Petersburg Pilot -


Letters to the Editor


We like Skookum

To the Editor:

Last week’s letter about our town’s vet really bothered me. I understand that letters are people’s opinions and everybody has one, so I thought I would write an opinion of my own.

I don’t care that Dr. Hill bought a house in town, or that he bought the clinic. I will not take my pets to him. I tried that once and was turned away. He told me, very rudely, to go home and give her some water. Well I had already tried that and a vet was my last resort, she was not eating or drinking and I wanted someone to help. Sox died that afternoon and I couldn’t help but wonder if Dr. Hill had taken the time to give her a quick checkup or look over that maybe she could have lived longer.

So why would I want to support a business that won’t give me the time of day or help my animals when they are in need?

I fully support Skookum Vets. Dr. Lowry is a wonderful person and treats my dog like his own. He listens to my concerns and addresses them and answers any questions I have. He provides services to Wrangell, and just like Dr. Hill, has a phone that you can call for consultations.

I think it’s great we have more than one vet in town. Now no one should be turned away. Who cares if they leave anything behind?

Tiffany Budinger

Residents have right to choose vets

To the Editor:

After reading your article (letter to the editor), about the vets in town, I was quite upset. Petersburg has always had the reputation of being a very caring and supportive town but now people are trying to run others out of it.

Just because Dr. Hill owns a house in town and has a fancier office does not make him a better vet. Doctors Lowry and Coniff are very good, caring vets as well. They have always treated the animals with the love and respect they deserve. Both vets have worked together to provide good service for this town when Waterways is out of town, Skookum is here to take over.

If people really have a problem with having two vets in town, then leave and find another place to live. Both vets are highly qualified and Petersburg residents should have the right to choose which one to go to.

My advice to the couple that wrote the letter, get a life and stop trying to run someone out of town.

Patty Randrup

National Volunteer Appreciation Week

To the Editor:

Petersburg Medical Center would like to tae this opportunity to thank the many people who spend time in Long Term Care helping to brighten the lives of our residents. They come to visit, entertain, help with activities, decorate, bring treats… the list goes on and on. And they are too many to list here, but you know who you are. Thank you so much.

This year, National Volunteer Appreciation Week is April 15 – 21. We are so blessed in our little town, to have such a large chunk of our population willing to share time and talents to make the lives of others better, from our Volunteer Fire Department all the way down to individuals who just make a point of checking on a shut-in. If you are not a volunteer yourself, I’ll bet you know a few. This would be a great time to thank them for their extra care to our community.

This would also be a great time to consider becoming a volunteer yourself, if you aren’t one already. Ask a volunteer, and they’ll tell you they get at least as much benefit from being a volunteer as they give. Volunteering can give one a sense of accomplishment, a feeling of wellbeing and increased self-esteem. A good way to take your mind off of your own problems is to do volunteer work for others. And nothing else is as heart warming.

Patty Biggers, Activities Coordinator

Petersburg Medical Center

Borough formation good for schools

To the Editor:

A number of comments regarding school funding have been submitted to the Local Boundary Commission and the Petersburg Pilot by opponents of borough formation. These comments assert that following borough formation the State of Alaska’s contribution to local education will be completely offset by a required increase in Petersburg’s portion of the contribution, and that borough formation will not result in “one thin dime” of additional funding going to Petersburg schools.

Both of these statements are based upon an incomplete understanding of the educational funding formula, and are wrong. This is because 1) the increase in Petersburg’s required minimum local contribution to education resulting from borough formation will be only partially offset by a decrease in state funding, and 2) the increase in Petersburg’s voluntary contribution to local education, resulting from an increased tax base, will not be offset at all by any reduction in state funding, thus allowing the borough to contribute additional funds to its schools, over and above that which the City could now contribute.

School funding is very complicated, but I’ll try again to explain.

The required minimum local contribution portion of the school funding mechanism mandates that a municipality contribute to its schools an amount equal to a 4 mill tax levy on the taxable property value within that municipality, with a base year adjustment. Specifically, Petersburg's 4 mill required minimum local education contribution is calculated on the FY1999 assessed value of property located within the City, known as the base year, plus one-half of any increase over that base amount in a later year. Thus, only one-half of any increase in total property value resulting from Borough formation will be included in the calculation of the required minimum local contribution (the equivalent of 2 mills of the 4 mills to be collected on real property outside the Service Area).

Furthermore, State law allows a municipality to make a voluntary additional contribution to its schools, above the required minimum, up to an amount equal to an additional 2 mill tax levy on the taxable property value within its boundaries. The City has always provided additional funds to its schools under this provision, and this will no doubt continue after borough formation. Because of this, as a consequence of borough formation and the resulting increased tax base, there will be a net increase in available school funding of an estimated $100,000 per year - much more than “one thin dime”.

I trust our citizen’s within the proposed Petersburg Borough will rely on “full facts” versus “half facts” and personal opinions when deciding the fate of the borough at the future election. It appears to me that if CCUB members are as strongly in support of public education as they claim, and based on the facts provided above, they will overwhelmingly support borough formation and vote yes at election time.

Know the facts - Borough Formation for our school system is good.

Kathy O’Rear

Private Citizen


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