Ballot measures for Bend voters fail to qualify for November

No signatures submitted for any of four campaigns

By Scott Hammers / The Bulletin

Four citizen-initiated campaigns to put ballot measures before Bend-area voters in November have fallen short, the Deschutes County Clerk’s Office confirmed Wednesday.

Petitioners had until Aug. 6 to submit signatures — 15 percent of all registered voters in the city for three measures concerning the city, and approximately 3,000 for a measure concerning the Bend Park & Recreation District — for verification by the clerk’s office in order to qualify their proposals for the Nov. 4 ballot. None of the campaigns submitted any signatures to the clerk’s office prior to the deadline, elections supervisor Barbara Hagen said Wednesday.

Three of the proposed ballot measures sought to restrain the city and park district from spending money on acquiring the Mirror Pond dam or addressing siltation in the pond without taking certain steps, while the fourth proposed boosting pay for members of the Bend City Council.

Spencer Dahl had been circulating a petition that would have blocked the city from acquiring the dam until it had one of two permits: the federal permit needed to operate the dam as an updated hydroelectric generation facility, or the state water right permit to operate it as a nongenerating dam.

Foster Fell was collecting signatures for two measures, one concerning the park district, the other concerning the city. Both measures sought to bar the two bodies from spending public funds on the pond or the dam unless they took steps to provide fish passages and improve habitat for wildlife.

A petition proposed by Ron Boozell would have increased the pay for members of the Bend City Council, from $200 a month to $30 a day.

Dahl could not be reached for comment on his proposal.

Fell said he’s reset his sights on the May 2015 election, and hopes to have collected enough signatures to put his measures on the ballot by then.

Fell and Boozell have both filed to run for City Council seats this fall.

Boozell said he’ll continue to focus on the council pay issue through the election and beyond, regardless of whether he is elected.

“Spring might be too early to expect 10,000 signatures, but the City Council may be brave enough to push through a council-sponsored initiative with me creating the conversation,” Boozell wrote in an email Wednesday. “I only need four (signatures) to make that happen. If I’m on the council in January, only three more.”

Public agencies within Deschutes County still have time to file ballot measures for the November election — the county and city governments have until Friday, Hagen said, while other government bodies have until Sept. 4.

— Reporter: 541-383-0387, shammers@bendbulletin.com