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Dont forget to return ballots in Clackamas County voting

If you haven't marked your ballots for the Nov. 8 election in Clackamas County, please do so today. This election may lack the bells and whistles of hotly contested legislative races, but the topics on the ballot are of local significance.

And it all comes down to one issue: MONEY. Well, maybe three issues. This election also is about how you want your money spent and who you want to decide how your money is spent.

Urban renewal

Two competing ballot measures regard the urban renewal process in Clackamas County. Sounds ignorable until you realize that one of those measures (3-386) would require countywide votes on urban renewal projects that would influence specific portions of the county. In other words, people in, let's say, West Linn, would help decide passage or failure of an urban renewal project proposed for Welches.

The Sandy Post supports local control, and we support the urban renewal process, which encourages job creation, economic development and safer and more attractive communities. Measure 3-386 would have the likely effect of shutting down urban renewal in unincorporated Clackamas County, and that's a bad idea.

We recommend a 'no' vote on 3-386, and a 'yes' vote on the competing measure (3-388), which would still require a vote by the people who live within the boundaries of a proposed urban renewal area before such a district could be formed. In that way, it provides voters - but only local voters - with the right to judge each renewal district on its own merits.

Sheriff funding

The Sandy Post is strongly in support of renewing a five-year levy in support of the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office. The $10 million raised by this levy ensures more deputies on the beat and pays for 84 beds at the county jail. The means more officers to respond to emergencies and fewer early releases from jail. Because this is a renewal of a levy that already exists, the residents of Clackamas County won't see an increase in their property taxes. It's true, folks could save a few dollars by rejecting this levy, but the tradeoff would be a decline in public safety. That's exactly what criminals want. And that's precisely why we should renew this operating levy. Vote yes on Measure 3-378.