Advocate Endorses Yes on Measure 2-130, Health & Safety Levy
To be clear, we share many of our readers’ concerns about policing in this country. We also believe our local sheriff’s office has kept its nose clean – and on another level understands it has to. Sheriffs can be voted out of office, and in Oregon, they have to seek funding renewal every five years – that funding is what Measure 2-130 is about.
First, we’d point out it’s agencies like the Portland Police Bureau one needs to worry about, and that our local sheriff’s office should be seen separately, and we think positively. For instance, during ourCitySpeak on protest rights last year, we learned that even demonstrators like our local law enforcement. They feel protected rather than oppressed.
That all said, If the Renewal Levy for Public Health and Safety Services fails, voters will still have a sheriff’s department, but deputies may not be as well trained, and they will definitely not be able to respond as quickly as they currently do.
In fact, Sheriff Jefri Van Arsdall disclosed during ourCitySpeak Election Forum that he would have to terminate seven or eight of the office’s sworn personnel, and there would no longer be funding for overnight patrols.
This measure also funds expanded mental health services, and services for people reentering the community after time in prison.
Financially, this measure simply continues the same levy voters passed five years ago, and five years before that. Property taxes would continue to be assessed at $.90 per $1,000 of assessed value – meaning, a home with an assessed value of $350,000 would pay $315 yearly.
During our CitySpeak Forum last month, we learned that many voters believe this levy has something to do with the proposal for a new jail, but that is an entirely separate issue, which will likely be on ballots next year.
For this year, we endorse a yes vote on Measure 2-130. It’s the same rate we’re all accustomed to paying, and we believe it is a good value that maintains safety in Benton County.