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Local Advocacy Positions (LWVLC)

NOTE: Many positions show ‘Concurrence 1996.’ This means our membership agreed to revised and edited position wording; no new or updated study was done at that time. This is taken from Issues for Action, LWVLC 2008.

GOVERNMENTAL STRUCTURE AND PROCESS

BOARDS, COMMISIONS AND COMMITTEES Consensus 1974, Concurrence 1996

Position: The League of Women Voters of Lane County supports the formation of citizen advisory groups as a tool to increase citizen participation in the decision-making process of government. Citizens advisory groups will be more effective in advising public bodies and may feel that their efforts are more worthwhile if the purpose and reason for the formation of the advisory groups are as follows:

  1. Membership should represent a variety of viewpoints in the community;
  2. The formation of the advisory group and vacancies on it should be publicized in order to attract interested citizens.
  3. Fixed term length for membership on the group enables citizens to understand their time commitment and allows for member turnover. A required attendance rule is desirable to insure the group a full membership of interested citizens.
  4. Ordinarily, advisory groups should have at least five members, with the maximum number to be determined by the purpose of the group.
  5. Orientation of advisory group members should be provided and should include the following information:
    • background information on the nature and organization of the appointing entity,
    • the purpose of the committee,
    • its scope and responsibility,
    • its working relationship with the staff and elected officials.

Action taken using this position

2010 Letter to Lane County Board of Commissioners about the formation of an Area Commission on Transportation and the need for citizen representatives with three-year terms.

LANE COUNTY GOVERNMENT

Consensus 1961,1976, Concurrence 1996, Consensus 2013
Position: The League of Women Voters of Lane County believes that the responsibility for governing Lane County should rest with an elected Board of Commissioners. The duties of the Board should be clear and limited:

    1. The Lane County Home Rule Charter should provide for separation of administrative and legislative authority.
    2. The Board should be the County’s legislative and policy-making body.
    3. The Board should appoint a professional administrator, accountable to the Board, and establish the administrator’s duties. Consideration should be given to an appointed assessor.

The Board of Commissioners should have five members, living in districts to assure representation of all parts of the County. Each commissioner should serve full time for a four-year term and be elected on a nonpartisan basis.

When three or more individuals compete for a single elective position, a run-off election should be held, if necessary, to ensure that the winning candidate receives at least 50% of the votes cast.

The meetings of the legislative body at which decisions are made should be public, announced in advance, and regularly scheduled. A published agenda should be provided.

Action taken using this position

2012 Testimony to the Lane County Board of Commissioners against placing a charter amendment on the 2012 primary ballot because there was insufficient citizen review and education. The measure would have guaranteed a specific share of revenue to three county functions.
2013 Letter to Lane County Board of Commissioners requesting full disclosure about the termination of the county administrator and supporting the hiring of an internal auditor who reports directly to the Board.
2014 Letter to Lane County Board of Commissioners about the draft strategic plan. The letter addressed the need for more specific timelines and measures of progress as well as expanded objectives and strategies.

URBAN SERVICES

(Formerly Metropolitan Government) Consensus 1969. 1977, Concurrence 1996, 2006
Position: The League of Women Voters of Lane County believes that because urban areas require more governmental services than do rural areas, site-specific urban growth boundaries must be delineated. Eugene, Springfield and other cities of Lane County also need a systematic method of reviewing and adjusting such boundaries when necessary.

Urban services, such as sanitary sewer and water systems, should not be provided to areas outside the urban growth boundary. In areas that have been allowed to develop to urban density outside existing city limits, services ordinarily should be provided only after annexation to the nearest city. These services must be provided in urban areas and should be furnished, in priority order by:

Annexation to the nearest city,
Formation of county service district, or
Formation of a special district.

The League also supports the provision of emergency and public safety services, libraries, parks, and other services in the urban areas. In evaluating the type of entity to provide these services, the criteria in the LWVLC Structure of Local Government position should be considered.

The Urban-Service Boundary for the Eugene-Springfield metro area should be the one designated by the Eugene-Springfield Metropolitan Area Comprehensive Plan.

Action taken using this position

2012 Letters to Creswell and Cottage Grove newspapers in support of a five-year local option levy for the South Lane County Fire and Rescue District.

2012 Letter to the editor supporting a City of Springfield five-year renewal of a local option levy for city jail operation and police services.

