Both Sides Battle for Service Fee Votes

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EUGENE, Ore. — A controversial issue on Lane County’s May 2013 Special Election ballot is Eugene’s city service fee.

As the clock was winding down, both sides continued to battle it out Tuesday for those last-minute votes.

Whether it was making phone calls or passing out any remaining fliers, folks on both sides of Measure 20-211 were out to get the vote.

The measure is designed to pay for several different services.

“Measure 20-211 specifically funds four detectives in the police department, one fire crew at station, two in the Whiteaker, one Cahoots van, the Sheldon and Bethel libraries, the Sheldon pool,” said Chris Wig, Eugene Cares Campaign Manager.

Those are just a few.

“The reason why Eugene is such an awesome place to live is because of our services and the only way to guarantee that those services will be funded for the next five years,” Wig said.

While opponents may agree these things are important, they argue we all need to look at the bigger picture.

“We are saying it’s not about the services, it’s about the money,” said Bonny Bettman McCornack, No on 20-211 Committee Member. “If they can’t afford to fund essential services, then why are they funding non-essential services and making wasteful expenditures like tax breaks and tax exemptions.”

Ultimately, while their views may differ, both sides agree no matter what happens, it’s up to the citizens to make sure government leaders are doing right by them.

“I just want to encourage everyone to vote and have their say,” Wig said.

“It takes citizens having a vigilant commitment to providing the checks and balances to their local government,” McCornack said.

Both sides are holding a watch party. Supporters will meet at The Bier Stein on Willamette Street for the final results. Their opponents will gather at a committee member’s home.

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  1. Fee proponenets still not truthful says:

    The service fee campaign manager, Chris Wig, says that the fee is the “only way to guarantee that those services will be funded for the next five years.” This is incorrect.

    The resolution that the current city council passed only guarantees funding the “sensitive” services from July 1, 2013 to July 1, 2014. After FY2014, the ordinance would govern how the fee revenue would be spent.

    The ordinance says the fee revenue will fund “fire and police service, homeless and human services, and quality of life services such as libraries and pools.” It also says fee revenue can be used to establish reserves for these purposes and to pay for the billing and collection of the fee.

    While the ordinance would become city law, “quality of life services” is NOT a legal term. A new city hall would fall under this loophole, and still satisfy the ordinance. In essence, after FY 2014, the city could fund a new city hall, and still cut services listed on the cut-list.

    So, Wig’s arguement in favor of passing the fee is void of any truth. Don’t be fooled by untruthful spin.

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