The La Grande City Council voted to support a legislative proposal to partially repeal Measure 5 at their July meeting. This matter was originally couched inside the "consent agenda," where routine items of "limited public interest" are grouped for a collective yes/no vote. The item in question, authorizing the city manager to submit city legislative priorities to the League of Oregon Cities, was pulled for public discussion whereupon innocuous "property tax reform" was listed among four legislative proposals supported by the council.
The proposal, available on the LOC website, entails a state constitutional amendment to enact "a system that allows voters to adopt tax levies and establish tax rates outside of current limits and not subject to compression."
Many La Grande residents likely oppose property tax increases, especially when sky-high unemployment may make property tax payments difficult for homeowners and landlords to afford in November. Full council meeting materials have not been posted online since June 2018, so most city residents were likely unaware that modifying Measure 5 was on the agenda.
As a candidate for mayor of La Grande, I believe the city should post all meeting materials online one week before each meeting, post all public records online, and broadcast/stream all city commission meetings. Informed citizens will help the council make the best decisions for our community.