Politics & Government

Politics & Government

Newport News Times

Newport citizens will choose between two candidates for this years' mayoral race. Incumbent Sandra Roumagoux has been at the job for two years. She's being challenged by Dean Sawyer, who is currently the Emergency Management Planner for the Siletz Tribe.

Sawyer previously worked for more than 30 years as a Sergeant in the Newport Police Department. He is a current city councilor. Saywer wants to increase citizen participation in government by holding more open town hall meetings where people can ask questions.

www.ci.florence.or.us

After the November election, the city of Florence may have a new mayor and turnover in three of the four city council seats.

Nola Xavier has been mayor of Florence two years. Before that, she was a city councilor for eight years. She wants to serve another term in order to complete several ongoing projects:

Xavier: "We're in the process of hiring a new city manager. We need a new police chief. We've been working with an interim in both of those positions for quite some time."

Mjpresson Wikimedia

A ballot measure in Sisters asks voters to decide if medical marijuana dispensaries should be allowed to operate within city limits.

Earlier in the year, the Sisters City Council adopted a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries. Sisters wasn't ready to welcome licensed medical pot shops. Now, the 1,200 or so registered voters in the small tourist town will decide on Measure 9-101. It would amend the municipal code and allow dispensaries.

McKibben Womack is president of the Sisters City Council. He hears the pros and cons of medical marijuana from constituents.

Lincoln County Commission  Chairman Terry Thompson was adamant Tuesday the Coast Guard Air Station helicopter operations slated to be moved to North Bend are not going to leave Newport. 

Thompson emerged from a joint meeting with Newport City and Port officials and said:

(Thompson) "We're going to keep pushing.  They're going to take that helicopter out of our hands over our cold dead bodies.  It isn’t going to happen."

Newport Public Library

Lincoln County libraries are hoping voters will say “yes” to ballot Measure 21-156. The measure asks the Library District to renew the levy that’s been funding the county’s five public libraries since the mid-90s.

Measure 21-156 asks county voters living outside of Lincoln City, Newport, Toledo and Yachats to renew the levy taxing nine cents on every 1,000 dollars of property value. These voters make up the Lincoln County Library District. The tax allows residents throughout the county access to the library. Ted Smith, the director at Newport Public Library explains:

The Lane County Board of Commissioners Tuesday approved a local tax on marijuana. The ordinance passed 4 to 1 after only one person spoke at a public hearing.
 

USGS

Oregon’s 2nd Congressional District is a Republican stronghold. The GOP has held the seat since early 1981, and that likely won’t change this November.
This year’s Democratic challenger is hoping to make inroads by positioning herself as a moderate alternative on issues such as the economy and natural resources.

cityofroseburg.org

The City of Roseburg has two candidates on the ballot for mayor this year. Incumbent Larry Rich has served 8 terms as mayor. He is being challenged by Transportation Planning Manager, Mike Baker.

Larry Rich works as the Assistant Principle at Roseburg High School. He’s proud of infrastructure projects he’s worked on including the Highway 138 Corridor and Waterfront Improvements. Rich describes himself as the same person regardless if there is an election going on.

Newport News Times

The public has a chance to give comment and hear from elected officials, Monday, regarding the imminent closure of the U.S. Coast Guard Air Facility in Newport. The closure would remove the rescue helicopter stationed there. Air rescue efforts would be directed to stations in Astoria or North Bend; both are about an hour flight away from Newport. Friday, it was announced Rear Admiral Richard Gromlich will be attending Monday’s meeting. Newport Mayor Sandra Roumagoux says the community has been torn apart from the announcement especially with crab season just around the corner.

Karen Richards

Oregon Senator Ron Wyden and State Treasurer Ted Wheeler held a roundtable in Eugene today to discuss retirement savings issues.

At the meeting on LCC's downtown campus, Senator Wyden and Treasurer Wheeler heard from a couple dozen students, retirees, and professionals. They were looking for ideas to help shape an Oregon plan for retirement security.

