Walter L.Bell, Ph.D.
I received a letter from Governor Kitzhaber recently asking if I would vote for him in the upcoming election. I am reluctant to vote for him because he cut the formula for the Public Employee Retirement System due to several very highly paid employees from the University of Oregon and possibly other places in the employment as PERS members who were allowed to include money which was not part of their regular salary. Instead of requiring an investigation and a reversal of the persons illegal calculation of their retirement compensation, Kitzhaber allowed the matter to stand and decided to change the compensation of retired persons with his Republican buddies so that my retirement and thousands of other retirees are paying for the retirement of the former Athletic Director and Dean of the Law School at the University of Oregon. What should have been addressed is how PERS could have allowed this to happen and why it took a Law Suite by the Oregonian to disclose this information. I am highly disgusted with both PERS and the present and former Governors who allowed this to happen. The one PERS meeting I attended this year had five members who did not represent the present or former members of PERS. In fact, there was no allowance for questions from the audience regarding the meeting or the policies being discussed. My question is what happened to the open meeting law wherein the people attending have a right to ask questions regarding procedures and policies under discussion by the PERS Board.
I have read about both Governor Kitzhaber and the Republican candidate for Governor, and I will have to hold my nose and vote for the present governor. The report on the Republican candidate for Governor is that he is a far worse choice than Governor Kitzhaber because of his ethical values and reputation.
In reading about Governor Kitzhaber handling of the Cover Oregon website, he had several alternatives to Oracle in the development of a website. Since Oracle had two working websites in California and Washington, he could have asked Oracle to build a site similar to these two states. Also, he could have contacted the Computer Science Departments of Oregon State University, the University of Oregon and Portland State University to have them develop a website. The development of a website is not like sending a spaceship to the moon which was done with computers which did not have the capabilities of the one I am using for this post. I developed three websites using wordpress.org and Bluehost as a host. The cost was minimal and my problems were minor, but I had offers to build a website for $5,000. Governor Kitzhaber by contrast has spent millions of dollars and is involved with Oracle for using proprietary code developed by Oracle with his new contractor. Oracle has filed a counter lawsuit against the State of Oregon for the use of its proprietary code by the new contractor. I doubt the Republican candidate for Governor of Oregon can fix this debacle so I will vote for Kitzhaber for his 4th and last term.