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Our picks for the election

We didn’t get to all the ballot measures or any of the statewide candidates, but we still managed to look at the key questions on local ballots in western Washington County (city councilors in Banks, Gaston and Cornelius didn't draw challengers and we encourage voters to return the incumbents to office). Below is a summary of the endorsements we have published over the past several weeks. Ballots are due next Tuesday, so there’s still time to do your own research and make your own choices.

LOCAL MEASURES

Measure 34-198: County enhanced patrol district

Yes

Approximately 200,000 people in Washington County are in need of a big-city police department, but don’t happen to reside within a city boundary.

This measure would renew a five-year levy to support expanded patrols in those areas that have been in place since 1987.

Measure 34-200: Cornelius municipal court

Yes

A change to the Cornelius city charter allowing municipal court to be held outside the city boundaries will allow Cornelius to save money by partnering with Forest Grove.

Measure 34-201: Cornelius gas tax repeal

No

There’s no evidence the city’s 2-cent-per-gallon gas tax has made Cornelius fuel more expensive than that found at nearby pumps. And this tax, approved by voters in 2010, allowed the city to kill the the unpopular streetlight fee, which charged all utility users in the city in order to pay for nighttime lighting.

STATEWIDE MEASURES

Measure 77: Clarifies disaster response

Yes

This amends the state constitution to give the governor authority to declare a “catastrophic disaster.” We hope it doesn’t come to that, but agree that the state’s chief executive should have this power in the event of a true disaster.

Measure 78: Updates up constitution wording

Yes

This measure simply cleans up some language in the constitution to use more modern wording and it gets rid of some gender-biased phrasing along the way.

Measure 79: Bans real estate transfer taxes

No

Oregon law already bans new real estate transfer taxes. The measure is a solution in search of a problem that would add yet another unnecessary clause to the state constitution.

Measure 80: The Oregon Cannabis Tax Act

No

We think it’s high time (sorry) to place some restrictions on Oregon’s medical marijuana dispensaries. This measure would loosen those regulations in a wild experiment with unpredictable consequences.

Measures 82 and 83: Gambling in Wood Village

No

This pair of proposals for a single gambling joint in East Multnomah County proved so unpopular that its out-of-state backers have ended their campaign. But this bad idea, which threatened both the Oregon Lottery and tribal casinos, is still on the ballot. Vote no.

Measure 84: Eliminates estate taxes

No

We would support a look at reforming Oregon’s “death taxes” but this measure brings a meat ax to a job that is better suited for a scalpel. The frighteningly broad proposal would completely eliminate Oregon’s estate tax and allow family members to avoid capital gains taxes by swapping high-value property.

CANDIDATES

Forest Grove City Council:

Lowe, Uhing and Kidd

Victoria Lowe and Elena Uhing have done a solid job on the Forest Grove City Council and we support their re-election bids. For the third seat, our choice is former Mayor Richard Kidd. At a recent candidate forum hosted by the Forest Grove Chamber of Commerce, both incumbents showed a good mastery of city issues and Kidd offered the clearest answers and more specifics than the other two challengers.

Oregon House District 29

Ben Unger

We endorsed state Rep. Katie Eyre in her successful bid two years ago and she’s served the district well. But, in a close call, this year we’re backing Ben Unger, her Democratic challenger, because of his deep agricultural roots, enthusiasm and willingness to largely forgo the nasty campaign tactics of Eyre’s supporters.

Oregon House District 30

Shawn Lindsay

Shawn Lindsay failed to get our nod two years ago when he championed a Tea Party agenda. But the Hillsboro Republican showed an independent streak during his rookie session and demonstrated a far-better grasp of the state’s key issues than did Joe Gallegos, his Democratic opponent, during this year’s campaign.




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