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Trio pushes for measure to limit Cob funding

A former Klamath County commissioner is pushing for a ballot measure that would prohibit use of public funds for the proposed Cob power plant.

Clif McMillan is one of three petitioners listed on the preliminary paperwork for a ballot measure filed at the county clerk's office this week. Gary Long and Ray Cowan are the other petitioners. All three are Klamath Falls residents.

The proposed ballot measure, which will go before voters in March if it meets state standards, doesn't mention the Cob power plant specifically, but says that no public resources could be used "in support or furtherance of any fossil fuel fired electrical generating facility." Cob would be natural-gas fired, and fall under the guidelines of the measure.

The proposed ballot also specifically forbids a tax enterprise zone, such as the one being considered by city and county planners, which would waive the majority of taxes the power plant would have to pay for the first 15 years of its existence.


McMillan has been a vocal opponent of the Cob power plant, and testified publicly against a tax enterprise zone during city council meetings in August. He said the city council would be exceeding its political authority by "leaps and bounds" if it approved the zone.

The petition McMillan filed on Tuesday is only the first step in the creation of a ballot measure - it will still have to be approved by County Clerk Linda Smith and withstand a public test before making its way to voters.

Smith also isn't sure if the petition was filed in time for the four month deadline before the March 9 elections. The petition was filed on Tuesday, the last possible day.

Smith has seen the proposed ballot in various forms since August, but has previously rejected it for containing too many issues bundled into one measure.

If Smith finds that this petition meets all of the standards, the petition will then have to:

n Go to the district attorney's office to be named.

n Be published in the newspaper with a notice that the public can challenge it.

If the measure makes it through the week unchallenged, McMillan and the other petitioners can start collecting signatures - they will need to garner 6 percent of the total number of voters who cast ballots in the last governor's election. As of right now, that means they would need 1,292 signatures.






Page Updated: Thursday May 07, 2009 09:14 AM  Pacific

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