Jackson Co. commissioner discuss spending

There were three items on the agenda for deliberation at the Wednesday public Board of Commissioner meeting: 1) an intergovernmental agreement with the City of Medford, 2) a letter of understanding with the Oregon State DOJ, Criminal Justice Division, and 3) a public hearing to receive input before deliberation regarding the proposed rest area near Ashland.

It has been customary for this report to be solely from the Wednesday public meeting of the Jackson County Board of Commissioners. However, on Tuesdays the Board of Commissioners holds a work session, which the public may attend. The agenda this week was of particular interest to witness the working discussion regarding requested General Fund monies (when the budget has been proclaimed to be overspent already), and the consideration of a state LCDC funded program linked to SB-1059 and greenhouse gas emissions, code word: GreenSTEP.

The Commissioners pulled in the reins on some discretionary spending. The County Clerk’s office had two requests: one for the purchase of a ballot sorting machine and the other for a remodel of the elections entrance/lobby. The commissioners said no to the machine, but decided to allow funding for the remodel for an estimated $42,350. Also there was discussion by Roads and Parks Director, John Vial, regarding a new state-funded program, GreenSTEP by LCDC, which would aid the county in data collection and road/infrastructure planning. The Commissioners denied this request on the basis that individual and private property rights may be infringed. In doing so, the commissioners reaffirmed their stand for Constitutional protection of private property rights and fiscal responsibility.

Also discussed was a donation towards a World War II Memorial in Salem. Commissioner Rachor voiced his concern over the $5,000 donation and the fact that Jackson County has their own veteran memorial in Central Point. Commissioners Skundrick and Breidenthal voted to contribute a lesser amount of $2,500 to come from the Board of Commissioner budget. Both the $2,500 and the $42,350 budgeted for a memorial and a remodel would come from non-dedicated funds, funds that could be used for any number of other things currently facing budget cuts.

By Colleen Roberts

For the Independent



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