>La Grande Observer | Union and Wallowa Counties' News Leader

Observer news NE Oregon Classifieds Web
web powered by Web Search Powered by Google

Follow LaGrandeObserver.com

La Grande Observer print edition

view all La Grande Observer print publications »

The Observer Paper 10/29/14

The LaGrande Observer is now online in a Replica E-edition form and publishes Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Current subscribers have full access to the E-edition.

View Paper

If you are not a current subscriber, subscribe today for immediate access.


Recent article comments

Powered by Disqus

Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow Council gets lesson in special district formation


Council gets lesson in special district formation


By Bill Rautenstrauch
The Observer

Looking to solve budget shortfalls and make capital improvements over the next several years, the La Grande City Council took a basic lesson Monday night in how to form a special district.

Following up on a recommendation from its Long Term Budget Solutions Advisory Committee, the council may try to form a parks and recreation taxing district to help solve some of its financial problems. District structure, projected cost to taxpayers and many other issues still need to be worked out, but a first order of business is to learn the ins and outs of getting the proposal before voters.

Monday’s session, attended by council members and members of the city’s parks and recreation district committee, was a lesson in just that. Teaching was George Dunkel of the Special Districts Association of Oregon, an organization that provides a broad range of membership services to special districts throughout the state.

“I’m not here to sell you anything, nor will I come back as a consultant later. I’m simply here to talk about the process,” Dunkel told the group.

Dunkel said that under state law the process of forming a district can begin with a petition, by consent of property owners, or it can be initiated by a county board of commissioners.

 He said that if the city chooses the petition route, the petition must be filed with the county board. He added that in every case, the county board is required to hold a hearing. Citizens must be informed about the purposes of the proposed district and its boundaries.

Dunkel said county government must be involved in the process because the district would impact people living outside the city limits.

He also said that if the petition is approved and includes a permanent tax rate, an election must be held. An election also must be held if the county receives a request from 15 percent of the electors or 100 electors, whichever is less.

Dunkel said that if the city decides to forge ahead with district formation, it’s best to set a target date for the election, then work hard to meet goals. He recommended establishing an involved and enthusiastic committee that could raise money and serve as an advisory group to the council. 

The committee would play a key role also in determining financial needs and defining the district boundaries. Dunkel said that after those issues are settled, the city should take the proposal public.

“Review your costs and boundaries at public meetings. Don’t hold anything back. Right from the get-go, put that out. Find out who are the supporters and who are the opponents,” Dunkel said.

Some discussion during the meeting centered on whether the city should hire a consultant to help put the proposal together. Dunkel said it’s a good idea if money is available, but added that there are many tasks the city can do on its own.

“You have the talent in this room and the city has the staff to do the paperwork,” he said.

City Manager Robert Strope said after the meeting that the city isn’t near to making a decision on putting the question of a district to voters. 

“We’re thinking the earliest date for an election would be November 2013,” he said.

Strope said no tax rate proposals have been made, and there are a couple of ideas floating around concerning district boundaries. 

He said that while the budget solutions committee recommended that the parks and recreation district boundaries should coincide with those of the La Grande School District, other people think the parks district should encompass the entire county.

Strope said a next step for the city is to determine costs for consulting services.


blog comments powered by Disqus
Local / Sports / Business / State / National / Obituaries / Public Notices
Editorials / Letters / Guest Columns / Columnists
Outdoors / Ag / Spiritual / Go Magazine / Portraits
View all classifieds / Jobs / Autos / Real Estate / Rentals / Place an Ad
The Observer
About / Contact / Commercial Printing / Subscriptions / Terms of Use / Site Map
Also Online
Photo Reprints / Slideshows / Weather and Valley Cam / /index.php?option=com_rss&feed=RSS2.0&no_html=1">RSS Feed ?> RSS Feed

Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Follow La Grande Observer headlines on Twitter

© Copyright 2001 - 2014 Western Communications, Inc. All rights reserved. By Using this site you agree to our Terms of Use

viagra køb uden recept comprar cialis generico pfizer viagra 50 mg
comprare viagra su internet 
levitra eller viagra 
levitra priser 
propecia overnight delivery buy viagra generic dapoxetine viagra preço generico http://www.ears.dmu.ac.uk/?q=1&prod=&typ... kamagra online apotheke generika levitra vardenafil cialis générique france tarif viagra en pharmacie kamagra på nätet viagra bestellen in deutschland http://www.smwc.edu/?&sn=get&cat=364244&... best buy ms office pro cheapest adobe cs4 design premium