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HASSO HERING

A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Ballot title muddies rain tax issue

Written May 2nd, 2016 by Hasso Hering

Albany’s plan to impose and collect a fee for storm water management — a rain tax, as I’ve called it — is being clouded by legalistic hair-splitting. So let’s try to lay it out straight.


Initiative update: Albany accepts four

Written August 7th, 2015 by Hasso Hering

Albany City Clerk Mary Dibble has rejected two initiatives and acepted four others proposed by North Albany resident Tom Cordier. But Cordier plans to file an amended version bundling the four into one and dropping the idea that got the other two rejected. That idea was to repeal all existing franchise fees and privilege taxes […]


Six initiatives: Cordier tries again

Written August 1st, 2015 by Hasso Hering

Rather than going to court to salvage his rejected initiative proposal, Albany petitioner Tom Cordier is trying something else. Friday he submitted six new initiatives, all aimed at forcing the city council to seek voter approval of any utility franchise fees or “privilege” taxes. But the way I read the texts, they likely will run into […]


Albany rejects Cordier petition

Written July 30th, 2015 by Hasso Hering

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.


Initiative takes aim at utility fees

Written July 23rd, 2015 by Hasso Hering

Two years ago, North Albany resident Tom Cordier successfully initiated a charter amendment requiring voter approval of Albany city debt. Today he filed another initiative. This one would require voter approval of city taxes or fees on utility services and cancelling all existing ones after six months if voters don’t approve.


Albany ups city electric tax, uh, fee

Written July 22nd, 2015 by Hasso Hering

Pacific Power customers in the city of Albany have been paying 5 percent of their light bills to the city government for years, and they’ll pay 7 percent starting now. The city council Wednesday adopted an ordinance to that effect, brushing aside objections from Councilor Rich Kellum that an “emergency clause” was not justified in […]


Albany electric tax hike delayed

Written July 9th, 2015 by Hasso Hering

The Albany City Council was all set to pass a $930,000 increase in electric taxes Wednesday. Five council members voted to go ahead, but Rich Kellum said no, which meant that the second and final reading of the ordinance containing the boost had to wait for another day.


An Albany police-Linn sheriff merger?

Written April 6th, 2015 by Hasso Hering

Merging the Albany Police Department with the Linn County Sheriff’s Office is about the furthest thing from anyone’s mind these days, with the exception of Tom Cordier. In emails, a talk with the county commissioners and a Monday appearance before the city council, the retired North Albany resident has been suggesting that Albany conduct a detailed study […]


Albany ballot questions answered

Written March 6th, 2015 by Hasso Hering

So why exactly is the forthcoming Albany bond-issue ballot measure written in the form of a city charter amendment rather than simply as a question on the bond borrowing itself? I think I know the answer, and it comes from the wording of the charter section on debt the voters approved in 2013.


Ballot hearing raises charter question

Written March 5th, 2015 by Hasso Hering

Why is it necessary to amend the Albany city charter in order for voters to approve the proposed bond issue to build a new police headquarters and main fire station? Could they not authorize the bond without amending the charter? That question was left unanswered during this morning’s hearing in Linn County Circuit Court.


 
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