If Ballot Measure 91 passes and selling and using marijuana becomes legal in Oregon. by Pat Farr

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

 

Signing LCPOA 091714

BEFORE THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF LANE COUNTY, OREGON
ORDINANCE NO: 14-16
AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING A TAX ON THE SALE OF MARIJUANA
AND MARIJUANA-INFUSED PRODUCTS
IN LANE COUNTY (RELATING TO MEASURE 91)

WHEREAS, Lane County is a Home Rule Charter county with all powers which the constitutions, statutes and common law of the United States and this State expressly or impliedly grant or allow counties, as full as though its Charter specifically enumerated each of those powers, as well as all powers not inconsistent with the foregoing and, in addition thereto, shall possess all powers herinafter specifically granted…

…The amount of tax levied shall be 50% of the rate imposed by Measure 91, Section 33 or any clarifying legislation adopted by the Oregon Legislature taxing marijuana related items…

Passed by the Lane County Board of Commissioners on October 21,2014 with Stewart, Leiken, Bozievich and Farr as “aye,” Sorenson as “nay.”

See the full agenda item here, including full text of the passed ordinance.

 

Engage with Lane County. by Pat Farr

Friday, October 17th, 2014

 

Tell the County Commissioners what you think!  Here’s a way to let Pete Sorenson, Faye Stewart, Jay Bozievich, Sid Leiken and me know exactly what you think.  Without a three-minute time limit!  Engage with Lane County here.

Board of Lane County Commissioners, Faye Stewart, Pat Farr, Sid Leiken, Jay Bozievich and Pete Sorenson

Board of Lane County Commissioners, Faye Stewart, Pat Farr, Sid Leiken, Jay Bozievich and Pete Sorenson

Commissioners and County Administrator Steve Mokrohiski WILL READ WHAT YOU WRITE.  Some things to ponder:

  • Sick leave ordinances
  • Marijuana taxes
  • Strategic planning
  • Public safety
  • Health and Human Services
  • Land use
  • Roads and bridges
  • Parks
  • Animal Services
  • The economy and jobs

 

Please sign in and start writing…

 

People sound off about marijuana sales and taxes. By Pat Farr

Friday, October 10th, 2014

 

I am looking for input on the ballot question regarding legal selling of marijuana, and if it becomes legal for sale, should it be taxed (see Lane County’s draft ordinance here).  You can send me a message here.

Most responses are:  if it's legal to sell marijuana, then YES, tax it...

Most responses are: if it’s going to be legal to sell marijuana for “recreational” use, then YES, tax it…

 

Here are some of the early (unedited) responses I have received.  There will be more:

Well everything else is taxed, why shouldn’t marijuana be if it’s legalized? That’s not “looking for ways to penalize”. That is simply treating it equally like everything else.

Honestly, I think legalizing marijuana and taxing it makes sense to me.

Legal and taxed. Diversified revenue streams!

Yes pass it. Yes tax it. Yes control the distribution.

I don’t believe marijuana should be legal but if a majority of people disagree with me then I do believe it should be taxed.

I was having a conversation about this last night with folks, talking about the new job, where I’ll be working alone in the woods a lot…and we realized that since I’ll be in Washington, there’s probably much less chance of me walking into illegal marijuana grows than there has been here and in California. Which is something to think about, given the new data out about how much damage illegal grow sites do to salmon and other fisheries (water comes out of creeks, mud goes in — I can find the article if you’re curious).

I don’t use, myself, and have no interest in doing so, but it’s pretty clear marijuana prohibition hasn’t worked and that the consequences of the current illegal market are bad for our forests. That being the case, I think it makes sense to create a regulated legal market so we can reduce the damage being done by illegal operations.

Well by that argument clearly our prohibition on cocaine, crack, herion, pcp, LSD, and most definitely meth haven’t worked. Should we just legalize all of those too?

Yes, legalized and taxed.

I’m pretty sure nobody’s growing cocaine in the woods in Oregon. And as far as I can tell, the anti-meth measures in Oregon haven’t done anything but make it harder for me to buy effective cold medicine, so I’m not sure what I think about that

My feeling is that the mexican Cartels will suffer from one less trafficked substance across our border.

Legal yes. Taxed, but not so much that a black market is more affordable.

I just can’t even believe this is a question! I can’t support something that has been illegal, that we’ve lost so many police officers because of, so much heartache has been caused by and now it’s to be legal? Oh no, I can’t support this!