Structure of Local Government

(1992, concurrence 1996)

Position: The League of Women Voters of Lane County believes that any government structure that provides urban services should be evaluated by these criteria:

    1. Adequacy of Services. Services should meet the needs and protect the health and safety of those being served at a reasonable cost.
    2. Organizational Simplicity. The plan should provide easily understood local governmental structure, fix responsibility for particular tasks and resolve conflicting interests.
    3. Flexibility. The plan should be broad enough in scope and authority to allow adjustments for future growth and changing social needs.
    4. Citizen Participation. Realistic opportunities for citizen involvement should be provided.
    5. Equitable Cost-Benefit Relationship. The cost should be fairly distributed according to benefits received and with consideration of ability to pay.
    6. Political Feasibility. The plan should follow legislative mandates and be acceptable to the electorate.
    7. Legal and Administrative Authority. The governmental unit should have authority to enforce its decisions and carry out its assigned duties.
    8. Effectiveness of Governance. The decision-making body should be organized to plan for urban services and to ensure that those plans are implemented.
    9. Economy of Administration. The unit of government should be large enough to be economically viable.
    10. Intergovernmental Cooperation. Governmental bodies should avoid overlap and duplication by working together to provide services and coordinate activities which are more effectively and efficiently done jointly.

Action taken using this position

2006 Supported City of Eugene measure establishing an independent Citizens Police Commission.

CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM

The League of Women Voters of Lane County (LWVLC) uses the League of Women Voters of the United States (LWVUS) position on Campaign Finance Reform which speaks to a level playing field for all candidates with regard to contribution and spending limits, public funding and the elimination of soft money and issue ads.

Local Action taken using this LWVUS position

2001 Letter to City Council requesting adding Campaign Finance Reform to Charter Revision committee.
2002 Supported Council actions to place contribution limits on Council races when the General Election contest has more than one candidate.

REAPPORTIONMENT

The LWVLC uses the LWVUS position on redistricting which calls for equal population among districts using a narrow deviation formula; using existing and natural geographic boundaries; recognizing communities of interest; contiguity. These are based on the U.S. Supreme Court rulings.

Action taken using this position

2001 Request to Board of Commissioners that they apply U.S. Supreme Court and Oregon criteria for redistricting county commissioners districts.
2001 Meeting with Eugene mayor. Testimony and letter comments regarding the plans for redistricting the Eugene city wards, with emphasis on the League’s criteria.
2011 Testimony to Eugene City Council on criteria that should be used in redrawing the ward boundaries using the 2010 census figures. Later testimony that the two final options both met League criteria.
2011 Testimony to Lane County Board of Commissioners regarding the redrawing of the Commissioner districts in response to the 2010 census. The League expressed support for the proposed scenarios that met League criteria and opposition to those that did not and commented on the lack of sufficient public input opportunities.

ECONOMIC POLICY

CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT FINANCING

Consensus 1983, Concurrence 1996

Position: The League of Women Voters of Lane County believes that revenue sources for public capital improvements should be evaluated in terms of equity, adequacy, ease of administration, feasibility and the benefits received. Equity is the most important of these factors.

Ease and cost of administration are the most important considerations in determining which level of government should levy and collect funds for capital improvement.

Among the alternatives to property tax, the League prefers user fees for funding capital improvements; however, it recognizes that user fees cannot support all government services. A local sales or income tax should be used only when it can be administered jointly with a state sales or income tax.

Local governments should strongly emphasize the maintenance of capital improvements. Long-term maintenance costs should be considered when capital improvements are planned and built and provided for in general fund budget.

The League believes user fees, but not general sales and income taxes, may appropriately be designated for maintenance costs.

Action taken using this position

2008 Letter to the editor in support of Lane Community College bond measure for facility upgrades.
2008 Letter to editor in support of a City of Eugene bond measure for road maintenance.
2012 Letter to editor in support of the renewal of a City of Eugene bond measure for road maintenance.

LOCAL GOVERNMENT FINANCE

(Formerly Lane County Finance) Consensus March 2000, Concurrence 2006

Position: The League of Women Voters of Lane County believes that the following governmental principles apply to finances of all local governments: county, city and special district.

Democratic government depends upon the informed and active participation of its citizens.
Governmental bodies should protect the citizen’s right to know by giving adequate notice of proposed actions, holding open meetings, and making public records accessible.
Local governments must be responsive to the will of the people.

