EUGENE, Ore. — Measure 20-213 affects a broad bracket of people, as it pertains to Lane County public safety and particularly to services that the sheriff says will be cut if it doesn’t pass.
There was no organized opposition toward Measure 20-213, but those in favor of the levy were gathered at the Nines Golf Course Tuesday night waiting anxiously to see if the measure could be the measure that succeeded.
Since 1974, 14 of the county’s public safety levies have failed, nine of them back to back.
Sheriff Tom Turner says this time would be different.
“This is the closest I’ve ever seen it, and felt it. It feels very positive, it feels like this is going to happen,” Sheriff Turner said.
Sheriff Turner says this time he’s more involved and so is the community.
“Compared to the past, it was ‘well I hope that works out, I don’t know much about it.’ Well we have absolutely inundated people with the information, as much as we possibly can, and that is what feels so different,” Sheriff Turner said.
Other than distributing information, he says they spent more time receiving input from the community. Taking surveys of exactly what community members wanted and were willing to pay for and those requests are the only ones that made it on the ballot
“The community supports this, this effort. They don’t support more. They don’t support something different. They support this effort. So we’ve stuck very close to everything that people say they wanted,” Sheriff Turner said.
Sheriff Turner says in the past they’ve looked at what the sheriff’s office wanted and then asked for it, but this is the community’s levy. Public surveys indicated that residents were willing to pay for jail beds and youth services, so that’s what the levy is asking for.
There are still people who don’t want to support any of it and he acknowledges those are the relationships that need more work.
“I’ve heard everything from I don’t want a tax, to I don’t want this, to I don’t trust government, all the variations of that theme. I’m hoping that I’ll have the opportunity to re-install that trust. This has taken a tremendous amount from in house and from the community and I want that trust re-installed, that’s what I’m hoping to get to,” Sheriff Turner said.