Bill Myers, who needs 841 registered voters to get his Taxpayer Bill of Rights, or TABOR, on the November ballot, fell short, collecting just over half that number.
He thinks because he had just three days to collect the signatures by the July 24 deadline, he did pretty well.
"Although I had hoped to collect all of the required signatures ....," Myers said by e-mail, "I am in no way disappointed that it will have to wait until at least March 20, 2009, for voters to decide. Whether it appears on the ballot in three months or in seven months is immaterial as the goals of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights are long-term in changing the way our government operates."
Myers said he has found "broad and wide-ranging support" for the TABOR - from those who disagree with the city and its actions in recent years to those who like the direction the city is headed in but would like to see checks and balances required under the TABOR, he said nearly everyone supports the concept.
"Despite the fear-mongering and broad, unsupported statements made recently by our current mayor and city council members," Myers said. "I, unlike those who oppose this effort, have faith in my fellow voters and the citizens of Hermiston."
The TABOR, said Myers, is his effort to provide the voters of Hermiston with an opportunity to decide for themselves what they feel is best for the city - regardless if they agree with him or not. He thinks that despite the short time frame - he started the initiative process in early June - he has accomplished a lot by submitting the initiative, passing the constitutional requirements, receiving a ballot title and beginning the signature-gathering process - all in 43 days.
"In the coming months, I intend to finish the signature-gathering and will submit all signatures prior to the deadline for the March 2009 election," Myers said.