by Rick Hoffine
In the city of Reedsport those on the losing side of Petition 2011-001, which became Measure 10-119, recently declared, 'foul' when the mayor and city council decided they wanted "clarity" on the newly passed measure--constitutional clarity. They are trying to find some fault with it on potential grounds that it is unconstitutional and that the recently passed measure by voters might violate contracts and thus, needs
to go before judicial review. You may recall that Measure 10-119 was created by the Committee for Fiscal Responsibility of Reedsport and obligates the city to let residents vote on any fee increases. Organizers say they’re trying to curb government spending. Opponents say the bill would paralyze city services and be powerless to stop waste water rate increases, a fee targeted by the organizers. “This measure passing has given back to us a little control over our pocketbooks,” Victoria Morrison said. “Maybe now the city will stop
spending money we don’t have. Hopefully, things will start turning around, and the city will become fiscally responsible.”
The vote for passage gained almost 60% of the vote. The measure will establish a Charter Amendment that will require the City of Reedsport to submit the creation or increase of fees and taxes to the voter for approval. Those in local government leadership and the other 40% who voted against it do not like this. Reedsport citizens ("Give Voters a Voice") wanted an initiative (2011-001) to amend the City Charter, because the Charter may only be amended by public vote. They knew that if it were an ordinance, the city council could change it. So they had a consultant set it up that way. Now, Mayor Keith Tymchuck and the council are trying to overcome it. They have the idea that a judicial review might set the successful measure
aside. But with the recording of the vote, which will happen soon, the Charter will have been amended and become part of the Reedsport City Charter. This is the same Charter that council members have taken an oath to "protect and defend".
This is all quite puzzling to supporters of the measure, who are in possesion of a Certified letter from the City, signed by the City Manager, and dated February 28th, 2011, which said ." As provided in
ORS 250.270, I have determined that the proposed Charter Amendment complies with Sections 1 (2)(d) and (5), of the Oregon Constitution. This was a requirement that was faced early on,
in establishing the initiative.
One concerned citizen who chosen to remain anonymous has said, "This has been a difficult time, because the press is too quick to climb in bed with the status quo of government. The fortunate thing is that the press does not have great readership. Still, those scanning the paper read the false headlines and story titles. Because they already have spent money with attorneys, a claim will be made for those funds to be replaced. Likely it will be distributed among those Councilors voting in favor of this action. I wonder
if it was a unanimous vote? The Chief Petitioner will soon advise them of their duty in a Registered Letter. The letter will also advise them that claim is being made for funds spent for legal advice in connection with council's resistance to the Charter Amendment.
"Establishing tax bases and allowing annual increases in Oregon was a mistake. This alone has caused the unmanageable growth of all municipal and special district operating budgets. With a 6% annual increases, a budget doubles in only eleven years. Imagine what over thirty years of that program did to increase taxes and spending in Oregon.
"Having the people approve budgets had a dampening affect on the preparation of budgets at an earlier date. We need to get back to that. Besides it will affix much more importance to citizen participation. If the legislature could return to voter approval for all operating budgets, Oregon could again experience some residential growth. We have unparalleled livability and it is being destroyed by run-a-way spending. Affordability is a huge part of livability!"
Tax Enough Already in Reedsport......
Initiatives, Referendums & Referrals, Oh My…..
Reedsport robo-calls raise questions about Measure 10-119 funding