Day: January 4, 2011

McKane resigns council position, was pressed to change vote on telecom fee

(Editor’s note: PDF copies of documents referenced in this story are available at the bottom of this page.) By JASON COX Of the Keizertimes Councilor David McKane resigned Monday night, citing pressure to change his vote on a 3 percent telecom fee and “recognition that I have little influence regarding council decisions.” Upon the Keizertimes’ request McKane provided an e-mail exchange between himself and Mayor Lore Christopher. In it, Christopher said she “asked you to speak your mind and then vote with the council and make a statement similar to statements made by Councillor [sic] McGee when he disagreed with a council majority so that the city could move forward. “You refused, voted in opposition, and gave our oponents [sic] three extra weeks to prepare for battle against our city, costing taxpayers more time and money to fight an overwhelmingly strong majority on the council. “In my opinion, this was not a leader or a statesman, this was an individual exercising his right to continue to vote against the majority when he knew the outcome. It was a hollow vote.” The telecom fee proposal was an ordinance, requiring unanimous approval to be passed on first reading. If there is dissent – McKane was the lone ‘no’ vote – it must be passed again on second reading at a future council meeting. It should be noted McKane told the Keizertimes...

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Gun found at McNary was stolen

A gun found at McNary High School in November was stolen, police said Tuesday, but officers aren’t saying whether they know who brought it on campus. The agency released information Tuesday indicating the gun was reported stolen a day after it was reported found, alongside ammunition, at the high school. Anyone with information, particularly students wishing to remain confidential, are encouraged to call 503-856-3529. On Monday, November 8, a physical education teacher found a 9-millimeter Taurus handgun inside backpack that was in a lost-and-found bin, along with two fully-loaded clips and a box of ammunition. Police aren’t aware of any threats associated with the handgun, Keizer Police Capt. Jeff Kuhns said. Kuhns, the agency’s public information officer, said detectives are still waiting on reports from the Oregon State Police Crime Laboratory. He said detectives are focusing on the theft of the handgun, people with opportunity to steal it, and its “subsequent discovery at McNary High School three days later.” On Tuesday, Nov. 9, a handgun was reported stolen from the 5300 block of River Road N., and officers concluded the stolen gun was the one found at the school. The theft victim, Oscar Davila, reported he thought it was stolen between noon and 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5, as it sat in an unlocked car. The victim, along with his 15-year-old son – who had stayed home from school...

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Councilor McKane resigns

Keizer City Councilor David McKane resigned Monday night, hinting at his reasons in a quick Tuesday morning conversation with the Keizertimes. “After six years on the city council, there was a chain of events, and I came to the conclusion I wasn’t being very effective,” McKane said. “There was some discussions I had with the mayor, she was disappointed in some of my minority votes. I just didn’t think I was being useful anymore.” More later. View Resignation...

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Ballot title draws legal challenge

Cell phone fee opponents are challenging the ballot title for a referendum putting the funding question to voters. Donald Erich, a chief petitioner and committee member of Citizens Against New Telecom Taxes, filed the suit last week in Marion County Circuit Court last week. He’s represented by Nathan Rietmann, a Salem attorney who is the committee’s treasurer. Because it’s a referendum at the city level, the circuit court will have the final say. Reitmann’s Dec. 23 filing calls the ballot title, caption and summary written by City Attorney Shannon Johnson “insufficient” and “unfair.” Reitmann argues the title and caption don’t “reasonably identify the subject” of the referendum. He also argues they don’t “reasonably identify that the measure will have the actual major effect of imposing new licensing requirements of telecommunications providers.” Reitmann stated in his filing that registration and the license telecom providers will be required to obtain are not “synonymous” in common speech. He also raises issue with Johnson’s description of a telecom fee, saying it should be described as a tax because it raises general fund revenue “to be used on programs that are for the benefit of the Keizer residents generally, “as opposed to “administering a regulatory program … or to respond to regulatory needs occasioned by the telecommunications providers on whom the imposition would be imposed.” City Manager Chris Eppley has stated in the past that...

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