Rural Oregon is in better shape than it was before the failure of Measure 28, politically if not economically. As is usual in politics these days, rural Oregon, as in the rest of the nation, voted differently than the urban areas. This time, because of money matters, enough disaffected voters in Multnomah County voted no to make our votes count.

Oregon is in financial trouble and I confess I don't have any better answers than the politicians who don't seem to have any either. But I do know one thing. Negotiations are necessary in the Legislature. And we have an opportunity to make progress against the elitists in the Metro area who have had a strangle-hold on land-use decisions for the last 30 years.

Portland Democrats and the Thousand Friends of Oregon are scared stiff that statewide land planning might go by the wayside. After the passage of Measure 7 and its nullification by the valley courts, legislative Democrats vow to block any attempts to bring it back.

I want to make it clear to my rural representatives that I favor killing the sacred cow of statewide land-use planning in favor of county control. The Legislature could make it happen within a matter of weeks if so inclined. All that is required is that rural representatives stand firm and tell the elitists that we intend to handle our own business and if you won't end the communist occupation of Oregon lands no legislation designed to solve Oregon's fiscal troubles will be acted on.

For the first time in decades the valley needs our cooperation.

Call your legislator and demand county land planning. If you never do one other thing political in your life, take a few minutes and call your legislator and declare regional land-use policies are not good enough. Counties are the proper venue for that as well as taxation.

You will hear about repealing Measure 5 and possible sales taxes before all of this is over. Autonomy and local control are the most important Oregon issues the Legislature needs to deal with before any talk of compromise gets under way. Local newspapers have your legislator's phone number. Get it and make that call.

Steve Culley

Baker City

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