I really wanted to speak about this, but….realizing that this City ( which we share) will never be able to be in control of any illegalities and/or legalities. I’ve seen hardly any improvements from the day I moved to Eugene in general and this was 25 years ago. The whole thing is all about money and we, the Tax payers have to continue to bleed, one way or another!

Idaho anyone?

For sure!

NO, NO, NO, NO, NO. We are asking for nothing but trouble if we legalize this stuff

Want to clarify that I favor legalizing pot.

Pat, I normally don’t comment unless people ask so here goes. If the measure passes, every agency will look to this as a new untapped revenue source. There will be lots of reasons attached to the proposals about needed revenue for public safety and all the consequences. I believe some of this may be true, but my feeling is most officials are just looking for more money or a way to penalize the legalization of marijuana.

Well everything else is taxed, why shouldn’t marijuana be if it’s legalized? That’s not “looking for ways to penalize”. That is simply treating it equally like everything else.

.

An ordinance to tax recreational marijuana sales in Lane County. by Pat Farr

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

 

Allow recreational marijuana sales and use in Oregon or not?  Tax recreational marijuana sales in Lane County or not?

Ballot measure 91 would allow for the sale and recreational use of marijuana products in Oregon.  Lane County ordinance 14-16 (draft) would tax it.

Ballot measure 91 would allow for the sale and recreational use of marijuana products in Oregon. Lane County ordinance 14-16 (draft) would tax it.

This morning, October 7 2014, Lane County”s Board of Commissioners passed a first reading and authorized a second reading and public hearing regarding taxing recreational marijuana sales in Lane County.

The motion that passed 4-1 (Bozievich, Leiken, Stewart and Farr, yes; Sorenson, no) was pertaining to this agenda item:

FIRST READING AND SETTING SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/ORDINANCE 14-16/ In the Matter of Establishing a Tax on the Sale of Marijuana and Marijuana-Infused Products in Lane County (Relating to Measure 91).

The public hearing has been set for October 21 at 1:30 pm in Harris Hall.  This gives the public an opportunity to weigh in on the upcoming decision by County Commissioners whether to tax marijuana sales in Lane County should Oregon Ballot Measure 91 pass on November 4 of this year.

The draft ordinance can be read here.

You can read about Oregon’s Ballot Measure 91 here.

Between now and October 21 you can let Commissioners know how you feel.  Send comments to me before October 20, 2014 and I will pass them along to the other commissioners via public email.  pat.farr@co.lane.or.us

There is a robust ongoing discussion regarding the social and budgetary impacts of the passage of such laws.  Stay tuned, and please weigh in.

 

Shall Lane County tax marijuana? by Pat Farr

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

 

TAXING POT IN LANE COUNTY?  Let me know what you think:  pat.farr@co.lane.or.us 

There are public hearings and possible referral to a “second reading” regarding marijuana and marijuana-infused products taxation at the Board of County Commissioners meeting today, October 7 2014.

6.  COUNTY COUNSEL

  1.       FIRST READING AND SETTING SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/ORDINANCE 14-14/ In the Matter of Establishing a Tax on the Sale of Marijuana and       Marijuana-Infused Products in Lane County. (Second Reading and Public Hearing 10/27/14) (Stephen Dingle, County Counsel, Sara Chinske, Management Analyst) (estimated 20 minutes
  2.        FIRST READING AND SETTING SECOND READING AND PUBLIC HEARING/ORDINANCE 14-16/ In the Matter of Establishing a Tax on the Sale of Marijuana and Marijuana-Infused Products in Lane County (Relating to Measure 91).  (Stephen Dingle, County Counsel, Sara Chinske, Management Analyst) (estimated 20 minutes)

Second reading is where further deliberation and possible ordinance passage occurs.

Go here to see the full agenda and links to relating material.

Pat Farr, Chair,

Lane County

Board of Commissioners

Visit one of the most picturesque places in Oregon…Buford Park. by Pat Farr

Friday, September 26th, 2014

 

Visit Friends of Buford Park here...Then actually visit the park here

Mt. Pisgah and its associated park and preservation land are a regional gem...

Buford Park, Mt. Pisgah, Emerald Meadows and the associated park and preservation land are a regional gem…

Lane County will be conducting a prescribed ecological burn at the Howard Buford Recreation Area and the Nature Conservancy’s Willamette Confluence preserve on September 29 or 30, weather permitting. The ecological burn will help preserve and restore prairie and oak savanna habitat.

“Burning is a regular and natural part of the environment in these natural areas,” said Mike Russell, Lane County Parks manager. “We work closely with Lane Regional Air Pollution Authority and our River’s to Ridges partners throughout the area to make sure the burn is safe and will not disrupt the community.”

