LAKESIDE — Residents have no city tax base but they want law enforcement.
With this in mind, the city council has placed a measure on this November's ballot for a tax measure that would beef up police protection.
Councilors and some residents have collaborated with Coos County Sheriff Craig Zanni to get deputy protection.
Lakeside Councilor James Edwards highlighted the proposal in the community's newsletter, creatively named the Lakesidetonian Line. Edwards's guest column was published in the September issue.
Specifically, city officials have proposed a five-year local tax option levy of $2 per $1,000 of assessed property value.
"The revenue from this tax will be divided into three categories," Edwards wrote. "The first will allow the city to provide limited law enforcement service by contracting with the Coos County Sheriff or other law enforcement agencies. The second, because the law enforcement agencies will not enforce city ordinances or code violations, will provide for an abatement officer."
Then last of all, the new law would help provide for paying for a storm drain system upgrade.
Reached by phone, Mayor Dean Warner emphasized the need to pass the tax proposal.
"Well, number one we don't have a tax base," Warner said. "And we have a lot of people who have indicated they want police protection." Others want storm water runoff improvements "so that we don't have flooding in town."
For the mayor, it's an overarching question of whether residents desire "a modern city that can be cleaned up and be proud of or if they want it to go backward."
Councilor Edwards continued with his rationale.
"The need for this tax revenue has been made clear by the citizens voicing their desire to the city council for law, code and abatement issues," Councilor Edwards continued. "The need for storm drain repair is evident every winter by the flooding of certain streets, drainage ditches and yards within the city. If the tax levy passes, the city of Lakeside will be eligible to apply for certain grants available to Oregon cities, but not to us at this time, as we do not have a tax base."
Edwards stressed other points to area residents.
"It is the role of the local government to support and promote initiatives that will ensure community safety and security, maintain city infrastructure, and do all that can be done to enhance livability in our city, but we all share this responsibility."
"I hope the citizens of Lakeside will see this tax levy as a way to help us accomplish these goals for the future of our city," he emphasized.