Elections, Government, Washington County

In upcoming November 2019 special district election, no ballot for Banks-area voters

The Washington County voters’ pamphlet. Photo: Chas Hundley

WASHINGTON COUNTY – Voters’ pamphlets for the upcoming November 5 special district election have all been mailed, but for those in the bounds of this newspaper’s territory, there won’t be a ballot following it.

For readers in Banks, Buxton, and Timber, there’s simply nothing on the ballot to vote for.

Between the more well-known election years on the even numbered years, there are a variety of primary and special district elections, but with no terms up for fire and school board positions, no county-wide measures or levies, and nothing on the city docket within Banks, the voters’ pamphlet — mailed by the Washington County Elections Division to every household in the county, whether they like it or not — has information about neighboring cities and school district, especially for those within the Metro boundaries.

For Portland Metro residents, which defines Forest Grove city limits as its western edge, the sprawling regional government is asking voters to renew a bond to fund their network of parks and natural areas throughout Portland, and at properties firmly outside of their boundaries, such as Killin Wetlands west of Banks, a park owned and maintained by Metro.

That bond, noted as Measure No. 26-203, would authorize $475 million in general obligation bonds to continue efforts by Metro to do what they describe in their explanatory statement as “protect clean water, natural areas, access to parks and nature.”

If passed, property owners in Metro would expect to pay $0.19 per $1,000 of assessed value annually, or about $48 each year.

Other items before voters in different parts of the county include three measures in Sherwood; one to alter when elections are held; a measure that would clarify how a city councilor is selected in the event of a vacancy, and a third “housekeeping” measure that would adjust language in the affluent city’s charter.

In King City, voters will be asked to pass an increased cost local option levy to replace an expiring levy.

Meanwhile, the handful of Washington County residents who also live within Portland city limits will be asked to alter the city charter to increase protections for the Bull Run Watershed. In a separate measure, voters in Portland will also be asked to change the charter to allow the city to authorize a variety of mutual aid scenarios in disasters.

Those in the Portland School District will also be faced with a choice to renew an expiring levy or let it expire.

In the West Linn-Wilsonville School District, Washington County residents that reside there will see two measures, one a bond and the other a levy renewal.

Questions about elections in Washington County? Contact the Washington County Elections Division at 503-846-5800.

The next election will be the May 19, 2020 primary election.

Chas Hundley is the editor of the Banks Post and sister news publications the Gales Creek Journal and the Salmonberry Magazine. He grew up in Gales Creek and has a cat.

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