The League of Oregon Cities has set its priorities for the 2019 Oregon Legislature, and many city officials are standing with the LOC, including Pendleton City Manager Robb Corbett. He says what the state wants is often quite different from what cities need.
“Oftentimes, what the state will want to do is to take decisions out of the hands of cities and mandate to cities how they should govern,” Corbett said. “Home rule is constantly a topic of consideration.”
The league has set six main priorities. First on the list is for the state to invest heavily in mental health. The organization and its supporters believe that by not keeping pace with mental health services, the lawmakers have dumped the problem into the laps of cities and counties.
The second priority is revenue reform and cost containment – especially in the area of reforming the Public Employees Retirement Service and the property tax structure. The third priority is improving programs for housing and homelessness throughout the state to help cities plan for affordable housing and long-term solutions to homelessness.
Other priorities are financing for infrastructure projects; maintaining cities’ control over right-of-way and franchise fee authority and investing in broadband development; and preserving third-party building inspection.