SOUTH COAST — In the final hours before 8 p.m. on Tuesday night, voters cast ballots in the 2020 Primary Election.
With few contested races on the ballot, what was on lots of voters’ minds were local ballot measures.
In Coos County Measure 6-178 was on the ballot to determine if 20 cents per $1,000 of assessed value should be given to the 911 radio system. If passed the measure might cause property taxes to increase more than 3%.
“I had a lot of questions on that one thinking of years back. We have been given money for our county and I just don’t know why they didn’t do it back then instead of the amount of money they’re asking for homeowners to pay. Because 911 is a system that you need,” said local voter JJ Kellum on Tuesday night after dropping her ballot off in Coos Bay.
“I voted no. I’ve been in emergency services in disasters, search and rescue and those kind of things. So I know why we need it. I just feel the way that the funding was done before, it makes a concern.”
For Jana Nettleton, she voted for the measure in an effort to help out first responders.
“They saved my husband’s life,” said Nettleon. The local radio system is used by 16 fire agencies, 12 police agencies and three ambulance services.
“He had passed out on New Year’s Eve and we went to the hospital, we had done it a few times. Well this time he was on the monitor when they released us and I helped him get his jacket on and he passed out. His heart had stopped for 10 seconds. So that’s when they get the big guys in and gave him a pacemaker.”
Elsewhere on the ballot, North Bend residents voted on whether the public safety fee should be reduced from $30 to no more than $15.
“I voted for it because I don’t think it’s right that we voted it down and then they turned around and voted for more. And yeah, I don’t think that’s right,” said Carol Fleury, a North Bend resident.
“We voted it down at $25 for the water tax bill and they put it at $30 and I just think that was underhanded and I don’t agree with it and I think there needs to be more transparency on where they’re spending our money and I don’t think there’s enough.”
In Reedsport, final votes were coming in on a ballot that consisted of primarily uncontested races.
“We in Douglas County didn’t really have any issues (on our ballot), it was just people,” said Dennis Ferenczi. “I mean, I happen to be a Republican so basically none of the people I voted for are going to get elected anyway. It’s pretty much a waste — it’s not a waste of my time, I feel better about doing it.”