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Lane County has until mid-August to decide charter amendments

Lane County commissioners (from L to R): Heather Buch, Pat Farr, Laurie Trieger, Ryan Ceniga, and David Loveall.
Lane County Government
Lane County commissioners (from L to R): Heather Buch, Pat Farr, Laurie Trieger, Ryan Ceniga, and David Loveall.

The Lane County Board of Commissioners could decide as soon as next week whether to revise its charter, which is a document similar to a constitution.

Which, if any, revisions move forward is still up for debate.

Commissioners are considering six ideas created by a group of volunteers they appointed, the Charter Review Committee.

During a meeting Tuesday, Springfield Commissioner David Loveall raised concerns about several of their proposals - especially getting rid of district names and creating an independent redistricting committee.

"I would say that the ship is still in choppy waters on all three of these issues," he said.

West Lane County Commissioner Ryan Ceniga suggested combining the committee's ideas with a controversial outside proposal that would create a more restrictive redistricting process.

That proposal - from local lawyer Stan Long - has been seen by some members of the public as a solution to what they saw as a broken redistricting process in 2021. The political lines drawn during that redistricting process would technically allow for all five commissioners to be Eugene residents.

Others - including a member of the county’s charter committee - have called it a “stealth gerrymander,” or said it could exclude young voters, and people of color from the process.

They’ll take the issue up again next week and have until Aug. 16 to determine which, if any, ideas will appear on the November ballot. Voters pamphlet statements will be due on Aug. 27.

Commissioners could also not take action on any of the proposals - or send them back to the committee for revision to put on a ballot in 2025.

Rebecca Hansen-White joined the KLCC News Department in November, 2023. Her journalism career has included stops at Spokane Public Radio, The Spokesman-Review, and The Columbia Basin Herald.
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