A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Initiative would ban Oregon PDT

Written November 13th, 2015 by Hasso Hering
Sunset in August: Permanent daylight time would give us longer, lighter evenings year-round.

Sunset in August: Permanent daylight time would give us longer, lighter evenings year-round.

David A. Miles, a resident of Medford, wants to make daylight saving time unconstitutional in Oregon. Good luck to him.

Miles has lived in Oregon about nine years, the last five in Jackson County, and works as a community service deputy for the Jackson County sheriff. He is careful to emphasize that he did what he just did as a private citizen, and it has nothing whatever to do with his job.

What he did was that on Thursday, he filed a prospective initiative petition to amend the Oregon constitution. It would say that after 2017, “Oregon shall not participate in daylight saving time (DST)  and shall not switch to Pacific daylight saving time (PDT) during any part of the year.”

Then, unfortunately, his amendment  adds this sentence: “Individual counties within the state of Oregon may, through general county elections, adopt time zones that are contrary to this amendment.” That’s all we need, a law that would allow Albany, Eugene, Corvallis and Salem all to be in different time zones if the voters were crazy enough to decide that’s what they wanted.

Miles now faces the challenge of collecting signatures from 1,000 Oregon voters before the state will write a ballot title for his one-paragraph amendment. Only when he has the title can he start trying to get the almost 118,000 signatures needed to get his measure on the ballot in the 2016 general election. It’s a long shot, to put it mildly.

Davis told me on the phone he did not like the twice-annual time switch and was tired of waiting for the politicians to do something about it. In the legislature this year, Republican Sens. Kim Thatcher of Keizer and Brian Boquist of Dallas introduced separate bills to have Oregon get away from daylight saving time, the way Arizona and Hawaii have done for years.

Both bills died in the Senate Rules Committee. The committee held a hearing, though, and it received a lot of advice, much of it questionable. One person claimed that it had been “proven” that daylight time saved electricity. Another objected that without daylight time, sunrise near the summer solstice would happen at 4:30 a.m., and who needs sunshine that early?

The one reasonable point made by defenders of daylight time was that it gives people an hour more of daylight after work. That’s enough of an advantage to argue for keeping daylight time all year round. If the legislature took that step, we would not need an initiative to get rid of these senseless semiannual shifts in time. (hh)

5 responses to “Initiative would ban Oregon PDT”

  1. James Carrick says:

    “Individual counties within the state of Oregon may, through general county elections, adopt time zones that are contrary to this amendment.”

    I could support this initiative but for that provision. Permanent Daylight Saving Time? Sign me up.

  2. Theodore Lee Salmons says:

    When I lived in Kentucky and was in High School the state did the same thing and made it a local option (not even county wide). The city I lived in didn’t switch. The first town East of ours (same county) did switch and since that’s where the County offices were the school system shifted to DST. I could walk from my house, across the street and onto the school playground in about a minute normally. After the switch technically I got to school property an hour and a minute after leaving the house. The next city to the West switched also. Talk about a zoo trying to remember what times appointments were if you had them out of town. Now state-wide would be possible. But county by county? Sober up and re-write the proposal Mr. Miles.

  3. Shawn Dawson says:

    I have thought about this, and what I would really like to see would be the three governors of Washington, Oregon, and California fight to do this together.

    Why not? It would make for good will for all the governors I would think. It’s not a partisan issue. Something visible would get done. In this case something literally visible, such as the sun earlier in the morning or later at night all year round.

    I personally don’t care if we adopt standard time or daylight time year round. I just want one of them.

    Having just one of the states on the West Cost in a different time zone would be difficult for businesses. But if all made the commitment from the top, from the governors, it could happen.


  4. NA Resident says:

    I like the longer daylight after work myself.

  5. Bill Kapaun says:

    I’m another that prefers DST, although I think it runs 2 weeks too long.


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