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March 27, 2013
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Letter: Get involved in local government and how it's regulated

Get involved in local govt.

Awaken! Our local governments are now making budget plans to obtain and spend your money. Do you care? If so, get involved. Volunteer to serve on budget committees, attend meetings, make your wishes known, seek board elected positions, etc.

Chapter 294 of the Oregon Revised Statutes prescribes required budget procedures. Whether intentionally or through lack of knowledge, some of our local government officials are not following some of Oregon’s budget laws.

Oregon law states that people must be allowed to discuss the proposed budget with the budget committee before it is approved by the committee. Budget committees can legally eliminate many of the items in proposed budgets, add new items, and increase or decrease many of the proposed dollar amounts.

The proposed budget is a public record and must be made available to the general public at the same time it is made available to members of the board, the budget committee and other officials.

Several local governments do not make their proposed budgets available to the budget committee members or to the general public far enough in advance of meetings for people to study them prior to the meetings. In some cases, both the committee and the general public could not obtain copies of the proposed budget until they entered the room for a meeting — very interesting. In a few cases, the general public could not obtain budget copies until after the proposed budget had been approved — very illegal.

It appears that some of our local government officials want a budget committee of “rubber stampers” and “me-too-ers” and very limited, if any, general public input.

Ray Cox


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The News-Review Updated Mar 27, 2013 12:14PM Published Mar 27, 2013 12:14PM Copyright 2013 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.