More Election Analysis: local money measures show Oregonians’ support for community

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Oregonians voted on 40 ballot measures last Tuesday that asked them to support local fire and ambulance districts, police forces, libraries, and other community services. Several of the measures focused on providing funds to local schools to help with the reduced school funding from the state.

The League of Oregon Cities compiled the results of the measures, which came in the form of levies, bonds, and permanent rate increases. Their findings? 70% of the measures passed. Even more impressive, 80% of the K12 school measures passed. Oregonians overwhelmingly voted in support for their community needs.

The Statesman Journal examined the ballot measure results and called the support a “statewide trend.” They spoke with many voters and found positive messages of hope for the future and support for the services they value.  From the Statesman Journal:

Voters said they valued those services.

“We need something. We need books and pools,” said Mark Kester, who noted that the library was important to him and his children. “We don’t need this town going to decay. It’s infrastructure that we need.”

Added T.J. Sanders: “These are things that children need and they need all the things they can get. I’m all for the library and pool, even though I rarely use them.”

Mary Fery supported the city’s parks: “The parks here are really nice. A lot of older people around here don’t drive, and parks aren’t too far to walk for them.”

Multnomah County was one of four counties that asked residents to support funding for their local libraries. All four of the library measures passed, and nowhere more triumphantly than Multnomah where 82% of voters supported the library levy.

Of course, not all of the local tax measures passed. Most notable of the measures that failed was the local prison levy in Josephine County, leading to the release of up to 75 prisoners into the community on top of sheriff office staff layoffs. Additionally, a measure limiting city spending passed in Gladstone, hub of conservatives’ latest focus. The measure was sponsored by Tea-party members who opposed the city’s plan to build a library for residents.

We’ll take a closer look at the measures that failed later this week.

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