Wyden said the days of working for the same company for decades, and retiring with a healthy pension, have gone the way of black and white TV:

John Stark / KLCC

Incumbent Democratic Congressman Peter DeFazio and his Republican challenger Art Robinson traded barbs Wednesday night in a debate at the University of Oregon Law School in Eugene. They were joined by Green Party candidate Michael Bielstein discussing topics including funding for rural counties, liquefied natural gas terminals, oil trains, climate change and education.

Stephanie Yao Long / The Oregonian

The behavior of Oregon's First Lady provoked the sharpest exchanges during a gubernatorial debate in Portland Tuesday night on KGW television. Incumbent Democrat John Kitzhaber declared that he would freeze out his fiancé from any policy-making roles in the near-term.

OPB News

U-S Senator Jeff Merkley and his Republican challenger Monica Wehby went head-to-head Tuesday on Medford TV station KOBI. In their only scheduled debate, both candidates sought to portray the other as extreme and out of touch with everyday Oregonians, while positioning themselves as champions of working people. 

Rachael McDonald

After outcry from neighbors of Buford Park and Mount Pisgah, Lane County has canceled large events at Emerald Meadows for 2015. Meanwhile it's gathering public input on how to manage such gatherings at County parks in the future.

Oregon's November election features a governor's race and a couple of hotly-debated measures. In order to cast a ballot, voters must register by Tuesday.

Lane County Clerk Cheryl Betschart says there are several ways to register to vote by Tuesday:

Betschart: "You can go online at Oregonvotes.gov. That is available for those that have a driver's license, an Oregon i.d. card, or a permit.  And that can be done from the convenience of your home at a computer and that can happen all the way up to 11:59 p.m."

Wikimedia Commons

Eugene is among many cities and counties in Oregon considering a tax on recreational marijuana. The City Council wants to hear from the public before the November Election.

Mjpresson Wikimedia

The Lane County Board of Commissioners voted 4 to 1 Tuesday to move forward with a local tax on recreational marijuana. The tax would be conditional on Oregon voters approving Measure 91, which would legalize recreational pot.  Commissioner Pete Sorenson was the only no vote. The board had been considering taxing medical marijuana as well but decided not to do so.

The board will hold public hearing on the proposed ordinance at its regular meeting next Tuesday.

www.newslincolncounty.com

The Port of Newport plans to expand, yet an important safety service is scheduled to be eliminated. Newport's Coast Guard air facility, including its rescue helicopter station, is slated to close at the end of November.

Once the Newport facility closes, the closest rescue helicopters will be in North Bend, 60 minutes away by air. Captain Todd Trimpert is Commander at the North Bend station. He says the government is under pressure to allocate their resources more effectively:

Merkley campaign

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren rallied a crowd of Democratic Party faithful for Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley Monday. She spoke at the University of Oregon.

greatbuildings.com

There will be no wrecking ball at Eugene’s City Hall. The structure is being disassembled. This week, western red cedar slats and some heavy paving stones are being removed.

The pavers that made up the concrete plaza outside the Council Chamber are being transported to BRING Recycling. Each paver weighs over 100 pounds and more than 2,000 of them have already been moved. BRING’s Executive Director, Julie Daniel, says they’re prepared to store the blocks, plus whatever other cabinets, fixtures and fittings they can take from the building.

The Lane County Board is the latest local government considering imposing a tax on marijuana.

Commissioners Tuesday directed staff attorneys to draft an ordinance that would put a tax on recreational and medical marijuana if Oregon voters approve a pot legalization measure in November.  Commissioner Faye Stewart said he sees this as an opportunity.

Stewart: "I have heard from folks in my travels that when it comes to public safety funding look for new sources. So I see this as a potential opportunity for public safety funding, if this was a viable option."

