To the Editor

November 13, 2012

By Contributor

Legislature

Residents must stay involved

With only a few days since the general election, there are several important political races that are still up in the air. What is not left to conjecture is the deep challenge before us in Washington.

For the new and returning legislators from the 5th Legislative District who will face a deep budget deficit, a state Supreme Court mandate on basic education, and growing costs from unfunded state pensions, the outlook is bleak indeed.

Voters are understandably saturated with the discussions of state government. They are reluctant to stay involved and are more than pleased to turn off the static and get back to their families, jobs and homes. That is, if they have a job and a home.

My political campaign revealed just how many of our neighbors are unemployed, underemployed or just scraping by. This is the biggest problem facing the next legislative session. How do we build a state that encourages private-sector growth and the job-making engines of private enterprise?

Will the lawmakers of both parties have the foresight and the courage to step beyond party dogma to craft new solutions to our budget mess? I certainly hope so.

History, however, has proven the answer to be a resounding maybe.

The only way to dig out of our economic doldrums is to provide an environment where small companies can prosper, make a profit, pay taxes and hire more employees. These employees in turn, pay their bills, purchase clothes and cars, and pay more sales and property taxes. As the economic cycle increases and becomes stronger, nearly 10 percent of most things purchased contribute to the general fund that runs state government.

Short-term solutions — such as hiring more public-sector employees, providing selective stimulus funds, and building underused transit systems — simply do not have a long-term benefit for Washington.

Post-election, I ask all of you to stay involved. Stay informed. Stay tuned to the discussions that will affect the future of you and your children. Once the session begins, come visit me in Olympia. Call the legislative hotline. Write letters and send emails. The stakes are high and with knowledgeable citizens, it will be a better tomorrow.

Jay Rodne, state representative

5th Legislative District

 

Ruby

Generous legacy for Issaquah

We moved to Issaquah in the late 1960s with its one stoplight and one gas station. It was Ruby’s. Everyone knew Ruby and everyone thought the world of him.

He was so good and nice to everyone. If you took your car in, he would have a loaner for you for nothing. He was so good to older people and gave jobs to lots of young people. He helped everyone.

One day, when I was a school bus driver, I called my mother and said, “Don’t go out until 10:30, as the roads are slippery.” At 9:30, I got a call on my bus phone. It was another driver saying, “Helen, your mother is in a ditch, but don’t worry. Ruby is there pulling her out.”

This was before cellphones. Ruby was always there and lots of time never taking any money. My mother stayed to pay him. But he said no. I stopped at the station to thank him and again tried to pay and he said no.

He was kind to everyone. When we had to start pumping our own gas, he and his workers would say, “Stay in the car. I will pump it.” Then he would check the water and oil. What a wonderful guy.

He will be greatly missed. He was an Issaquah hero. He was an angel. Now he’s an angel in heaven. I feel better that he’s up there watching over all of Issaquah.

We thank you for doing such a good job on Earth and always being there for all of us. Issaquah was a better place because of Ruby.

From all the Issaquah school bus drivers in the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. We love you.

Helen Hedman, school bus driver for 23 years

Sammamish

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