Commissioners table vote on referendum ordinances language till administrative meeting
The Josephine County Commissioners during their Wednesday business session tabled a vote on the ballot language for the referendum solid waste ordinances until the next administrative meeting so that Commissioner Keith Heck, who has been on vacation, will be present.
Commissioner Cherryl Walker, who voted in conjunction with Heck to pass the solid waste ordinances, reiterated several of the changes that the ordinances would enforce. The solid waste ordinance and environmental health enforcement ordinance would be made to mirror state ordinances. The process would involve a complainant submitting a signed written complaint to the county. This allows the county to investigate the case. If a violation is determined the subject of the complaint will have 10 days to comply with the ordinance. The complainant can then either appeal to the hearings officer, request that the case be handled in circuit court or clean their property to ordinance specifications.
Code enforcement officers will not be new positions within the county and the code enforcement officer ordinance codifies the officer’s authority. The hearings officer would be a new county position and Walker assured the position would not be paid for through fines. Those who are fined would be fined no more than $200 per day per offense with a maximum total fine of $10,000. This money would then be used to provide cleaning services for indigent violators.
Commissioner Simon Hare said the ordinances were hard to follow and lacked clarity giving the example of the exemption of farming operations and charitable collections. He added that this was not the time to focus on this issue and the $35,000 to $50,000 the county is spending on the election is not warranted.
The commissioners will vote on the referendum ballot language during their administrative meeting Thursday at 9:00 a.m. in the BCC Conference Room in the courthouse.