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Ballot Measure 02-86

Data Does Not Support Hiring More Police in Corvallis

Last Modified: 11/27/13
First Published: 12/02/12
Comments: 12 Views: 4119
Last week when the Collaboration Corvallis Steering Committee met the only finding the Steering Committee did not vote in the affirmative to send to Corvallis City Council was a request to hire more Corvallis Police Officers. Several members of the Steering Committee and testimony during visitors' propositions raised concerns over the efficacy of hiring more police and the cost of such hiring.

city of corvallis data
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After reading through the data provided in the on-line packet from the Administrative Services Committee, meeting on Wednesday December 5th, the data does not support hiring more police. The data showed that the 2012 population in Corvallis, 54,520, is actually down from 2011, 55,370, and is below the population of 2008 at 54,890. The Corvallis school census is 6,364 in 2012 down from 7,097 in 2003.

The data shows that even with the substantial increase in enrollment at Oregon State University there is still an overall decline in population in Corvallis. One must conclude that as older residents pass on they are not being replaced by births and further not being replaced by new families coming to Corvallis.

One must further conclude that decisions should be made on "Data". The data does not support hiring additional Police officers. The responsibility ought to rest with Oregon State University and President Ed Ray to find the dollars required to provide the appropriate level of Public Safety on campus and in the nearby neighborhoods where students reside. Extrapolating the data at another level one must conclude that without the increase in students at OSU the population of Corvallis would reflect a steeper negative trend.

Additional data shows that about 1 in 4 jobs in the Corvallis area come from Oregon State University. The number of Corvallis City employees in 2012 is about 402 the number of City employees in 2003 was 403. One last piece of data Hewlett Packard had 3,400 employees in 2003 more than 9% of the area total. The number of Hewlett Packard employees in 2012 is 1,700 about 4% of the area total.

This information can be referenced on the City of Corvallis website. Click on the calendar for December 5th, Administrative Services Committee Meeting, Pages 175,176 and 178.


Path to a Sustainable Budget for Corvallis Goes Through City Hall

Last Modified: 11/22/13
First Published: 10/12/13
Comments: 2 Views: 818

Last Tuesday, October 8th,  The Corvallis Budget Commission convened with the purpose of hearing from Jim Patterson, Corvallis City Manager, on his plan to present a framework for a "Sustainable Budget".

The intent of course is to bring Corvallis back from the brink of financial chaos, six percent increase in costs yearly with less than a three percent increase in revenues yearly. This matter has been put into the lap of Corvallis' voters by way of ballot measure 02-86.

There was one sentence spoken by Corvallis City Finance Director Nancy Brewer that was perhaps not heard or perhaps overlooked in the wash of words that took place that evening. Fundamentally that one sentence spoken by Nancy Brewer is the "keystone" for the entire process of sustainability.

In responding to comments from a member of the Budget Commission Ms. Brewer referred to the goal as "Jim's Goal"!  Excuse me but it seems to me that there in that one simple two word utterance is the problem. This process is not just "Jim's goal", but it is the goal of the City and one would hope the goal of Jim Patterson's senior staff.

Yes, there is a great deal to do to get to that "sustainable Budget" we always hear about, bringing aboard senior staff might be a good first step.


Child Care in Oregon Costs 18% of Median Income

Last Modified: 11/15/13
First Published: 11/04/13
Comments: 1 Views: 692
According to a report on the CNN Money website, in Oregon the average care for an infant represented more than 18% of the median income for a married couple last year. 

One can question why this is so. Per the data supporting this report: Blame it on differences in labor costs, state regulations and cost of living expenses, such as housing, food and utilities.

Last year, average center-based child care costs rose by nearly 3% nationwide, according to a report from the nonprofit Child Care Aware of America. 

To determine affordability, Child Care Aware compared average child care costs to the state's median family income. Oregon was the least affordable state, with average care for an infant representing more than 18% of the median income for a married couple.

