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July 2020

Home rule

As We See It: House Rule No Longer Exists in Oregon | Local

In 2016, Governor Kate Brown undermined two citizens’ rights protected by the Oregon Constitution when she signed into law Senate Bill 1573. The first was “Bylaws,” the constitutional protection of Oregon city charters from legislative interference. Second, his signing dealt a blow to citizen voting, the cornerstone of Oregon-wide planning goal 1, “citizen participation.”

Oregon is unique in many ways, including constitutionally allowing autonomy and autonomy. Under autonomy, cities and their citizens were empowered to create and modify their municipal charters (local control) without legislative interference. The Oregon Constitution states that “The Legislative Assembly shall not enact, amend, or repeal any charter or act of incorporation for any municipality, town, or city” (Article XI, Section 2).

In 1976 the voters of Corvallis amended their municipal charter to allow Voting on Annexations (VOA). Then as now, citizens wanted more control over the costs and impacts of annexations because development frequently drains local communities of badly needed money for new infrastructure. Builders and developers immediately attacked the Corvallis annexation vote and lost their case in the Oregon Supreme Court (Heritage Enterprises v. City of Corvallis).

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In 1995, Philomath ratepayers, also concerned about the impact on public development costs, overwhelmingly approved amending their annexation charter. City officials strongly opposed the voter charter change and did not implement it. Citizens were forced in 1996 to pass a second VOA charter change, again by an overwhelming majority. In the end, it took a court order (Matson v. City of Philomath) to honor the voters’ decision and the electoral mandate.

As citizens of Oregon communities asserted their rights to local control and VOA annexations, builders and real estate marketers funded several additional legislative and legal attempts to overturn local control, but they all failed. . By 2015, citizens of 34 Oregon communities had amended their charters to give their citizens a voice and a vote on most annexations. These events sent shockwaves through particular business and real estate interests.

What changed in 2016? Sen. Lee Beyer (D-Springfield) sponsored the legislation, SB 1573, authored by the Oregon Homebuilders Association and Oregonians in Action. The legislation violated Oregon’s Constitutional protection against legislative interference in community affairs and deviated from several High Court rulings. Moreover, by adding a bogus “emergency clause”, adding insult to injury, citizens were denied their constitutional right to challenge SB 1573 through a citizens’ referendum. It has effectively disenfranchised countless Oregonians concerned about how their cities are handling growth and who is paying for it. Governor Brown signed this legislation under the false mantra of “affordable housing.” Who says special interest influence can’t get you what you want?

The city of Corvallis, joined by the city of Philomath and the League of Oregon Cities, filed a lawsuit to overturn SB 1573 but lost in Benton County Circuit Court. Last month, the Oregon Court of Appeals upheld that decision and the plaintiffs decided not to appeal, so the lower court’s decision will stand.

The League of Oregon Cities website states that they “speak with one voice for all cities in Oregon to preserve self-governance”. Their primary directive is to defend member city self-government charters, and they were AWOL at the critical stage of the SB 1573 trial. But SB 1573 also opened the floodgates for additional legislative interference such as House Bill 2001, also by “emergency declaration”. The bill overrules local planning codes. It forces cities to build more multi-family housing, under the mantra of “affordable housing,” among other things, but it’s nothing more than another unfunded growth mandate from your political leaders in Salem.

Home government and self-government in Oregon have been sold off by politicians to the highest bidder, the gift that keeps on giving!

There is simply too much money at stake to let Oregonians decide their own fate or future. Oregon Land Use Planning: RIP.

Philomath’s Jeff Lamb and Salem’s Richard Reid were instrumental in changing their towns’ charters to require voter approval for annexations.

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Home rule

Clement Attlee broke the 1945 Labor Party promise of Scottish home rule

MARTIN Hannan’s profile of Attlee painted a fair picture of a good politician (How Far Labor Has Fallen, July 27). However, it should be remembered that Attlee did two notable disservices to the people of Scotland, in one case intentionally.

