NORTH BEND — North Bend Citizens for Good Faith Government are now collecting signatures to have two measures put on the May ballot regarding the city of North Bend’s public safety fees.
“So far our petition signature drive has been extremely successful due to the tireless efforts of the dedicated volunteer teams that have been canvassing North Bend neighborhoods and manning tables every day inside the Pony Village Mall over the last couple of weeks,” said Jim Rose with NBCGFG.
The purpose of the local ballot initiatives are to seek a rollback of the current $30 public safety fee charged on the water bill of every household and business within the city, and to require that any future additional fees or rate increases within the city of North Bend be approved by voters.
One of the two ballot initiatives was appealed by NBCGFG, because the title describing the initiative was changed from the original submission to include language the group felt was biased. Coos County Circuit Court Judge Martin Stone sided with the citizen group, and after more discussion the judge issued a revised ballot title.
“In spite of losing almost two weeks due to the ballot title appeal process, we are confident that we will reach and surpass the required number of signatures needed to get the measures on the ballot,” Rose said.
Since the issue with the ballot title was cleared up, petitioners have started collecting signatures in hopes to meet the Jan. 15 deadline to get the measures on the May ballot. Folks with NBCGFG have been set-up in Pony Village Mall and going door-to-door.
“We’re over halfway to the 1,110 signatures we need on the reduction of the public safety fees initiative to get it on the ballot,” Rose said.
According to Rose, there have been around 20 to 25 active volunteers who have contacted his group to help gather signatures.
Rose said the vast majority of folks that have been visited door-to-door have been signing at least one of the two petitions.
“If you want to talk conversion ratios of knocks on doors with people actually answering with signatures, it’s like 95 percent,” Rose said. “There are some people who will sign one petition and not the other.”