Your New County and Ultimate Solution

This web site was started by myself in 2005 as part of a quick-n-simple petition drive.   A brochure with approved petition was mailed to each household having a registered voter with minimal response.   Later, the same was placed into the local Siuslaw News paper to reach all the readers with again minimal response.   Though 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 chose not to mention the project at all.   When asking the coastal people, they did not understand how government works in Oregon and felt a comprehensive and expensive campaign with independent surveys, studies, and so forth were needed before anything would be discussed.   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.

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 prohibative 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 my Letters to the Editor and knowing Lane County was going to place yet another tax increase on the May 2013 ballot.   Differences of opinion and personality together with lack of dedication to the process prevented any forward movement.   The next rekindled interest must emphatically adhere to Robert's Rules of Order established to keep forward positive movement and accepting the members inside these groups will always be contentious.   Differences in opinion and animated debate are what produces the best outcome.   This web site will remain dormant until it once again is brought into use by the next group effort.   All efforts must be open participation, transparent in operation, and community interest driven.

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

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