Public school ballot measures highlight Eugene special election

The white ballot drop box outside of the EMU should start to see some traffic as special elections have started in Eugene.

This midterm election will end May 17 at 8 p.m., and voters can mail in their ballot or drop it off at one of the 12 locations around the city.

This year’s election will ask voters to decide on the implementation of a temporary city income tax to be split between the Eugene and Bethel school districts to help them alleviate their budget [email protected]@[email protected]@

The University College Democrats were handing out flyers promoting the proposed tax, urging people to vote yes on the ballot [email protected]@

“We’re making sure people turn in their ballots. It’s an important election, and we want students to have a presence,” said Kate Nix, College Democrats vice president. “It’s not going to affect their daily lives, but when the class sizes grow and the students no longer want to come to school, they might not pursue a higher education. So it will affect students.”@@[email protected]@ @@[email protected]@

The tax would be applied to Oregon taxable income earned each year by Eugene residents who make more than $22,000 per year between Jan. 1, 2011 and Dec. 31, 2014.

Eugene resident and school board candidate Mark Callahan has spoken out against the tax on several occasions, especially after the new Eugene 4J superintendent was [email protected]@

“The offering is $35,000 (more than) what Superintendent Russell is getting and effectively removes one teacher from the classroom,” Callahan said.

The other measure on the May ballot is a bond proposed by the Eugene 4J school district that would authorize the district to finance capital improvement, including roofing, plumbing, heating, electrical and other maintenance-related upgrades.

The tax would not increase property taxes, but rather continue the tax at its current rate of $1.30 per $1,000 of assessed value.

Voters will also be able to elect new members to the school boards of both the Eugene School District 4J and the Bethel School District 52.

Four of the candidates run unopposed: Jim Torrey for position 5 in Eugene 4J, and in the Bethel District, Dawnja Johnson for position 2, Greg Nelson for position 3 and Ginger Poage for position [email protected]@

Position four is the only one with two candidates in the Bethel School District, with both Rich Cunningham and Todd Lipkin vying for the spot on the school [email protected]@[email protected]@

Eugene School District position 1 has three candidates competing: Gary Carpenter, Alicia Hays and Greg [email protected]@

Position 4 in 4J is the most competitive with four people applying for the positions: Mark Callahan, Linda Hamilton, Natasha Hennings and Craig [email protected]@

The final position is position 7 with Sherry Callahan, Matt Ginsberg and Mary Walston in contention for the [email protected]@

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