Deschutes County Commissioners have decided to pare back a temporary 911 levy set to go before voters this May.
Councilors were going to ask voters to simply renew the expiring levy. But they decided to revisit the issue at the prompting of one Bend retiree.
Larry Fulkerson wanted to know why. Why was the county seeking the same amount, when the old levy had built up reserves of more than $8 million? So he asked the commissioners directly.
That led Fulkerson into other meetings with county officials where he learned the answer is complicated.
Deschutes doesn’t have a permanent levy, so it keeps larger reserves. Also, the county is planning to implement a new and expensive communication system for emergency responders.
Still, the inquiry led county planners to conclude they could lower the levy by three cents.
Commissioner Tammy Baney praised Fulkerson for raising the question.
“I think it’s good that you can take new information, put it into play and actually reverse a decision and that, to me, is democracy in action. So, I’m appreciative,” said Baney.
Fulkerson said he supports the new measure and plans to vote for it.