The ecological burn will be performed in the northwest corner of the park and include habitat on the Nature Conservancy’s Willamette Confluence property. Ecological burns are always dependent on weather. If postponed, an update will be provided to the community by notification to the media.

During the ecological burn, the following changes will be in place:

  • North trailhead and Trails 3 and 7 will be closed
  • Trail 17 from the west trailhead to trail 7 will remain open
  • Trail 3 south beyond the junction with trail 7 will remain open
  • The burn will not impact the west and east trailheads
  • Trails in the arboretum will not be affected
  • The west summit trail will remain open

Visitors to the park should be aware of possible smoky conditions and restricted access to the northwest portion of the park during implementation of the burn.

Lane County’s ecological burns are conducted in partnership with the Friends of Buford Park & Mt. Pisgah, the Nature Conservancy, and the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Why the County conducts ecological burning:

The ecological burn is being performed as a tool for the management of vegetation in the Spring Box Savanna to help re-establish historically native plant communities in these rare Willamette Valley habitats. The Willamette Valley was once dominated by savannas and prairies rich with diverse grass and wildflower species. This ecosystem requires regular disturbance like fire to maintain native species and to prevent conversion of open prairie to a closed woodland or forest. Historically, disturbance was provided through regular intentional burning by native people or ignition by lightning. Many of our native prairie plants, such as camas and the federally endangered Bradshaw’s lomatium, have evolved with fire for thousands of years and flourish after a site is burned.

Ecological burns in the park’s prairies accomplish several biological and fire safety goals including improved seed germination, removal of built up thatch, and short-term soil fertilization.  All of these factors help native, fire-dependent species thrive like the rare western Meadowlark, Oregon’s state bird, which nests in prairies (grasslands). In addition, controlled burns protect the open prairie structure, as well as reduce the future risks of wildfires to local residences through the removal of standing dead vegetation. The burns are also a training opportunity for the firefighting crews.

Commissioners’ Strategic Plan is moving forward. by Pat Farr

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

 

A timeline is in place for continuing the development of and adopting a strategic plan for Lane County.  The process is remarkably similar to strategic plan development that I have participated in with Jerry’s Home Improvement Center, FOOD for Lane County, Oregon Food Bank and SELCO.

Board of Lane County Commissioners, Faye Stewart, Pat Farr, Sid Leiken, Jay Bozievich and Pete Sorenson

Board of Lane County Commissioners, Faye Stewart, Pat Farr, Sid Leiken, Jay Bozievich and Pete Sorenson

 

The Board of County Commissioners held its second public meeting on Strategic Planning last Wednesday September 10.  It followed a comprehensive initial meeting which had provided county administrator Steve Mokrohisky and county staff with Commissioners’ priorities for the upcoming plan.

A strategic plan should contain a clearly stated and universally understood mission or value statement and a small number of goal areas.  The goal areas should surround the organizational, operational and directional concerns of an organization and be crafted to remain constant throughout the life of the strategic plan.  The priorities should be supplemented with strategies to achieve the goals stated in the priorities and support the value mission.  Each strategy encompasses tactics which, unlike strategies, are flexible and dynamic and represent ongoing work plans and processes as well as respond to newly identified urgent and critical topics.

The Board is considering three “pillars” as the basis of the strategic plan. (You can see the draft strategic plan  here)  The proposed pillars or goal areas and accompanying strategies are:

1.  A Safe and Healthy County

2.  Vibrant Communities

3.  Infrastructure

Accompanying strategies for a Safe and Healthy County may include: Improve safety throughout our county; Improve the health of our communities; Ensure networks of integrated and effective services

For Vibrant Communities: Invest in a strong, diverse and sustainable economy; Support a vibrant natural environment

For infrastructure:  Maintain safe county-owned infrastructure, including roads, bridges, parks and buildings

The draft strategic plan lists some initial tactics beneath each of the accompanying strategies.

The next step will be an open house, to take place on Wednesday September 17 beginning with a regular board meeting at 5:00 pm in Harris Hall.   This will be an opportunity for open review of the draft plan.  Click here  to see the website containing the open house information.

 

Springfield Co. Comm. May 2014 Predictive Tracking Results

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Adjusted ballot percentages for the East Lane County Commissioner race can be seen here

East Lane Co. Comm. May 2014 Predictive Tracking Results

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

Adjusted ballot percentages for the East Lane County Commissioner race can be seen here

West Lane Co. Comm. May 2014 Predictive Tracking Results

Thursday, August 28th, 2014

Adjusted ballot percentages for the West Lane County Commissioner race can be seen here.