Debate held despite Board of Commissioners disagreement on procedure
The Josephine County Commissioners, despite disagreement on how the process should proceed, held a debate during their Wednesday business session regarding the solid waste ordinances appearing on the November ballot.
Commission Chair Simon Hare wanted Jack Swift representing the con position to speak only during the meeting in order to give equal time for the 15 minutes spoken by Commissioner Cherryl Walker in favor of the ordinances at last week’s meeting. Walker said Hare’s decision to allow Swift to talk alone was demonstrative of his bias towards the issue. Walker and Commissioner Keith Heck voted two to one to allow Walker to speak and when Hare requested the debate be held with the pro side going first Walker and Heck voted in favor of Swift beginning the debate.
Margaret Goodwin, speaking on behalf of Swift, said the new ordinances would not protect the rights of the accused because their rights would be forfeited if not appealed within 10 days and only one person would have to complain to bring the scrutiny of a code enforcement officer compared to the current ordinance which requires three complaints from residents within a half mile.
Walker said the opposition has been spreading false statements giving examples of code enforcement officers peeking over fences and using planes to monitor properties, domestic wells would be monitored and farms would be subject to the ordinances. She said these ordinances deal with new issues that the old ordinances did not handle such as animal hoarding, drug manufacture and the dumping of solid waste into creeks and streams.
Both sides agreed the public needs to read the ordinances on the county website to decide for themselves.