Northwest Oregon Labor Council backs Lake Oswego school and Columbia County jail

The Nov. 5 general election is a quiet one for the Northwest Oregon Labor Council (NOLC). The council has endorsed only two measures this election cycle. NOLC supports renewing a Lake Oswego school levy, and it supports a jail operations levy in Columbia County.

Lake Oswego School District/ Measure 3-434 is a five-year local option levy for school education programs. This is a renewal of the existing school levy, so tax rates will not go up. The levy is $1.39 per $1,000 of assessed property value.

NOLC endorsed the levy at the request of Melissa Siegel, Chapter 12 president of the Lake Oswego School Employees Association.

Columbia County/Measure 5-234 is a four-year local option levy to operate the county jail. If passed, the levy would add 58 cents per $1,000 of assessed value to property tax rolls. If it fails, County Commissioner Tony Hyde told union officials the jail is  likely to shut down completely.

The Portland Tribune reported in September that 600 inmates have been released ahead of sentencing in 2013, eclipsing the 582 early releases in 2012, all because of funding restraints.

The proposed levy would restore 75 beds for local use, fund five additional corrections deputies, one technician, and one supervisory position, and provide constitutionally required food, clothing, management, and health care to inmates.

Measure 5-234 also has endorsements from Oregon AFSCME Council 75 and United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555.

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