Wyden Talks Rural Funding, Paying For Wildfires

Sep 30, 2014
Desmond O'Boyle

While in Eugene last week, Oregon U.S. Senator Ron Wyden spoke with KLCC's Desmond O'Boyle about funding for rural parts of the state and the rising costs of fighting wildfires.

Senator Wyden has worked to renew The Secure Rural Schools Act several times, most recently in 2013. The Act ensures funding to rural areas not collecting the timber revenue at the rate they once did. Oregon's share of the Secure Rural Schools Act is more than 2 billion dollars annually. Wyden says as far as providing financial assistance to the State, this is a very important bill.

Senator Ron Wyden Discusses Privacy In The Digital Age

Sep 26, 2014
Desmond O'Boyle

Oregon U.S. Senator Ron Wyden discussed protecting privacy in the digital age at the Club of Eugene, Friday.

As a longtime member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, the Democrat has been critical of government programs collecting large amounts of data on U.S. Citizens. Wyden is concerned the merging of communications systems worldwide will cause innocent Americans to be swept up in searches that target overseas terrorist threats.

On The Campaign Trail With Wehby And Merkley

Sep 26, 2014
OPB News

One of Oregon’s two senate seats is up for grabs this election season. The frontrunners are incumbent Democrat Jeff Merkley and Republican Monica Wehby.

On a recent Saturday morning in Portland, Jeff Merkley met with volunteers at one of his offices.

Retiree Carol Adler was there to show her support.

“I just think he’s terrific. I’ve been volunteering a bit here and I had a house party for him where I live,” Adler said.

ELECTION COVERAGE

Sep 25, 2014

CLICK HERE FOR UP TO THE MINUTE ELECTION RESULTS FROM KLCC NEWS

KLCC will provide results and analysis from NPR on election night, November 4, beginning at 5 p.m.  Local results will begin at 8 p.m.  Coverage will continue until 10 pm.  Regular KLCC evening programming is pre-empted.

Visit these Government sites for Election information:

Rachael McDonald

The Eugene City Council re-affirmed Wednesday it wants to tear down the old city hall and construct a new $15-million building on the same site. The vote was 6 to 2.

The city held a ceremony a few weeks ago marking the start of demolition of the 50-year old city hall building at 8th and Pearl. But the event was marred by protestors who want to keep the old structure, and questions came up about the decision making process. Council President Chris Pryor says the council wanted to clarify its plans.

City of Eugene

The Eugene City Council is expected to decide the fate of the shuttered, 50-year-old city hall this week. The council voted earlier this month to postpone the demolition of city hall for two weeks to have another debate about the building's future.

City spokeswoman Jan Bohman says councilors will hear from the design team  at their Monday evening meeting.

www.lanecounty.org

Reduced timber revenue has been impacting Oregon's public sector for years, and the trend is not expected to change.

Lane County is developing its 2015-2017 strategic plan, focusing on how to do more with less. After a workshop in June, Commissioners identified three priorities: health and safety, infrastructure, and vibrant communities. They hope to continue to tailor the plan to residents' concerns.

County spokeswoman Anne Marie Levis says the passing of the sheriff's levy was a helpful indicator:

Postcards should arrive this week in nearly one million Oregon mailboxes.  They’re promoting a higher turnout in November’s election.  But they’re not being sent in support of a political party or candidate.  

Lane County spokeswoman Anne Marie Levis says the postcards will come from the Secretary of State’s office.  They’ll contain instructions on how to register to vote:

Levis:  “It’s a statewide effort to people who, through multiple different data bases, seem as if they’re not a registered voter and try to get them to register and be able to vote.”

Ballot Measure Speed Dating

Sep 15, 2014

Meeting Date: September 12, 2014

Air Date: September 15, 2014

Speakers both for and against four of the seven ballot measures will try to persuade members and guests to vote pro or con. City Club has invited proponents and opponents to explain the measures and answer your questions about Alternative Driver Licenses, an Equal Rights Amendment, Mandatory Labeling of Genetically Modified Organisms, and the Oregon Legalized Marijuana Initiative.

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