Portland Street Tax Proposal Sparks Recall Effort

Recall Hales and Novick_thb

by Bob Clark

There is now an effort afoot to recall both Portland Commissioner Steve Novick and Mayor Charlie Hales.

Led by chief petitioner, Ray Horton, more than two dozen Portland citizens gathered this past Saturday, July 19, to support and launch an effort to recall both Novick and Hales.  These citizens are provoked into such action, in large measure, because the Commissioner and Mayor continue to push their street fee/tax proposal even though it has met with overwhelming opposition from citizens at town hall meetings and in City Council Chambers.

There is no shortage of examples of the City spending significant public sums without responsible prioritization, all the while neglecting basic services like street maintenance.  Yet Commissioner Novick appears at last Saturday’s recall meeting and expresses bewilderment as to why citizens think he should be recalled over his and the Mayor’s fee/tax proposal.

Rather than listen, he believes it is just a matter of finding the right new tax to impose.  He argued against implementing a new city income tax for funding street repairs only this past May 29th in Council Chambers.  At the time, he argued he feared rich citizens would mount an opposing campaign and defeat such an income tax measure.  He cited polling data showing significantly less than majority support for an income tax.  Now, however, he is suggesting he might just pursue such a new city income tax instead of a fee (attached to water bills), as he conducted yet another poll of citizens with an opposite outcome to the original poll.  Citizen trust of the Commissioner and Mayor is thin to begin with, but now the Commissioner is creating such uncertainty it is the Citizens who should be the ones bewildered.

Here is the link to the recall website

Here is a link to a Willamette Week interview of Ray Horton, chief recall petitioner

Both the Committee to Recall Novick and the Committee to Recall Hales are taking donations, and the addresses for these donations are the same as those for the respective petitions available at the recall website above.