that allows for a level of ambiguity. Success in the war on terror? Well, we haven’t been attacked in over 20 years! Just great!
For me, your vision is wholly inadequate. According to Deschutes County, 1,198 people were counted as homeless in the county as of June — an increase of 13% over 2020. If you meet your only stated goal this year (which seems unlikely) or in three years, that will leave nearly 700 people without safe places to stay. What if it is 1,500 people or more? Would you claim success?
I urge the council to set forth specific goals, costs, timeframes for whatever action you propose to take. Without these measurements, you can claim victory from any result you achieve, and for that, residents and taxpayers should feel insulted.
— John Woods, Bend
In the front -page article on Sept. 24, there was a comment that implied our armed services fought for our right to be free of wearing masks, but I doubt these people made their enormous sacrifices in order to place children at risk of infectious disease.
If we are actually going to equate the hardship of wearing a mask to serving in the military, I would argue our masked educators are doing more to support “everyone who fights for our country.”
Our teachers are showing up each day willing to sacrifice to protect those who cannot get a COVID vaccine, or who may be at risk because of personal health reasons.
These are the teachers and staff who are demonstrating to our children that sometimes, there are things bigger than our own needs, and protecting our community is one of them.
Why are THESE teachers and staff not an above-the-fold headline in The Bulletin?
They are the ones who are fighting for our country right now, trying to educate students about the importance of civic responsibility and caring for others.
— Amanda Peoples, Bend
Dear friend, though we don’t share political views, we have many things in common; you are good company, a great colleague with fine tastes in books and you make me laugh. If you contracted COVID and suffered severe disease, or — God forbid — passed, it would break my heart.
However, I take comfort in knowing that I did what I could to protect you; followed mask mandates and got vaccinated.
I accept that I might have been duped into these actions and may thus have looked foolish and/or risked long-term effects of vaccination for no reason.
But I took these actions with the intention to do good and avoid harm. When on my death bed, I shall not need to review this decision critically.
I worry how you will feel if it turns out you got it wrong. Will you recover from the desolation of your possible role in the death of a loved one? Will you be comfortable accepting that you rejected the opportunity to help prevent the deaths and suffering of your fellow Americans? When you are on your death bed, how will you reconcile these griefs?
Please contemplate this possibility as well as your motives for your current actions. Did they arise form good intentions or from fear and anger?
It is never too late for any of us to shine a light into the dark. Take care, friend.
— Deirdre Nauman, Bend