FRITZ BEATS DEADLINE
As we went to press, city council candidate Amanda Fritz reported that she'll almost certainly be turning in her final signatures and $5 contributions in her bid for public campaign financing on Monday, December 24, more than a month before they're due. Fritz, who successfully secured the funding for her 2006 primary campaign versus Commissioner Dan Saltzman, says that her second effort took almost the exact same amount of time as the first, despite major changes to the process that in some cases required tracking down supporters to fill in missing information on the more-detailed triplicate form. Fritz says she'll have collected all 1,000 signatures and contributions in two months and 20 days this time around, beating her previous time by a day, if she turns them in on Christmas Eve. AMY J. RUIZ
ADAMS' TRANSPO TAX
Commissioner Sam Adams made the rounds of media editorial boards last week, outlining his $821.9 million transportation funding package. The proposal—which is slated for a council hearing on January 9, followed by a vote on January 16, and is no longer heading to the ballot—will raise the cash over 15 years, through a fee on your water bill, a state gas tax (subject to the legislature's approval), and a county vehicle registration fee.
The money will pay for backlogged street maintenance, things like repaving arterials, replacing the Sellwood Bridge, a "signal optimization program," and fixes at high-crash intersections. There's also $24.2 million to boost the miles of bike boulevards in town, $3.2 million for the Safe Routes to Schools program (which would then be implemented at every elementary school in town), $12.4 million for adding sidewalks to arterials that lack them, and $2.9 million for a "trip reduction program."
As for not putting the city's fee—the extra money on your water bill—to a vote, Adams says, "It's a question of leadership. I'm willing to take the heat of enactment," even if that raises the possibility of a referendum effort. Opponents of the plan would have 30 days to collect 18,000 signatures to put it to a vote. AJR