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Oakridge Measures Could Bring Big Change

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OAKRIDGE, Ore. — Of all of the city measures local residents are voting on Tuesday, the three items on the Oakridge ballot might spur the most change.

Residents suggested the three measures after a $400,000 financial debacle shook the Lane County town last year.

After a complicated year at Oakridge City Hall, residents now have the opportunity to adjust how their city government is regulated.

After a huge financial mishap, hundreds of Oakridge citizens spoke out against the city council and its practices. Those frustrations are the foundation of three municipal measures on the Oakridge ballot.

“A lot of these things came out in the council meetings over the past year because of all the turmoil in the city because the people were upset and they wanted more control on what’s happening I think,” said Jerry Shorey, Oakridge Mayor.

Shorey says there was a long list of suggestions that were reviewed and narrowed down to the three on the ballot.

Measure 20-206 suggests putting a two-year term limit on city councilors, beginning in January.

Measure 20-207 would wave a current restriction and allow councilors to meet with the city administrator, regarding city property and contracts outside of city council meetings.

Measure 20-208 would require a bond from the city recorder, the same way a bond is already required from the city administrator.

Some residents say the measures give them hope that Oakridge’s city government is changed for the better.

Mayor Shorey is also pulling for some positive political change in his town.

“I like open communication with the public. That’s the only reason we’re here is to serve the public, and also I think they should be included in more of the decisions that are being made,” Shorey said.

Voters for the measures say they hope the combination of 20-206, 20-207 and 20-208 will promote a more stable political environment.

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