HASSO HERING

A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Albany election: Off to court

Written March 13th, 2013 by
The Albany debt initiative will likely be decided here, in court.

The Albany debt initiative will likely be decided here, in court.

Now it’s the lawyers’ turn in Albany’s latest romp into the wilds of direct democracy. Voters approved two initiatives written by North Albany resident Tom Cordier. One says the city council will need voter approval of any future urban renewal districts. No question about that one. But the other says the city cannot incur “new debt” above the amount of Feb. 28, 2012, without approval of a majority of electors in an election.

The city attorney believes this measure demands approval of debt by more than half the registered voters and therefore, under the constitution, needed approval of more than half of Albany voters to be enacted. That means it needed 13,792 yes votes, but it got only 4,825. Anticipating this development, the council weeks ago authorized a lawsuit asking a circuit court judge to determine whether the debt measure was constitutionally enacted or whether it fell short.

If it was enacted, then there are more questions for lawyers and the courts. For instance, what is “new debt”? And can this measure limit city debt retroactively, more than a year after being enacted? If so, what about the refinancing of water bonds that recently took place, saving city ratepayers $5.6 million in interest over the next 20 years and lowering annual payments by $300,000? Can that savings go ahead, or does Albany have to have yet another election on that?

The voters have spoken, but because of the clumsy phrasing they’ve approved, the last word is yet to be heard and it will likely come from the courts. (hh)





Comments are closed.

 

 
HH Today: A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley
Albany Albany City Council Albany council Albany downtown Albany Fire Department Albany housing Albany parks Albany Planning Commission Albany police Albany Post Office Albany Public Works Albany riverfront Albany Station Albany streets Albany traffic Albany urban renewal Andy Olson Benton County Benton County parks bicycling bike lanes Bowman Park Bryant Park Calapooia River CARA City of Albany climate change coronavirus COVID-19 Cox Creek path Crocker Lane cumberland church cycling Dave Clark Path Daylight saving time DEQ downtown Albany Edgewater Village global warming gun control Highway 20 Interstate 5 Kitzhaber Linn County marijuana medical marijuana Millersburg North Albany North Albany Road Obama ODOT Oregon coast Oregon legislature Pacific Power Portland & Western Republic Services Riverside Drive Santiam Canal Talking Water Gardens The Banks Tom Cordier Union Pacific urban renewal Water Avenue Willamette River


Copyright 2020. All Rights Reserved. Hasso Hering.
Website Serviced by Santiam Communications
Hasso Hering