Lane County Board of Commissioners

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The leader of the Lane County NAACP is protesting the recent proclamation by the County Board of Commissioners refusing to enforce a state law expanding gun background checks.

Eric Richardson says the timing and spirit of the proclamation that passed 4 to 1 this week is offensive, especially for those who've been affected by gun violence.

Rachael McDonald

Calling it an “unfunded mandate” the Lane County Board of Commissioners Tuesday voted not to enforce a new Oregon law that expands background checks for gun sales. 

Lane County’s deadliest stretch of road will be getting some safety improvements soon, and officials hope for additional long-term changes. Work begins soon on the construction on Highway 126 West near Walton.

There were ten deaths in 12 months last year on Highway 126 between Eugene and the coast. In response, Lane County Commissioner Jay Bozievich organized a task force to study how to prevent more accidents.

Bozievich: “Most of the crashes were lane departures. And it was either due to excessive speed or driver distraction.”

Lane County

Recorded on: April 10, 2015

Air Date: April 13, 2015

Almost half of the land in Lane County is under the control of the U.S. Forest Service, which means that none of that land is on the county’s property tax roll. When logging was a major industry here, Forest Service land generated hundreds of millions of dollars. The federal government provided tens of millions of dollars directly the county as compensation for supporting services to land that did not otherwise contribute to the county treasury.

lanecounty.org

Lane County legislators are hoping the federal government moves forward with extending timber payments. The U.S. House is voting this week on a two-year extension of the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act. The extension isn't a long term solution to the County's budget problems. Lane County Commissioner Sid Leiken thinks county and city municipalities should work together to develop a consistent economic develop message.

Lane County's new internal auditor, Shanda Miller, started her job in mid-February. She was introduced to the public and the board of commissioners last week.

Miller spent the first few weeks in her new job meeting with various department heads, learning about what they do and the challenges of their jobs. County Spokeswoman Anne Marie Levis:

Levis: "As a performance auditor, her job very much is to look at efficiencies with the county, ways to do things better, ways to have cost savings."

Angela Kellner

The Lane County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to put the proposed vehicle registration fee on the May ballot.

Lane County voters will decide in May if they want to pay a vehicle registration fee to fund road and bridge maintenance in the county. If passed, residents would pay $35 per vehicle per year. Motorcycles would cost $20 annually. At a public hearing and meeting Tuesday, Kats Henry of Noti spoke against the fee.

Lane County

Lane County Commissioners Sid Leiken and Jay Bozievich released a statement Friday afternoon in response to the Oregon State Bar clearing a former administrator of criminal conduct.

The commissioners say Liane Inkster, formerly Liane Richardson, violated county policy by selling more leave time than was allowed and that she lied about it. Inkster was fired last year.

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.
 

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.

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