Here are The Skanner News' editorial board endorsements on Oregon and City of Portland ballot measures and bond levies. Remember to vote Nov. 2.
Statewide Ballot Measures
70: Amends Constitution: Expands availability of home ownership loans for Oregon veterans through Oregon War Veterans Fund
YES. Oregonians who have fought for our country – especially in the National Guard, where the citizen soldiers are sacrificing more than the regular-duty military – deserve every opportunity for a better life, and they should know we value their service.
71: Amends Constitution: Requires legislature to meet annually; limits length of legislative sessions; provides exceptions
YES. It's about time.
72: Amends Constitution: Authorizes exception to $50,000 state borrowing limit for state's real and personal property projects
NO. Seemingly simple "housekeeping" measures like this one sometimes have unintended consequences.
73: Requires increased minimum sentences for certain repeated sex crimes, incarceration for repeated driving under influence
NO. Unnecessary, and unfunded – our state spends too much on jails already.
74: Establishes medical marijuana supply system and assistance and research programs; allows limited selling of marijuana
NO. Even pro-pot activists don't support this measure – rethink the dispensary system and come back with a better-crafted proposal.
75: Authorizes Multnomah County casino; casino to distribute monthly revenue percentage to state for specified purposes
NO. Why should we pass a new law just for a couple of businessmen to get rich? The job creation is cancelled out by the unintended costs likely to be picked up by taxpayers. (Although we would like to see a creative use for the abandoned dog racing track).
76: Amends Constitution: Continues lottery funding for parks, beaches, wildlife habitat, watershed protection beyond 2014; modifies funding process
YES. Candidate John Kitzhaber is right in pointing out our environment is an economic generator – so let's maintain it.
Multnomah County Ballot Measures
26-109: Shall County Charter limit on voters' right to elect a person to more than two four-year terms be repealed?
NO. Eight years in office is enough for commissioners – serve out your term and run for something else.
26-110: Shall County elected officials be allowed to run for another elected office in midterm?
NO. Government service is a commitment – and nobody should be paid to campaign for higher office.
26-111: Should the Salary Commission set Sheriff's salary and District Attorney supplemental salary?
YES. In Washington State, which has a similar system, taxpayers can weigh in on the process of granting raises to high-ranking public officials.
26-112: Should ceasing to reside in a district cause a vacancy in the office of county commissioner?
YES. If your district isn't good enough for you, then you're not good enough for office.
26-113: Shall election dates for vacancies be limited to the May and November elections?
YES. Cut the cost of elections in half by holding two per year instead of four.
26-114: Should the City Charter allow the Board of County Commissioners to form a county library district by voter approval?
YES. We love the library, and we might not always support their future bond measures – but they should have the opportunity to ask.
26-118: Shall County support history library, museum, educational programs: 5-year levy, $.05 per $1,000 assessed valuation, beginning 2011, with oversight?
YES. This pencils out to a small amount, and we very much value the work the Oregon Historical Society has recently taken up in documenting our communities. Hopefully more people of color will actually go to the OHS when the entrance fee is eliminated for the first year of this levy.
City of Portland Ballot Measures
26-108: Shall Portland provide public campaign financing to City candidates who meet qualifying requirements and are subject to additional regulatory oversight?
YES. Some people say voter-owned elections has not worked well – but we say if it brought us Commissioner Amanda Fritz, then it's worth it.
26-117: Shall Portland issue bonds for $72,400,000 for fire vehicles, emergency radio system, fire and emergency response facilities; require audits?
NO. It's just not a good time for a big-ticket item like this. Try again later.
26-119: Shall TriMet issue $125 million bonds to improve transit services and access for elderly riders and people with disabilities?
NO. Again – this is a bad time to ask for such a big investment. Come back when the economy improves.