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Dont forget to return ballots in Clackamas County

If you haven't marked your ballots for the Nov. 8 election in Clackamas County, please do so today. And just as importantly, don't forget to return those ballots. It's too late to mail them, but drop boxes are located in Sandy and Damascus.

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 Boring or Damascus.

The Gresham Outlook 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. 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.

Sheriff funding

The Outlook strongly supports renewal of this 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.

Clackamas County ballot drop sites

Outdoor boxes

• Sandy City Hall (drive-up)

39250 Pioneer Blvd., Sandy

Available 24 hours every day, but will be locked at 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Indoor drop boxes

• Damascus City Hall, 19920 S.E. Highway 212

8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday to Friday

7 a.m. - 8 p.m. Election Day

• Sandy Library, 38740

Proctor Blvd., Sandy

10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Monday to Friday

10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Saturday

1 p.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday

Closes 8 p.m. on Election Day