The League believes that efficient and economical government requires competent personnel, the clear assignment of responsibility, adequate financing, and coordination among the different government agencies serving Lane County.

Consolidation and coordination of services should be pursued when substantive analysis demonstrates it will eliminate overlap of responsibilities and improve employee efficiency and cost savings. Contracting for services should be approached cautiously. A cost-benefit analysis should demonstrate savings and assure fair benefits and working conditions for both local government and contracted employees.

If cuts are necessary, preference should be based on established priority of services so that least essential services are reduced or eliminated first. There should not be across-the-board decreases. If additional funding is available, decisions should be based on established priorities.

The League believes that local governments should maintain an equitable, adequate, stable, and flexible system of taxation that is understandable and easy to administer. The local tax system should recognize the individual’s responsibility for government services by providing a broad sharing of the tax burden. The tax system should be based on the ability to pay but may apply a benefits-received principle wherever reasonable. User fees may be appropriate for specific services, but consideration should be given to sliding scales and the cost of collection before such fees are imposed.

Systems development charges are an appropriate way to recover the cost of growth, but exemptions for low- income housing should be provided.

Ballot measures proposing new or additional taxes are most likely to succeed when providing for specific services and scheduled for general elections.

Action taken using this position

2006-2007 Support for county public safety levy through BCC testimony and active work on the campaign.
2008 Letter to the editor supporting the renewal of the Eugene School District 4J five-year local option levy.
2009 Testimony to Lane County Board of Commissioners urging them to include $3.2 million in the 2009-10 budget to allow reopening of 84 jail beds.
2012 Testimony to Lane County Board Budget Committee in support of shifting resources to public safety services including the medical examiner and rural deputies.
2012 Letters to the Creswell and Cottage Grove newspapers in support of a five year local option levy for the South Lane County Fire and Rescue District.
2012 Letter to the editor supporting a City of Springfield five-year renewal of a local option levy for city jail operation and police services.
2013 Various activities in support of a Lane County five-year local option levy for jail beds and youth services including an op ed article and purchasing a statement in the local voters pamphlet.
2013 Letter to the Eugene City Council encouraging them to use a robust public process to examine the city’s continuing budget shortfalls.
2014 Testimony to Eugene Budget Committee in January opposing cuts to library services and parks maintenance. Testimony to Eugene City Council in June commending the budget process and supporting the recommended 2014-15 budget which retained funding for library branches for one year and for social services.
2014 Testimony to the Lane County Board of Commissioners supporting the recommended 2014-15 budget that retained the level of services and urging development of a 10-year plan to fund a balanced public safety system.
2014 Letter to the editor supporting renewal of the Eugene School District 4J five-year local option levy.

SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC MANAGEMENT

Concurrence 1998

Position:The League of Women Voters of Lane County recognizes the importance of a strong and vital economic base in Lane County. The League advocates

    1. Periodic review of public processes to assure a respectful and informed level of civic discourse in pursuit of community goals.
    2. Community involvement in establishing criteria for governmental assistance to economic development.

In order to maintain and strengthen the local economy, the League supports the following:

    1. Diversification of the economic base of the county;
    2. Establishment of standards of community sustainability for programs which assist existing business/ industry in expansion and development and which will enhance sustainability of Lane County communities;
    3. Monitoring and enforcement of air, water, and soil-protection standards;
    4. Promoting maximum recycling and reuse of materials and minimum consumption of energy and material goods;
    5. Systematic land-use planning, recognizing the need for an amendment process which allows for changing circumstances without erosion of existing standards.
    6. County-wide coordination of economic development with special attention to the development of family-wage jobs and local, non-polluting enterprises. Governmental assistance might include capital improvement programs, tax incentives, and training and retraining programs which enhance employment opportunities.

Action taken using this position

2012 Testimony to the Lane County Board of Commissioners against a proposal for the county to exert sole jurisdictional control over land within the metro plan boundary but outside the cities’ urban growth boundaries. Our concern was for adequate water resource protection.

URBAN RENEWAL AND TAX INCREMENT FINANCING

Consensus 1991, Concurrence, 1996, Review and wording update 2011

Position: The League of Women Voters of Lane County believes that there should be a public vote on the creation of a new urban renewal district and on expanding an existing district. Not every project in an urban renewal district should be referred to the voters, but there should be a vote on projects which the city council determines will have a major impact on the community.

