Your New County and Ultimate Solution

Since the mid-1800's, the coastal communities have been taxed and regulated by the distant and culturally different Eugene community while denied county services and effective representation.   Florence currently has roughly 6% of the Lane County population, is responsible for 12% of Lane County's revenue, and is lucky if it sees 3% of that 12% spent on it.   Though Florence has all the infrastructure in place including its own 911 dispatch and coastal Road Crew Facility, all other County services have long been moved to serve Eugene directly.   Eugene-centered Lane County considers Florence to be a distant galaxy on the other side of the worm hole (Hwy 126 tunnel).   The Eugene/Springfield and surrounding communities have three dedicated Commissioners while also exercising a major portion of the West and East County Commissioner electorate.   The coastal area represents 20% of one County Commissioner, who is only 20% of the Board of Commissioners, giving the coast a 4% political position.   For over 100 years, Florence has served Eugene as a slave serves its master; we provide a lot, get little back, and our concerns are mostly ignored.

There have been movements to further divide Lane County since the late-1800s to regain self-determination, county services, and representative taxation.   Keith Stanton retired in the Florence area with some acreage in 2003 and immediately felt the impact of being part of the orphaned coastal area.   Retired populations tend to avoid political involvement though become most at risk from lack of participation.   Keith established this web site in 2005 as part of his quick-n-simple petition drive.   He prepared a brochure containing his petition and mailed it to each household having a registered voter.   Later, he placed the same into the local Siuslaw News paper to reach all the readers.   The Eugene Register Guard devoted a portion of the front page, a full page in section one, and more in the Opinion pages.   The local Siuslaw News refused to mention the Siuslaw County Project forcing the use of Letters to the Editor to gain local awareness.   When asking the coastal people, it was discovered few had any understanding how government works in Oregon.   What seemed a done deal did not generate sufficient signatures on the petition to bring the matter to the ballot and a full discussion.   These brochures are provided later on this web site.   As stated in 2005, Lane County will continue to increase taxes, fees, and fines while continuing to decrease county services to our coastal communities.   A new County will result in no new taxes since all Lane County gets from/for our area will be transferred to the new county and we can eliminate the terrible PERS drain at the same time.

It will take 5 minutes for 50%+1 of the registered voters to sign the petition to place this on the next ballot.   It will take a second 5 minutes for 50%+1 of those voting to make the new county official.   Only those in the affected area, the coastal 480 square miles, may sign the petition anor vote on the ballot.   10 minutes means no new taxes and a return of full county services.   The coast would then enjoy a locally elected Board of Commissioners, a locally elected Sheriff with deputies providing Public Safety, a locally elected Judge and Courthouse, a locally elected Clerk for local Records office, a locally elected Tax Assessor and Survey office, a local location for all county business, and so much more.

After that 10 minutes, the "formation" committee will haggle with Lane County with the force of the Oregon National Guard to take away its "portion" of Lane County and initialize the County.   In Florence in the Florence Justice Center is already a 911 dispatch center, a rarely used Courthouse, could share the City Jail as a holding facility, and vacant office space for Public Safety and County offices.   In Florence is already the Lane County road crew, equipment, and facility that handles all Lane's needs west of the Hwy-126 tunnel.   The coastal people helped pay for the County Prison and would claim a portion/agreement to house the very few criminals of the coastal area.   Essentially, the physical plant needs are already available having been mostly abandoned by Lane County as they eliminated services to the coast.

The area of interest in the original 2005 effort was 864 square miles reaching to Noti.   This area was later reduced to 480 square miles stopping at the Hwy-126 tunnel.   It was felt BLM timber revenue was not sustainable; its loss would make it prohibitive to provide mandated county services to the extra 384 square miles of mainly federal lands.   The Oregon Constitution requires a county to have at least 400 square miles.

Besides bringing back to the coastal Lane County area the full set of county services, the new county will be "restarting" the labor costs.   There is no obligation the new county participate in the greatest financial drain of existing tax districts - PERS.   If a pension program is deemed appropriate by our locally elected County Commissioners, they can offer the more appropriate "contribution" based system.   When the worker leaves, the County's financial burden also ends.   Most of the recent increases in taxes and user fees has been to meet the growing appetite of PERS.   The new county will have more funds available to provide better county services than experienced by those living in Eugene where Lane County operates.

Interest was temporarily rekindled in 2012 following one of Keith Stanton's Letters to the Editor and knowing Lane County was going to place yet another tax increase on the May 2013 ballot.   It is important to have animated debate to surface all issues, expose all perceptions, and discover potential solutions.   Robert's Rules of Order were devised and are commonly used today to allow everyone a voice, to maintain civil order, and to assure forward progress.   Eg. If a decision is made by majority vote, RRO does not allow revisiting it unless a super majority vote to do so.   Unfortunately, a few strong members refused insisting any decision not going their way had to be revisited at each meeting until changed to their way.   The group never achieved stability nor was it able to move forward.   It was disbanded for failure to be productive within a few months.   The next rekindled interest must emphatically adhere to Robert's Rules of Order.   This web site will remain dormant until it once again is brought into use by the next group effort.   It only takes ten minutes by the simple majority of voters within the 480sm coastal communities to regain all the county services we are paying for and with lower taxes.

Those wanting to participate should join the free discussion MeetUp group Siuslaw County Split Off.   You may also reach Keith Stanton via the SCO contact page.     Keith Stanton, CCP

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