PORTLAND, Ore. - This week's Special Election in Clackamas County will determine how we pay for light rail projects.
If Measure 3-401 passes, it would require voter approval before county leaders could spend money on future light rail lines (this would not affect the Portland-Milwaukie Light Rail Transit Project that is already under way).
Here's the summary from the county's election website:
This measure requires an election before county resources can be used for the financing, design, construction or operation of any public rail transit system. The measure defines "county resources" to mean any public funds, staff time, lobbying agreements, property interest, tangible or intangible county assets. "Public rail transit system" is not defined in the measure. Any authority to use county resources gained through a voter approved ordinance is strictly limited to the authorization in the ordinance. Any measure submitted for voter approval must provide sufficient public notice of the authority granted. Notice must include the types of county resources authorized, permissible uses of county resources, estimated cash value of county resources used and duration of the authority. Sufficient public notice requires a certified ballot title that accurately summarizes the authority granted and a link to a detailed description hosted on a county website. If this cannot be accomplished, the county must provide such information by mail at least 21 days before the election. This measure would be effective immediately.
We spoke to voters on both sides to learn the reasons behind their votes.
"I believe we have the right to vote and voice our opinion on where our money is spent," said Karl Hagele, who is voting for Measure 3-401.
"Obviously, some things I would like to vote on but it's got to be a little trust in who we put in office or we get them out of office if we don't like what they're doing," said Victoria Flagg, who is voting against Measure 3-401.
Ballots are due by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 18.