The League supports tax increment financing (TIF) as one means of funding public urban renewal projects such as downtown projects, parking, wetlands, low-cost housing, library, and a transit station if they are of public benefit. In general, the League could also support TIF for private projects if they are of public benefit.

Action taken using this position

2007 The League remained neutral on the Eugene ballot measure to increase the Development Fund on the Downtown Urban Renewal District after position review and discussion.
2010 Testimony to Eugene City Council in support of amending the Downtown Urban Renewal District plan to expand the boundary and increase maximum indebtedness.

COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT

Housing

Consensus 1978, 1991

Position: The League of Women Voters of Lane County supports a mix of housing types in all neighborhoods. The League urges that new areas be developed with housing of varying prices and styles and that developers of large new subdivisions be encouraged to include low and moderate cost housing.

    The League supports multiple-family housing (duplexes, four-plexes, condominiums, quads or apartment buildings) in all areas if height, total size, landscaping, and open space are regulated adequately. If adequate provisions are made for traffic, schools, and other public facilities, multiple-family housing can be compatible with single-family homes. Mobile home subdivisions are acceptable in residential areas but not mobile homes on individual lots. Manufactured housing is acceptable in residential areas within specific guidelines.
    The League supports provisions to achieve greater density within the metropolitan area and to maintain the urban service area boundary. Smaller lot sizes, panhandle lots, zero lot lines, and planned unit developments (PUDs) are supported, especially in new areas.
    Careful planning, high constructions standards, and the development of design restrictions should be encouraged to allow the economical use of land while still preserving such amenities as privacy and quiet.
    The League supports governmental subsidies to aid the building of new low income housing and for renovation of existing homes. Tax incentives, such as reduced local property taxes for a specific period, should be used to encourage the building and maintenance of multi-family housing.
    The League supports financial programs such as delayed down payments, variable interest rates, and variable payment schedules to make home ownership more accessible to middle income people. We also favor state-financed loans with favorable interest rates similar to the present veterans loan program.
    Finally, the League believes that tax revenues should not be used to provide services which encourage extension of the city. New areas should pay their own costs.

Action taken using this position

2011 Testimony to Eugene City Council in support of the Envision Eugene community outreach process and the draft conceptual framework found in the seven pillars.
2012 Testimony to the Eugene City Council in support of the Envision Eugene recommendation for a housing split for new dwellings of 55% single family homes and 45% multi-family homes and expansion of the urban growth boundary for jobs and single family housing.
2014 Testimony to the Eugene City Council supporting the Multi-Unit Property Tax Exemption (MUPTE) program and the changes proposed to its operation.Planning and Zoning

PLANNING AND ZONING

Consensus in 1963, 1989

Position: The League of Women Voters of Lane County supports the principles of planning and zoning, believing a unified planning approach to our metropolitan area is essential.

The League supports the concept of councils of governments. The Lane Council of Governments will be most effective when it meets the following criteria:

  1. Adequate financial support;
  2. Broad representation of local government subdivisions;
  3. Public support and understanding, encouraged by education.

The League favors coordination of city and county zoning ordinances and notifications by mail of affected property owners when there is an impending hearing on rezoning or variance petition.

The League believes that a zoning ordinance should possess these features:

  1. Provision for zoning districts based on present conditions and directed at guiding growth in accordance with future land use plans:;
  2. Flexibility to adjust to changing conditions, while retaining the essential quality of stabilizing land use plans;
  3. Emphasis on positive statements of objectives rather than on negative statements of prohibitions;
  4. The recognition that all of the various uses outlined and arranged on the zoning map have a vital place in the economy of the community. Each has its own particular characteristics and requirements. Zoning has heretofore been considered in terms of higher and lower uses. A change of directions to thinking in terms of mutual compatibility of land use is desirable.

SIGN CONTROL

Consensus 1967,1989, Concurrence 1996

Position: The League of Women Voters of Lane County supports a sign ordinance which provides safety, suitable controls, and public participation. Such a sign ordinance:

  1. Requires that signs conform to the Uniform Building Code of Oregon.
  2. Specifies control for all types of signs in all urban areas:
    • limits their purpose to identification and information.
    • considers esthetics.
    • limits projection of signs over any property and prohibits signs projecting over public property on the Eugene Mall.
    • limits sizes: limits flat wall signs to less than 30% of the building envelope.
    • prohibits signs which flash, blink, or rotate.
    • prohibits signs which flash, blink, or rotate.
    • Requires city-sponsored directory signs-both for downtown pedestrians and travelers entering the city.
  1. Maintains a stringent code for newly developed or redeveloped areas.
  2. Encourages adjoining governmental bodies to adopt comparable sign ordinances.
  3. Supports the appointment of lay members to a Board of Appeals to rule on variances and enforcement. Members shall not be associated with sign industry.

