It's going to cost my wife and me $500 to put a "Vote YES" argument in the Measure 49 section of the Oregon voter's pamphlet. So please read the 323 words that I crafted this afternoon (see continuation to this post).
Every additional person who peruses this electoral work of literary art makes me feel better about the check I'll soon be writing to the Elections Division.
If you want to follow in my politically active footsteps, click on this page and find the link to SEL 405, the cryptically numbered PDF form for filing a measure argument for the November 2007 special election.
(For some reason the form still refers to "2006 Voter's Pamphlet Filing Fees and Deadlines, but I was told by the Elections Division to use it anyway).
We've never paid for a voter's pamphlet argument before. But then we've never cared so much about a ballot measure before.
Our neighborhood's wells and commonly owned lake are threatened by a Measure 37 subdivision. That's made a whole lot of people around here into land use activists and Measure 49 supporters – even many who voted for Measure 37 and have come to see what a mistake that was.
It's nice to see that a poll of Oregon voters by Riley Research found that 58% said they were likely to vote "Yes" on Measure 49, while just 12% opposed it.
Hopefully this will put a sock in the mouth of Oregonians in Action and other die-hard Measure 37 supporters who keep blathering about how voters shouldn't be asked to express their opinion on Measure 37 again.
It sure looks like their opinion has changed, now that Oregonians have learned that large subdivisions on farm, forest, and groundwater limited land are the true face of Measure 37, not sweet old Dorothy English.
Here's our argument in favor of Measure 49. It might change some before I submit it along with our check. The truth of which we speak is unalterable though: Our groundwater is threatened by the proposed 42-lot Measure 37 subdivision. And Measure 49 is our best hope for keeping our wells and lake from drying up.
SAVE OUR WELLS – VOTE “YES” ON MEASURE 49
A Measure 37 subdivision threatens our wells. Forty-two homes would be built on 125 acres of groundwater limited farmland in the south Salem hills.
Property owners in our area already are having water problems. Wells have had to be deepened or replaced. Marion County has officially designated the Measure 37 acreage as a “Sensitive Groundwater Overlay” zone.
Because of that designation, the Measure 37 claimant (Leroy Laack) had to prepare a Hydro Review of groundwater adequacy. He needed to prove that the subdivision’s 42 wells wouldn’t harm existing wells.
The Hydro Review was failed by an independent water expert hired by Marion County. Failed!
Ordinarily this would have meant that the Measure 37 subdivision would be put on hold until Mr. Laack could prove there was enough water to supply the development without drying up neighboring wells.
But two members of the Marion County Board of Commissioners ignored the conclusion of the county’s own water expert. Sam Brentano and Patti Milne voted to let the subdivision go forward.
This is a big reason why Measure 49 is needed: elected officials can’t be counted on to protect the property rights of people already living near a Measure 37 claim.
Measure 49 would limit this subdivision to three home sites, because it is on groundwater limited farmland. This still could harm neighboring wells, but it’s a lot better than the 42 wells the Measure 37 claimant wants to drill.
We represent more than thirty homeowners who support the Keep Our Water Safe Committee. They’ve contributed $29,000 to fight this serious threat to our groundwater.
Quite a few of our neighbors voted for Measure 37. Now they strongly support Measure 49. They’ve seen how Measure 37 takes away the rights of existing property owners.
Like, the right to not have our wells go dry.
(This information furnished by Brian and Laurel Hines, Keep Our Water Safe Committee)