Lauren Spector and Linda Bozack discuss the merits of the tax measure that appears on the May 21 ballot, in most voters' mailboxes this week.
The two andndash; and pup Meka andndash; are part of the campaign arm of the group supporting the tax measure, which if approved, is estimated to restore $4.5 million of law enforcement services in Curry County.
Spector and Bozack said they'd talked with five residents in the first hour they set up a table in front of the Brookings Post Office Monday. Five of those said they were in favor of the tax; a sixth said he was opposed to a portion of the measure that indicated to him the levy would enable the sheriff to provide armed deputies in the schools. A phone call to Sheriff John Bishop proved that wrong; it would provide juvenile services related to truancy.
The two admitted they weren't aggressively flagging people down to educate them about the levy, preferring "attraction rather than promotion," Spector said. "We'd rather attract them than attack them," she said.
The property tax levy asks residents in unincorporated Curry County for an increase of $1.97 per $1,000 assessed value and $1.84 per $1,000 for those living in cities.
If the measure fails, the county will have to further pare services, lay off more personnel and essentially close the jail. According to Josephine County Sheriff Gil Gilbertson, a similar tax failure there last year resulted in crime hikes up to 50 percent. Proponents are fighting to get public safety coverage up to 2007 levels; opponents say they don't need or use county services and are opposed to taxes in general.