Washington County Democrats Pass Resolution Regarding North Plains Ballot Measure 34-327

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At our Central Committee Meeting on Wednesday, April 24th, the Washington County Democrats passed a policy statement regarding the potential outcomes for Measure 34-327.

Here are some thoughts from our party Chair, Martita Meier, about the policy statement:

The Central Committee of the Washington County Democrats passed an emergency resolution at our April CC meeting. This has been a hot topic of discussion and debate from early on in this election cycle. We first began taking a look at Measure 34-327  in light of whether or not our new Measures, Bonds, and Levees committee wished to put forth a recommendation to endorse the asks of the measure itself. The committee chose to put forth no recommendation (meaning we remain neutral), and the Central Committee agreed. We felt that it was a complex issue that needed to be democratically chosen by the people of North Plains.

This issue came up again from a policy standpoint after a vote was taken in the Legislature limiting the use of ballot measures to review certain local government proposals to modify the local government’s Urban Growth Boundary (HB 4026).

After the passage into law, it was decided that the measure would remain on the ballot. The legitimacy of the measure will now be taken up in court. The Washington County Circuit Court has ruled that Measure 34-327 will remain on the May ballot.

It was the opinion of our Policy and Resolution Committee that the Washington County Democrats should recommend recognition of the results of this measure via an emergency resolution that states:
1.  We urge the North Plains City Council to support allowing city residents to express their desires via Ballot Measure 34-327 in the May 2024 election.
2. We ask that the North Plains Planning Commission and City Council carefully consider the outcome of Ballot Measure 34-327 and, if residents vote against the proposed UGB expansion, make a good faith effort to modify the expansion utilizing a process that includes both city residents and others concerned with the future of North Plains and the surrounding area.

This resolution passed with a vote of 30 in favor and 2 against.

Some Precinct Committee Persons are concerned about the specific facts that are laid out in the measure, but what was felt most strongly was that if the people of North Plains vote against the proposed UGB expansion, we are hopeful that local electeds would take the results of that measure to heart.

We believe that the courts will ultimately decide how to deal with urban growth boundary questions, now and in the future. Are decisions to expand Urban Growth Boundaries administrative in nature or are they legislative? Regardless of that outcome, it is fair to say that the electeds of North Plains have the power to consider the results accordingly. They will have choices on the next action steps they take regarding the future and fate of North Plains.

The Washington County Democrats are hopeful that the voice of democracy will prevail, and that the people of North Plains will be satisfied with the outcomes of democracy.

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  • The ballot measure that the North Plains citizens will vote on in May is 34-327
  • The Oregon House bill limiting the review of certain local government proposals to modify the local government’s urban growth boundary is HB 4026
  • The decision the North Plains Council made to expand was North Plains Ordinance 490

Sincerely,

Martita Meier, Washington County Democrats Chair

The text of the Resolution can be found here >