Friday, February 23, 2007


Yesterday, Lane County commissioners voted to enact the "public safety" tax WITHOUT voter approval, proving once again that the government in Oregon has no respect for the will of the voters.

In a 3-2 vote, Lane County Commissioners Faye Stewart, Bobby Green, and Bill Dwyer voted to enact the 1.1% income tax for public safety despite the fact that just four months earlier, voters had just rejected the measure.
I’m here today making the toughest decision of my life," said Faye Stewart, board chairman, moments before voting to enact a tax. "There is no way we can fix this problem unless we do this today and stand up."

Peter Sorenson, who voted against the tax said “what we have at Lane County is a very serious problem.... we've got to wait until Congress makes its decision." Sorenson who also introduced a motion to stop work on the income tax proposal, was accused of political grandstanding during the 11th hour by the three commissioners who voted in favor of the tax.

Jack Roberts, executive director of the Lane Metro partnership, a business development organization, stated that a strong public safety system is the key to business that may want to locate here. . However, the fact that Eugene is very business unfriendly has nothing to do with it.
“It’s totally inappropriate to go over the heads of the voters that spoke four months ago,” Springfield resident Linda Dannen said. The commissioners who approved the tax “should be impeached,” she added.{Source}

The Lane County commissioners also directed their staff to prepare an amendment to the county charter that "could" cap the tax at around 2% and dedicate the money to public safety. This amendment could go before the voters in November. why bother?
Developer Steve Lee of Eugene, a high-income earner who helped campaign for November's failed tax, told the board that seeking only to replace the loss of the federal money sends the right message that the county is "just trying to keep what we have right now."
"I don't think anybody could think you're not doing the right thing," he said.

The tax, which would raise $32 million annually ($9 million more than the original amount that was voted on) will become effective July 1. The money will be earmarked to continue adult and youth corrections, crime prevention, detention, supervision, patrol, mental health and crime victim services, and alcohol and drug treatment.

Officials who voted in favor of going behind the voter’s backs are...
Commissioners Faye Stewart, Bobby Green and Bill Dwyer
remember these names!

I agree with Pete Sorenson when he says that "what we have in Lane County is a very serious problem..." and it is not just funding.
The recent actions of the Lane County commissioners makes the point of why voters like myself continue to vote no on any tax increase.

It is time to send a clear voice to our state and local government that we will no longer tolerate the voters will being continually ignored.

It is time to start talking about recalling those who act against the will of the people.


Anonymous Laura said...

I still believe that if they would STOP cutting education funding, people would have better lives and we wouldn't need as much money for police protection and prison upkeep. I'm tired of paying for criminals to have cable TV.

4:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How do they plan to collect the tax?

5:15 PM  
Anonymous MaxRedline said...

Hmm. There have been no cuts to education funding. In fact, we pay about $11,000 per student, per year. That's considerably more than most private schools charge.

The problem is that the money doesn't go to the classroom.

There is no earthly reason why the superintendent of Portland Public Schools should be taking home a paycheck in excess of $300,000 per year - but she does. The fact of the matter is that most of the money we pay into the school system goes to administration, and that's just wrong.

Education funding has never been cut; it has been increased year after year. And every year, they cry that they need more money. Look to the administration before blaming the taxpayers.

7:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Max - what are you smoking? education is on the chopping block EVERY year.

7:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since 2001 K-12 education has lost $1.2 Billion dollars. The current biennial budget of 5.24 Bil is woefully less than the 5.4 Billion is would have taken to continue 2003-2005 services. And the 2003-2005 budget was a cut from 2001-2003, which was cut from 1999-2001 levels. Its been downhill since 1992 (which coincides with a Republican majority in both houses).

Yes, administrative salaries are too high and golden parachutes must stop (Senator Vicki Walker just introduced legislation to restrict these payouts), but most people on this blog also attack the teachers (ie workers) for the faults of the managers.

Take your heat out on COSA or OSBA, but don't refute the fact that every year teachers are asked to do more with less.

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