SUSTAINABLE METROPOLITAN MANAGEMENT

Concurrence 1998

Position: The League of Women Voters of Lane County accepts the principle of sustainable development, which means development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. To further this goal the LWVLC supports an inter-jurisdictional planning authority with comprehensive citizen participation that supports and coordinates sustainable development and considers the impact of growth decisions on adjacent areas over the long term. Costs as well as benefits of growth should be considered. We support inter-jurisdictional cooperation which provides services and protects the environment, including natural resources and land. We believe that awareness of and education about growth and population issues are essential to the process of metropolitan development.

In matters pertaining to metropolitan development, the League supports the following:

  1. Retention of present urban growth and service boundaries so long as there is land in incorporated cities not yet developed or set aside for particular purposes;
  2. Increased density within the urban service boundary, thus preserving outlying resource land and allowing more efficient and sequential use of public services;
  3. Economic growth management through careful industrial zoning, systems development charges sufficient to cover costs of growth, and use of the existing labor force when expanding economic activities.
  4. Nodal development within the urban growth boundary: compact growth, a mix of housing types (including low-income housing), with convenient services, businesses, parks, and open spaces in or near all neighborhoods;
  5. Development of land-use patterns which discourage pollution and encourage area livability, including preferential treatment for local, non-polluting enterprises;
  6. Development of adequate public and alternative modes of transportation to reduce dependence on automobiles;
  7. Establishment of benchmarks to measure progress toward sustainability and livability, with attention to jobs, population growth and movement, use of renewable resources, and environmental quality.

Action taken using this position

2001-2002 Testimony and letters to County Commissioners and editor regarding aggregate mining on farm lands north of Eugene on River Road.
2003 Letter to Lane County Boundary Commission opposing request for water rights expansion by Willamette Water Company and reiterating the importance of compact urban growth and delivery of services. Permit denied.
2008 Testimony before the Eugene Planning Commission in support of a zone change for property owned by Goodpasture Partners LLC. Zone change approved.
2010 Letter to Lane County Board of Commissioners about the formation of an Area Commission on Transportation and the need for citizen representatives with three-year terms.
2011 Testimony to the Eugene City Council, Lane Transit District, Metropolitan Policy Committee in support of the West Eugene EmX, specifically the West 13th to West 11th routing.
2011 Action alert for members to contact the Eugene City Council in support of the West Eugene EmX. 2011 Testimony to Eugene City Council in support of the Envision Eugene community outreach process and the draft conceptual framework found in the seven pillars.
2012 Testimony to the Lane County Board of Commissioners against a proposal for the county to exert sole jurisdictional control over land within the metro plan boundary but outside the cities’ urban growth boundaries. Our concern was for adequate water resource protection.
2012 Testimony to the Eugene City Council in support of the Envision Eugene recommendation for a housing split for new dwellings of 55% single family homes and 45% multi-family homes and expansion of the urban growth boundary for jobs and single family housing.
2012 Letter to Lane Transit District and Eugene City Council regarding the environmental assessment for the West Eugene EmX and urging the Federal Transit Administration to issue a Finding of No Significant Impact for the locally preferred alternative.

TRANSPORTATION

Consensus 1966, 1980, 1983, 1993, Revised 1996, 2005

Position: The League of Women Voters of Lane County believes that improved transportation in Lane County is dependent upon comprehensive long-range planning. A broad and imaginative plan should encompass many factors. Such a plan should consider the following:

  1. Public transportation is essential. The League favors public financial support to the degree necessary to retain and improve services;
  2. Parking facilities should be considered in relation to total planning;
  3. A downtown plan for the most efficient use of land in the core area is needed.
  4. All possible methods and combinations of methods of financing should be explored.

