Up Sucker Creek

Up Sucker Creek
Photo Courtesy of the Lake Oswego Library

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The 2% solution

We need this in Lake Oswego.

It seems that folks at City Hall think of residents as bottomless pots of gold, but that isn't the case.  Rising water and sewer rates along with compounding 3% property taxes are forcing people on fixed incomes out of the city where they have lived for decades.

If / WHEN Lake Oswego decides to annex county land in the USD, the additional burdens of high utility fees will be an unwelcome shock to new city residents.  Feeling a distinct distrust of Lake Oswego largess that never seems to come their way, and a fear that they can't afford it if it does, some people in Rosewood are considering a move to annex to Rivergrove instead.  Having a Lake Oswego address has its dark side.

Why just watch as other cities charge ahead?  It's time to put control of our future and our finances in our own hands.

Measure forcing vote on most fees above 2 percent wins handily

The Times, May 17, 2016 By Ray Pitz

A measure that would send most new Sherwood fees and taxes raised by more than 2 percent to city voters for approval is won outright during the May 17 election.

Measure 34-244 requires the city to get public approval for any local option property tax levies, water charges, sewer and surface water charges, and street utility fees that rise more than 2 percent.

It would not apply to taxes, fees or charges that are imposed on something other than residential property or utility taxes, charges and fees.

The measure was put forth by former Sherwood Mayor Bill Middleton, who along with others, collected the needed signatures to place it on the ballot after the Sherwood City Council declined to independently send it to voters last summer.

"The bottom line is if voters end up approving this measure we’ll have to adjust and operate in this new charter amendment,” said [Sherwood City Manager] Gall.

He said although it would require the city going out to voters to get approval for fees higher than 2 percent, it wouldn’t prove to be the end of the world.

In April, the Sherwood City Council passed a resolution opposing the measure, saying it would “result in significant financial and lifestyle impacts to its citizens by forcing the city to operate without the ability to raise fees.”
Perhaps people don't remember that large capital projects were put to a vote for approval. To do this, government entities had to craft proposals they thought the public would approve.  Today, once elected, city councils do as they wish, not inclined to give up their power easily.  The old days were't so bad - the power to spend big was held by the people.

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