Election season is around the corner, and Cannon Beach voters have a lot to consider this fall. Here’s what you need to know.
City Council positions: Two seats on the City Council and the mayor’s seat will be on the November ballot. The mayor’s race is uncontested, with incumbent Sam Steidel seeking re-election.
On the council, incumbent Mike Benefield, real estate agent Robin Risley, and hotelier and Cannon Beach Chamber board president Greg Swedenborg are vying for two council seats currently held by Benefield and George Vetter in the November election. Vetter has announced he is not seeking re-election.
Special election: Sept. 18
Fire Chief Levy: Voters will be asked to renew a five-year fire chief levy for the Cannon Beach Rural Fire Protection District. The levy covers the chief’s salary, vehicles, administrative costs and supplies, It will go up to19 cents per thousand of assessed property up from an average14 cents voted in five years ago. With the new rate, a homeowner would pay $19 a year on a $100,000 house. Earlier in the year, the board indicated an intention to keep the levy rate the same out of fear that voters would have “tax fatigue” from multiple levies and bonds coming on the ballot in November, but decided an increase was needed to cover growing costs.
Between 2019 to 2024, the levy is estimated to bring the district about $1.2 million over five years. The last levy brought in approximately $700,000 over five years.
General election: Nov. 6
County Marijuana Tax: Clatsop County voters will decide on the general-election ballot in November whether to place a 3 percent tax on recreational marijuana. Revenue from the handful of dispensaries outside city limits would be about $50,000 annually, county staff estimates.
The state ballot measure in 2014 that legalized marijuana sales gave cities and counties the ability to impose a tax of up to 3 percent if approved by voters in a general election. No recreational dispensaries existed outside city limits in 2016, the most recent general election. The tax would be effective 30 days after voter approval.
County Jail Tax: Voters will decide on the general-election ballot whether or not to support a $20 million bond to relocate the Clatsop County Jail from Astoria to Warrenton. If the bond is approved, the county would relocate the jail from Duane Street in Astoria to the former North Coast Youth Correctional Facility. Jail capacity would rise from 60 inmates to 148 with room for future expansion.
Am I registered to vote?
Voters must register by Aug. 28. to be eligible for the special slection Sept. 18, and by Oct. 16 for the general election.
Residents may register through the Clatsop County Elections Office, 820 Exchange St., at a U.S. Post Office, a public library, an Oregon Department of Motor Vehicles office or online at sos.oregon.gov/voting.