Least affordable states for child care
State Avg. cost of center-based infant care Median income for married couple Percent of Income
Oregon              $13,452                           $72,226                     18.60%                                               
New York      $14,939                           $90,725                     16.50%                                       
Minnesota      $13,876                             $89,608                     15.50%     
Massachusetts  $16,430                           $109,090                          15.10%
Colorado       $12,736                             $85,137                        15.00%

The unanswered question is how will this trend continue? Have these costs already impacted families in Corvallis as evidenced by downward trends in school enrollment in Corvallis School District 509J?

Will increased taxes in Corvallis and Benton County and fewer families with school age children be a continuing trend? Probable perhaps, possible definitely when compared to school census data for Corvallis School District 509J since 2004 and recent history of tax levies as a necessity to run Corvallis Government. 

Young families with school age children are essential to the health of any community. Are these facts relevant to the needs/wants analysis in looking forward at future planning for current leadership in Corvallis? Time will be the final arbiter of this conundrum.


What Next Now That The Friends of Corvallis Were Successful in Passing Measure 02-86?

Last Modified: 11/07/13
First Published: 11/06/13
Comments: 9 Views: 589

What next now that The Friends of Corvallis have succeeded in passing Measure 02-86?

Perhaps it will take a day or two or maybe even a week for those that supported measure 02-86 to take a step back and fully capture the essence of what they were able to accomplish and what unintended consequences were also achieved with this victory.

Looking at the numbers is always important; Something like an after action report. Many years ago, something like 40 years ago, a mentor of mine would always posit "Let's see what we really have here". That gentleman was typically prescient knowing that there are always conditions of approval with any success.

Looking at the numbers without any preconceived assumptions one can see that in 2011 measure 02-74 passed with a significant margin of victory 65% for and 35% against raw numbers 8,656 votes in favor and 4,593 against measure 02-74 with a voter turnout of about 47%. (Note: Curtis Wright of the Friends of Corvallis provided the 47% number as being correct for Corvallis; the 39% turnout was the voter turnout percentage for all of Benton County).

Yesterday measure 02-86 passed with a margin 52% for and 48% against. This in raw numbers is 6,130 for and 5,636 votes against measure 02-86. Voter turnout yesterday was nearly 44%.

What does all this data mean? Well, doing some quick math the percentage of voters casting their ballots went down from nearly 47% to  about 44%.

Further analysis shows that the number of yes votes declined from 8,656 to 6,130. This is significant, a nearly 30% decline in yes votes. The number of no votes went from 4,593 in 2011 to 5,636 yesterday. That is an increase of 1,043 or nearly a 23% increase.

Extrapolating this data further shows that there was a substantial increase in "No" votes with a lower voter turnout. Some of the "Yes" votes from 2011 were "No" votes yesterday.

The difference of just less than 500 "yes" vote margin would have been turned into a defeat of measure 02-86 had the voter turnout been say 55% instead of 44%.

One factor in this hypothesis is that in the friends of Corvallis voter block one could reasonably conclude at least 90% voted yes and voter turnout was most likely near 100% for the Friends of Corvallis.

Therefore one could postulate there will be a heightened level of concern/caution in how future Tax Levies are crafted.  The higher the percentage in voter turnout makes the case that it would be a slippery slope to climb to achieve passage of the next tax Levy by Corvallis voters.


Ballot Measures 02-86 and 02-87 Pass in Corvallis

Last Modified: 11/05/13
First Published: 11/05/13
Comments: 0 Views: 498
 PRECINCTS COUNTED (OF 11) .  .  .  .  .            11  100.00
           REGISTERED VOTERS - TOTAL .  .  .  .  .    32,165
           BALLOTS CAST - TOTAL.  .  .  .  .  .  .    14,144
           VOTER TURNOUT - TOTAL  .  .  .  .  .  .    43.97

          02-86  City of Corvallis Local Option
          Vote For  1
           Yes  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     6,130   52.10
           No.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     5,636   47.90

          02-87  City of Corvallis Annexation
          Vote For  1
           Yes  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     7,781   68.20
           No.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .     3,628   31.80


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