Action taken using this position

2010 Letter to Lane County Board of Commissioners about the formation of an Area Commission on Transportation and the need for citizen representatives with three-year terms.
2011 Testimony to the Eugene City Council, Lane Transit District, Metropolitan Policy Committee in support of the West Eugene EmX, specifically the West 13th to West 11th routing.
2011 Action alert for members to contact the Eugene City Council in support of the West Eugene EmX. 2011 Testimony to Metropolitan Policy Committee in support of revisions to the goals and objectives of the Regional Transportation Plan.
2012 Letter to Lane Transit District and Eugene City Council regarding the environmental assessment for the West Eugene EmX and urging the Federal Transit Administration to issue a Finding of No Significant Impact for the locally preferred alternative.

GOVERNMENTAL SERVICES

ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY SCHOOL FACILITIES

Concurrence 2003

Position: The League of Women Voters of Lane County believes the condition of elementary and secondary education school facilities is important to the efficiency and effectiveness of the educational program, the quality of the students’ experience, and the security of students, staff and teachers. Many issues need to be considered in the decision to close, renovate, or build a school. Proposals may be evaluated using criteria including (but not limited to) the following list: Public Process, Current Status, Alternatives, Function, Cost, Student/Community Impact, Long-term Needs, and Land Use. Public input is essential. The weight and significance of the other criteria will vary depending on the needs of each district.

Criteria:
Public Process. Has the public had adequate opportunity to understand and discuss the pros and cons of the alternatives? Have public opinions been heard by district policy makers?

Current Status. How is the current building used? Does the current building have historical significance in the community? What is the age and current physical condition of the existing building?

Alternatives. Could the cost of renovation/new construction be avoided by changing district boundaries or considering alternatives? Have neighboring districts been included in a discussion of possible alternatives?

Function. Will the change result in a higher quality education for students? Will the change result in better compliance with current building codes and today’s educational demands? How will the new/renovated building be used?

Cost. Has the district provided cost comparisons between continuing the status quo and the proposed alternative(s)? What are the immediate and long-term impacts to property owners in the district? Are there new “shadow” costs associated with the change, e.g., training or specialists needed to operate or maintain a new system? Will the proposed change result in a more efficient use of funds? In the context of the current taxation rate and economy in the district, is the cost reasonable? How is the district proposing to finance the change?

Student/Community Impact. How will the proposal affect the quality of the education experience? If the school is closed and not replaced, will increased travel time be a burden to students? Will the community lose a valuable social asset?

Long-term Needs. Given enrollment projections and the use of the structure in the community, how well will the community be served by this change? How well will the district be served over the expected life of the renovation or new building? Will the renovation increase the long-term use of the pre-existing building?

Land Use. Has compliance with state and local land-use goals been adequately considered? Has the impact on local transportation been adequately reviewed?

Action taken using this position

2012 Letter to the editor supporting Bethel School District bond measure for safety improvements, repairs and construction of school facilities.
2013 Letter to editor in support of Eugene School District 4J bond measure to replace and repair aging facilities.
2013 Letters to the editor in support of Springfield School District bond measure to replace Hamlin Middle School and make other facility improvements. Measure failed narrowly and was resubmitted in 2014.
2014 Letters to editor in support of Springfield School District bond measure to replace Hamlin Middle School and make other facility improvements. Measure passed.

LIBRARY SERVICES

Combined and edited 2003 from:
Library Building for the City of Eugene (Concurrence 1987, Concurrence1997) Library Services in Lane County (Consensus 1957,1973,1988,Concurrence 1996)

Position: The League of Women Voters of Lane County believes that every Lane County resident should have access to public library service. Such access could be provided through a cooperative library system with specific outreach services to rural residents, use of a county-wide library card, establishment of a library district or districts, or implementation of a county-wide consolidated system.

Financing of library services should be stable and equitable. Operating budgets must be adequate to provide effective staffing, current materials, and ongoing services.

Long-range plans for development and implementation of county library services should be continuing and include participation by citizens, library professionals, and governments. There must be a provision for a regular and on-going professional consultation among county public librarians. Consideration should be given to establishing branch or satellite libraries, perhaps in leased quarters.

Action taken using this position

2014 Testimony to Eugene Budget Committee in January opposing cuts to library services and parks maintenance. Testimony to Eugene City Council in June commending the budget process and supporting the recommended budget that retained funding for library service for one year and for social services.
2014 Testimony to the Eugene City Council urging consideration of a local option levy for library services.

MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES FOR ADULTS IN LANE COUNTY

Concurrence 1986, 1996

Position: The League of Women Voters of Lane County believes that those suffering from mental and/or emotional illness (MED), alcohol and/or drug addiction (A&D), and mental retardation and/or developmental disability (MR/DD) can usually best be cared for in their own communities in the least restrictive environment consistent with their safety and well-being and that of society. Consequently, the League believes that it is the responsibility of county government to insure that a community-based mental health system is in place to meet the essential needs of such persons in Lane County.

