Albany rejects Cordier petition

The city clerk has rejected Tom Cordier's initiative petition.

The city clerk has rejected Tom Cordier's initiative petition.

If North Albany resident Tom Cordier wants to pursue his idea of having voters decide on various city fees and taxes, he'll have to go to court or rewrite his initiative proposal after the city on Wednesday rejected his first draft.

City Clerk Mary Dibble told him in a letter that based on what the city attorney told her, his petition did not meet the requirements of the Oregon constitution. Specifically, the city asserts that the initiative "proposes to make decisions that are administrative rather and legislative." Also, it says the proposal covers more than one subject, which the constitution does not allow.

Cordier, retired from a career at Wah Chang in Millersburg, submitted his petition on July 23. His draft of the measure said the city shall not impose or increase "any sales tax, franchise fee, privilege tax or transfer tax without the approval by a majority of Albany voters in a primary or general election." It also says that any such taxes or fees in effect at the time his proposal is enacted "shall expire in 180 calendar days."

The city's determination can be appealed to circuit court, and Cordier says he has until Aug. 7 to file.

If placed on the ballot and enacted, the measure would require voter approval of more than $5 million of the revenue going to the city of Albany's $34 million general fund this fiscal year. It would cover utility franchise and privilege taxes and the city's 9 percent tax on the price of hotel rooms. (hh)

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