Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on February 5th, 2008 at 12:19 pm
According to a source inside City Hall, Oregon Petroleum Association lobbyist and architect of the Street Fee opposition Paul Romain will not attempt a referral of Commissioner Adams’ street maintenance funding plan. Instead, he is expected to attempt to repeal the plan using Portland’s initiative process.
According to Portland City Code Section 2.04.090, Romain would have to get his initiative signed by equal or greater than 9 percent of Portland’s registered voters. Based on the May 2006 primary vote, that number was 27,255 signatures (after the upcoming May 2008 election, the Auditor would re-calculate the required number).
Since the City Auditor Gary Blackmer recently said a vote on the ordinance wouldn’t happen until November 2008, as per City Code, the petition signatures wouldn’t be due until July 7th.
According to people familiar with the process, the main difference with the initiative process as opposed to the referral process (besides the signatures) is that with the initiative, the ordinance in question would go into effect as passed and would have to essentially be “overturned with a legislative act”, whereas with a successful referral, an ordinance would not go into effect until the vote.
The “Safe, Sound, and Green Streets” plan, which seeks to raise $464 million for road maintenance and includes $24 million in bike safety improvements, has been mired in political maneuvers since it was passed by City Council in early January.
A message left for Romain at the Oregon Petroleum Association office has not been returned.