Administration
The League believes that Lane County government is responsible for providing a comprehensive, long-range plan based on a periodic needs assessment and including procedures for setting priorities and for regular updating. The plan should be coordinated with the County’s overall long-range human services plan. To serve the public interest, an advisory board, composed mainly of lay people but with representatives of public and private providers as well, should assist in the planning, review, and evaluation of the mental health system, its funding, and services.

Financing
The League believes that an effective system should integrate state and federally funded services, supplementing these with such services as are necessary to meet essential needs. The County should fund any necessary additional services. The system should provide for the best use of community services for the total funding dollars.

Requirements:

  1. A stable and open administrative structure in which administrators and service providers have clearly defined roles and responsibilities
  2. Coordination and communication among those responsible for the components of the system, both public and private
  3. Ease of access to the services
  4. Monitoring of services to insure quality care and fiscal responsibility
  5. Systematic review and evaluation of services
  6. Community support based on understanding of the afflictions, the treatment needed, and the cost (financial and otherwise) to those in need of services, their families, and society

Essential Components:

  1. Skilled assessment/diagnosis
  2. Counseling services
  3. Appropriate housing
  4. Assistance in socialization
  5. Assistance in employment, including job placement and training
  6. Case-management programs that provide both short- and long-term coordination and continuity of care for persons in the categories of MED, A&D, and MR/DD
  7. Adequate monitoring of necessary medication
  8. A commitment process that protects the rights of interested parties
  9. Crisis/emergency care, including a secure holding facility

Education:
The League believes the County bears a responsibility for initiating public education to develop and enhance community support and to publicize available services.

Action taken using this position

2010 Testimony to Citizen Advocates for Public Safety in support of a balanced public safety system that includes incarceration as well as program for adults and youth to address mental illness and substance abuse.

PARKLANDS

Concurrence 1996

Position: The League of Women Voters of Lane County believes that public parklands are an essential element of our society because they offer a sense of community, stress-free environments, healthy recreation, and natural resources preservation.

The League of Women Voters of Lane County believes that every county resident should have access to public parks and open space. Lane County and its local communities should acquire and maintain park and recreational facilities and open spaces to protect natural and cultural resources and to provide economic, social, and recreational benefits that respond to the needs of the community.

Lane County and local governments should work cooperatively to provide and maintain a full range of parks. Primary responsibility for regional parks and reserves should reside with the county. Cities should provide adequate parklands for both active and passive recreational activities, especially in areas of urban density.

Parklands Administration. The League:

  1. Supports cooperation and coordination among local, state and federal jurisdictions in providing and maintaining public parklands in Lane County;
  2. Recognizes that special districts for parks may provide better funding and have stronger citizen support than park departments within general purpose governments; however, they should be encouraged to work cooperatively with other jurisdictions;
  3. Supports well-defined channels for citizen input and review.

Parklands Funding. The League believes:

  1. Basic financial support for parks is a public responsibility;
  2. Funding for parks may come from a variety of sources, including but not limited to, property taxes, user fees, system development charges, special taxes, contracts, partnerships, grants and private gifts;
  3. Ordinarily there should be no special fees for routine, low impact use; user fees are appropriate for such things as group activities, special events, vehicles, overnight stays, special facilities, and special amenities.

Parklands Acquisition. The League believes:

  1. Acquisition and improvements of parklands and open space must be guided by a comprehensive plan;
  2. Acquisition of land for future needs should take place when available, even if development is postponed;
  3. Acquisitions and improvements are appropriately funded by, but not limited to, systems development charges, bonds, grants, enterprise projects, and donations;
  4. Consideration should be given to safety issues in park siting.

Action taken using this position

2006 Supported Eugene Parkland bond election.
2007 Endorsement of Ridgeline Area Vision Plan.
2009 Letter to the Lane Council of Governments endorsing the Willamette River Open Space Vision and Action Plan.
2012 Letter to the editor supporting a Willamalane Park and Recreation District bond measure to implement the district’s 20-year capital plan.
2014 Testimony to Eugene Budget Committee in January opposing cuts to library services and parks maintenance.

