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Think Out Loud

Multnomah County Elections

Pete Springer/OPB

In addition to voting for a new governor, Multnomah County residents will be considering a host of local ballot measures, as well as a new county commissioner in district 2. They’ll also be joining Washington and Clackamas county voters in deciding whether or not approve a TriMet bond measure that will affect property taxes in all three counties.

The TriMet bond continues funding for the agency through property taxes at the current rate of about .08 cents per $1000 in assessed value. Voters originally approved the tax in 1990. If the measure fails, property owners will see a reduction in their taxes in 2012. If it passes, the funding will continue over the next 20 years. TriMet says the money is needed to improve buses and bus stops as well as services for the elderly and disabled. While there is no organized opposition to the bond, riders have expressed concerns, especially in light of TriMet’s recent decisions to cut routes and raise fares.

Another contest many people seem to be watching — judging from the lawn signs peppered throughout Multnomah County — is the race for county commissioner between Karol Collymore and Loretta Smith. Smith, a longtime Portland resident, has been a staffer for U. S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) for the past two decades. Collymore moved to Stumptown about seven years ago from New Mexico and currently works as senior policy adviser to Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen. Collymore garnered a significant portion of the primary votes, but the race appears to have narrowed over the past few months.

Also on the ballot in Multnomah County is a levy to support the Oregon Historical Society. We’ve discussed the organization’s financial woes before and things haven’t gotten better since that show over a year ago. The levy would provide a boost to OHS through property taxes at the rate of .05 cents per $1000 in assessed value.

What questions do you have about the Oregon Historical Society levy? How is the Historical Society relevant to your life? Are you a Multnomah County voter? What do you want from your county commissioners? Do you ride TriMet? What questions do you have about the bond measure?

2010 election

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