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May 1st, 2013 12:01 am WW Staff | Elections

Chew on This

Sure, we’re about to vote on fluoride, but also on issues about kids and open spaces. Here are WW’s endorsements for the May 21 ballot.

Metro Measure 26-152

Natural Areas, Water Quality Levy: YES

After buying up more than 12,000 acres with money from ballot measures in 1995 and 2006, the Metro regional government is the largest owner of parklands in the tri-county region.

Now, Metro is asking voters for a new property-tax levy that would give it $10 million a year over five years to upgrade and maintain those lands. The levy would cost the owner of a $200,000 house about $20 a year.

Metro—led by a seven-member council—oversees a mishmash of responsibilities, including the Oregon Zoo, the Oregon Convention Center, land-use planning, and garbage disposal and recycling.

But open space fits right into Metro’s original charter, which calls for the agency to “preserve and enhance the quality of life and the environment for ourselves and future generations.”

About half the new levy’s money would go to facilities improvements, education and grants. Metro wants to use the new levy for such things as a new boat ramp for Sauvie Island, new restrooms at Oxbow Park, and a new channel in the Sandy River for fish.

About half would be spent on habitat restoration, including along the 90 miles of stream and riverfront Metro has acquired.

Part of what makes Portland an attractive place to live is the surrounding natural beauty. Voters have given Metro money in the past to protect natural areas from becoming strip malls or subdivisions. This measure helps Metro fulfill its mission as steward of those lands.

Measures:  26-151: Fluoridation | 26-150: Children's Levy | 26-152: Natural Areas

Portland Public Schools: Zone 4 | Zone 6 

Portland Community College: Zone 2 | Zone 4 | Zone 5

Multnomah Education Service District: Position 1 | Position 2 | Position 3

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