Commissioner’s Agree to Back Levy Over Taxing District
During the last hour of the County’s administrative meeting Thursday, Commissioner Simon Hare presented persuasive arguments, gaining support from his fellow Commissioners that the best way for the county to improve its criminal justice system was to present a five year levy at $1.48 per thousand as opposed to the proposed tax district at $1.85.
Commissioner Hare feels the best chance for a long term solution is the Oregon Forest Land Trust bill being pushed by the state’s congressional delegation that would mandate the harvest of 500 million board feet of timber. Hare believes it has a good chance of passing both in the House and Senate but not of gaining a presidential signature under the current administration, “We need five years to get to an opportunity for that federal forest leg to stand on.”
The Commissioner’s plan would fund the jail, juvenile justice, the district attorney’s office, court services and animal protection like the proposed tax district but would also return some rural patrols and 4 teams of two deputies each for school protection for the $1.48, “The reason this is lower is we’ve taken this opportunity downsizing, to really weed out the fat. We’re very tight now, not to say there was a lot of waste in the previous system.”
The public hearing for the proposed tax district scheduled for February 7th has not been cancelled at this time and no formal motion has been made to either cancel it or move it forward.