HAPPY VALLEY, Ore. (KOIN 6) — A tax measure that would have guaranteed funding for Happy Valley’s police force for five years lost by just one vote.
Voters’ decision not to approve tax measure #3-462 means there are no funds designated for policing, which would ultimately result in the city losing its police force unless voters approve another levy in May.
The measure called for a property tax of $1.65 per $1,000, with the funds designated to pay for police services from the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, on contract.
Happy Valley Mayor Lori DeRemer said the impact on the community would be “severe.”
“The City Council is extremely concerned and disappointed about the levy failure,” she said. “I can’t imagine a city of 17,000 being lawless, it just wouldn’t make sense.”
City of Happy Valley Director of Public Safety said in a statement city officials were surprised, after three previous, similar levies passed easily.
“There are plenty of cities out there who do pay the Sheriff’s Office to show up and they’re not going to be happy with us if we get it for free and they’re paying,” DeRemer said.
The city said staff will conduct polling, research, police service reductions and public education campaigns in the lead-up to the May 2015 election, before officials craft another levy ballot measure.
Business owner David Golobay voted in favor of the measure.
” When you don’t have police, you’re protection is not there, it’s our safety net and to remove that and not vote in favor of that is dangerous,” he said.