By Karen Hutchinson-Talaski
PENDLETON Voters on Tuesday gave some a reason to jump for joy and others a reason to be glum as a couple of tax measures failed, but two city charters passed.
Also in Tuesday's election, voters gave big wins to Umatilla County Commissioner candidate Larry Givens and Chris Brauer, who was seeking to become a circuit judge.
The Umatilla County Sheriff's Law Enforcement District local option tax failed to make the grade Tuesday, with nearly 52 percent of the votes cast to the ?no' side.
Sheriff John Trumbo said he was "a little disappointed.
"There were a lot of money measures," Trumbo said. "It seems like anything with money attached people voted against."
The local option tax would have given the department $0.59 per $1,000 of assessed value for five years beginning with the 2007-08 fiscal year. The tax would have been paid by taxpayers who own property outside of the incorporated areas of the county. The money was to be used to hire more deputies and update equipment.
Despite his best efforts, Trumbo felt people did not seem to understand what the money was being used for. He said the backlash from the recall effort, mounted by Margaret Schoen this summer, contributed to the option tax defeat. He does not intend to try to bring the local option tax before voters in the May 2007 primary.
"Informed voters, by reading the guide, would have known how the money was to be spent," Trumbo said. "I encouraged people to call me with questions. Only one person called."
In other races, Umatilla County District Attorney Christopher Brauer defeated local attorney Annetta Spicer in a bid for the new Sixth District Circuit Court Judge seat. Spicer beat Brauer in Morrow County by 458 votes but lost out to Brauer overall by 2,352 votes.
Umatilla County Commissioner candidate Larry Givens beat out challenger Bob Reese, 9,403 to 7,680 votes. The win will put Givens in the Board of Commissioner's seat now held by Emile Holeman, who is retiring after 16 years.
In Echo, incumbent mayor Richard Winter defeated his opponent, Don Lancaster, by 62 votes, earning 116 votes to Lancaster's 54 votes.
Both Umatilla and Stanfield's mayors will have four-year terms rather than two-year terms, thanks to the passage of their city charter revisions.
The passage of both charter revisions will give Umatilla and Stanfield the ability to borrow money to allow, in the case of Stanfield, to pay for a much-needed sewer system. For Umatilla, the revision has "basically cleaned up and modernized" the old city charter, says City Manager Larry Clucas.
Umatilla's charter revision also changes the government from a city administrator-type of government to city manager something that Clucas has been doing for the last couple of years per a city ordinance.
However, one city councilor in Umatilla will not be returning to his seat on Jan. 1.
Johnathan Edwards defeated incumbent Rick Funderburk by 78 votes in that race. Both Bill Meade and Cindy Roxbury defeated their challengers, Alvin Young and Richard Stokoe.
Current District 57 State Rep. Greg Smith won handily over opponent Tonia St. Germain. Smith beat Germain 14,084 to 6,039 votes.
Republican state Rep. Bob Jenson beat out Democrat Ben Talley in Jenson's bid for re-election for District 58 state representative, earning 68.64 percent of the vote of Talley's 31.15 percent.
The Echo Fire District's levy passed with 60 percent of voters saying yes and 35.98 percent of voters voting no.
The Umatilla School District's levy also did not pass 433 yes votes were cast versus 510 no votes.
The only ballot measure to pass in Umatilla and Morrow counties but fail in the final statewide tally was Measure 43, which would require a 48-hour notice to parents before an unemancipated minor could have an abortion. Umatilla County voters cast 11,200 yes votes and 7,426 no votes. Morrow County cast 1,725 yes votes and 1,305 no votes.