County commission approves voting ordinance change

December 20, 2011

Hood River County residents will have the opportunity to have their voices heard on the state voters pamphlet in the next statewide election - for a price.

At a public hearing Monday the Hood River County Board of Commissioners approved a change to the county voting ordinance to allow county residents and political committees to place arguments for and against a county measure in the state voters pamphlet.

Brian Beebe, head of county records and assessments, which supervises county elections, said that a demand for the service had arisen in the last election, in which library proponents wanted to place arguments for library funding in the pamphlet but found no way to do so.

Now they will, by paying a $300 fee to the county for arguments for or against a measure, which must be 325 words or fewer.

Like many smaller counties, Hood River does not publish its own election pamphlet and Beebe said that many voters get their information on ballot measure straight from the ballot.

The county will charge a $300 fee for the service, but it is not so much to make money off the process as it is to offset the cost. Beebe said it costs the county $200 per page placed in the state voters pamphlet.

"It's something we want to make available to the citizens," Beebe said.

In other agenda items from Monday's meeting:

The county's finances and financial process received a clean bill of health.

An audit conducted by Tigard firm Pauly and Rogers found very few problems, with its primary recommendation being that the county finance department put together a written policy and procedure manual.

The county entered in a memorandum of agreement with the Port of Hood River regarding the Orchard Road vacation to move the runway at Hood River airport east. The agreement requires the port to provide a study of sight distance at the Tucker Road/Orchard Road intersection; commit up to $20,000 to improve sight distance conditions; remedy road design efficiencies by providing 30 percent of the preliminary work to widen Highway 281 (Tucker Road) to enhance farm truck access; complete a conceptual design for bicycle lane construction along Tucker Road between the north and south Orchard Road intersections; and dedicate a right-of-way for future bicycle lane improvements.

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