NATURAL RESOURCES

SOLID WASTE

Consensus 1972. 1989, Concurrence 1996, 2006

Position: The League of Women Voters of Lane County supports solid waste management policies that promote source reduction, resource recovery, and recycling. These policies should:

  1. Preserve air and water quality.
  2. Be compatible with sound land use.
  3. Be long range and flexible enough to accommodate new technologies and regional differences.
  4. Provide a uniform, equitable collection system in order to make it easier for the public to participate.

Waste Reduction
In order to decrease the quantity of waste material in need of handling and to use the least disposal capacity,

  1. Over packaging and planned obsolescence should be avoided;
  2. Containers (packaging) should be reusable, recyclable, or biodegradable; and
  3. The price of a product should more closely reflect the true cost to the public for disposal; for example, by taxing items which contribute significantly to disposal problems.

Public Education
Public education concerning solid waste problems should include:

  1. The contribution of various segments of society (individual, agricultural, industrial, municipal) to the solid waste stream.
  2. The alternatives to disposal of solid wastes in landfills and incinerators.
  3. The immediate and long-term economic and environmental benefits of source reduction, resource recovery, and recycling.

Action taken using this position

2012 Letter to Eugene City Council in support of a ban on single-use plastic bags for retail purchases.

SOCIAL POLICY,

ENDING VIOLENCE IN LANE COUNTY

Concurrence 1998

Position: Because the League of Women Voters of Lane County supports violence prevention and early intervention programs as more effective and less costly than incarceration; therefore, the League advocates the following:

  1. Agencies which provide early intervention and prevention services such as training children, youth and adults in life management skills, respect for self and others, and patterns of healthy parenting and family living;
  2. Programs in the schools which identify children at risk of being abused and of being potential abusers, and teaching skills in anger management and classes such as family life and parenting skill;
  3. Cooperation and consolidation of social service providers in Lane County;
  4. Programs, services and facilities for troubled girls adequate to meet their needs.

The League believes that effective violence prevention and early intervention programs are currently limited by inadequate funding and by lack of public recognition of their value. We, therefore, advocate for adequate funding and for public education of the value of these programs.

Action taken using this position

2010 Testimony to Citizen Advocates for Public Safety in support of a balanced public safety system that includes incarceration as well as program for adults and youth to address mental illness and substance abuse.
2012 Collaboration with Zonta in issuing a statement asking hotels and taxis to be aware of potential sex trafficking activities during the Olympic Trials.

ACTION BY THE LOCAL LEAGUE AT STATE AND NATIONAL LEVELS

STATE

2004 Opposition to Measure 37, broad land use planning changes.
2007 Support for Measure 49 to revise land use problems created by Measure 37.
2009 Letters to Oregon legislators representing Lane County urging them to increase revenues to balance the 2009-11 budget.
2012 Letter to Governor Kitzhaber asking that he oppose any action by the Oregon Water Resources Department to approve the request by Willamette Water Company for water rights to the McKenzie River. A similar letter to the editor was submitted and published.
2013 Letters to Senators Prozanski and Roblan in support of gun control measures.

NATIONAL

2008 Letters to Senators Smith and Wyden supporting adoption of a climate change bill.
2009 Letter to Representative DeFazio in support of the passage of the Affordable Care for America Act. 2011 Endorsement of the Statement of Principles of the Lane County Network for Immigrant Integration. This action was taken using the LWVUS position on Immigration.

A GLOSSARY OF LEAGUE ACTION TERMS

ACTION – Any action taken by a League board in support of an adopted League position or of the more general League Principles for the purpose of influencing governmental decisions.

ACTION ALERT –Official requests to members and other League boards from local, state or national boards when support is needed for particular legislation of League interest. Background data is included in the action alert. The president responds in the name of the League; members respond as individuals.

LOCAL PROGRAM – Those local governmental issues which have been adopted by the membership at the Annual Meeting for study and positions on previously studied items upon which action may be taken.

NATIONAL PROGRAM – National governmental issues chosen for concerted study and action by delegates to the League of Women Voters of the United States Convention and action to implement the Principles. When adopted, the program is carried out by all Leagues.

POSITION – An expression of the League point of view which has been reached by the study of a specific issue and informed member agreement through concurrence or consensus.

STATE PROGRAM – Governmental issues chosen by the delegates to the League of Women Voters of Oregon Convention for concerted study and action and also action to implement the Principles. When adopted, the program is carried out by all Leagues in the state.