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Commission Approved Collective Bargaining Agreement and Delayed Animal Shelter Levy

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The Josephine County Board of Commissioners approved a collective bargaining agreement and delayed a decision on whether to refer an animal shelter levy to voters during its weekly business session on Wednesday.

The Board voted unanimously to approve the collective bargaining agreement with the Laborers International Union of North America Local 737. The new contract with 75% of Public Works employees had been continued from last month.

Public Works Director Rob Brandes said the three-year agreement includes a 4.5% cost of living increase with Josephine County picking up the 6% contribution to the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS). He added that the workers covered under this pact have agreed not to seek another cost of living hike for three years.

A resolution to refer to voters a five-year local option tax levy for the Animal Shelter was tabled until next week because the language for the Voters Pamphlet had not yet been completed. If approved by the Board, a proposed levy charging 47 cents per thousand dollars of assessed property value will appear on the May 21st election ballot.

The public comment period was both varied and lively. Citizens spoke both for and against the Animal Shelter levy, in support of the Pipe Fork property sale and for the proposed County Charter amendment. Also brought up by citizens were local school boards and the need for a Josephine County Fire Protection District.

One man who identified himself only as "The Boss" was nearly thrown out of the public meeting when he used expletives in a rant against what he called "domestic terrorism" by the Board, Grants Pass City Council and Grants Pass Daily Courier.
Posted on 2/8/24 6:18AM by Sam Marsh