Lane County Public Safety Measure Passes

May 22, 2013

The Lane County levy for jail and youth services passed with 56%. KLCC’s Lucy Ohlsen was at the yes-on-213 watch party, where Sheriff Thomas Turner celebrated with supporters.

  The Yes on 213 crowd cheers as it’s announced their measure passed. The five year property tax will allow Lane County Jail to increase jail capacity and provide treatment services for youth offenders. Sheriff Tom Turner couldn’t stop smiling.

Turner: “Oh my gosh, it feels wonderful.”

Nine public safety measures have failed since 1998. Turner says this time, with an informative campaign and doing exactly what voters requested, they got the tax to pass.

Turner: “It’s very difficult economic times, and people are very hesitant to have any tax. But they recognize that they’ve got to have this, and they recognize that there’s no alternative.”

In an estimated two months, the jail beds will be available again. Turner can’t wait for planning to begin.

Turner: “The really exciting thing is that we’ve been gearing up for it but you can’t quite push the button, because you don’t know. And we actually had to submit the budget with no measure, because you know you can’t count on it, it hasn’t happened. Now we get to move forward. We get to push that button and go full bore and get people hired, get everything done. Get the facility open. It’ll be really exciting.”

While this measure funds jail beds, the failure of the Eugene city fee means services like CAHOOTS and Youth Court will be cut.

Copyright 2013 KLCC