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Our view: Tips and kicks

Published on October 12, 2017 7:39PM

A kick in the pants to the city of Umatilla for not giving voters there the opportunity to weigh in on a new OSU Extension Service taxing district.

All of the other 16 cities in Umatilla and Morrow counties took to the democratic approach and let voters decide on a proposed levy to support extension services in the two counties.

Even if councilors in those municipalities are not personally in favor of a new taxing district, they know enough to allow the taxpayers the ability to make the decision for themselves. After all, taxpayers are the ones who will use and pay for extension services, so they should have the final say in the matter.

But in Umatilla, city government disagreed and kept the decision out of voter hands. Those in the city who do find value in the service will have to pay a la carte for the programs, if the district is approved.

That’s still a big if — creating a new taxing district requires a lot of voter education and hard campaigning.

But the city took this action without any consult with organizations — like the Umatilla School District — who currently benefit from OSU Extension services. Those programs are now in danger. So too, we argue, should be the status quo in how the city of Umatilla government operates.

A kick of the pants to the Oregon State Police Sex Offender Registration Section.

As we found in the course of reporting Thursday’s story “Sexual predator sparks Pendleton man to sound alarm,” the state’s sex offender registry is often well behind on timely information about where offenders are predators are living and how people in the neighborhood should protect themselves.

It’s disappointing that a service that can help keep Oregon safe so often offers a total lack of information, or information that is outdated and untimely.

We can argue the legitimate, complex issues surrounding the nation’s and the state’s sex offender registry system — both in its efficacy and its respect for the rights of people who have served their time for the crime they committed. But we should all be able to agree on the fact that state agencies, paid to enact the law, should do it to the best of their abilities, and to a standard that makes the law useful.


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