The 1945 Labor Party manifesto included a promise of ‘Home Rule for Scotland’ – something which had passed its second reading in 1914 and was lost without trace after the First World War. When Labor won its huge victory, Attlee decided that “as we have won, Scotland does not need self-government”.

READ MORE: 75 years since Clement Attlee as Prime Minister shows how far labor has fallen

Since then, the Scottish people have suffered from this lack of action on ‘home rule’: the sabotage of the Scottish Assembly vote of 1979 when the people voted Yes; the distortion of the 1999 vote, for a parliament with fiscal powers; the theft by deception of 6,000 square miles of Scottish waters – complete with six oil wells and all the fishing, in a successful attempt to further deceive the Scottish people of any oil advantage – was secretly transferred to English jurisdiction. All of these, which have allowed the oppression of the Scottish people to continue and worsen to this day, could perhaps have been avoided if Attlee had honored his manifest commitment.

Attlee’s government nationalized most major industries – coal, steel, railroads, power, etc. – of Scotland and England, for the benefit of all citizens. But when Mrs Thatcher’s government sold these things – which belonged to everyone and were paid for by everyone – she did not return Scotland’s to benefit the Scottish people, but sold them at a low price to his friends with only a loss for the most part. people (including people from England, Wales and possibly Northern Ireland).

Attlee forgot, or ignored, that the Parliament of Westminster operates under English law and the undemocratic English version of sovereignty (it resides with “the Crown in Parliament” rather than as in Scottish law “with the people”). This means that no parliament can bind another parliament, and therefore all laws can be changed at will – even by canceling the clauses of the Treaty of Union, breaches of which should render the whole treaty invalid.

Susan Forde
Scotlandwell

I would urge Alyn Smith MP to consider a second career as a folklorist because he can pass off platitudes as certainties like no other national columnist can (Indy will be won on center ground with sound policies, 29 July).

Of course, independence will only be won by bringing a broad swath of Scottish society into the center of the pitch, but any political ship must be anchored in the economic waters of either left or right analysis. Otherwise it will flounder considerably, as the SNP did in the disastrous Westminster election in 1979, as Scots were unsure what they were voting for beyond independence.

READ MORE: Alyn Smith: Independence will be won on center ground with the right policies

The political spin has certainly evolved over the past 40 years, but I can see a situation where, despite very optimistic polls for the SNP at the moment, its ship will run aground on the ambiguity of its policies, which Mr. Smith has the right to argue are “sane” but clearly aren’t.

For example, he obviously sees the Social Justice Commission working in partnership with the Regressive Growth Commission, but anything the Social Justice Commission does, such as the very laudable project to look at a universal basic income, will be like trying to build a granite house on a sand foundation.

Smith, the folklorist, would have us believe that it will take up to a decade for an independent Scotland to create its own currency. This fiscal reliance on a Tory-dominated Westminster would allow them to run wild promoting austerity, which would kill “sound” policies like a basic universal income.

I have no doubt that he is trying to genuinely enthuse SNP members in shaping their policies, but Smith really needs to ask if his colleagues at Westminster and Holyrood will listen. In recent years, the SNP has abandoned its traditional social-democratic ethos in favor of a centre/right economics menu and a pro-NATO centre/right defense policy, with a distinct seasoning of authoritarianism. as seen in both the Gender Recognition Act and the Hate Crimes Bill. It is certainly not a political program that will appeal to the ‘middle of central Scotland’.

Councilor Andy Doig (Independent)
Renfrewshire Council

YET another beautiful eagle killed on grouse moorland in Scotland. How many more will die on a grouse moor in the next five years as we wait for a ‘licensing’ system to start? Close the grouse moors now and encourage them to do something more profitable with the land, like planting trees.

C Tainch
Great

IS it just me who thinks it’s ironic that the Prime Minister who has led the UK through more than 56,000 Covid deaths, many of which could have been prevented, now thinks a diet is best for our health, at the same time as it kicks out our food safety standards and importing toxic waste for the masses?

Murray Forbes
Milngavie

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Self government

Remembering the day Uganda gained self-government

In the liturgical calendar, today is the first Sunday of Lent. Fifty-eight years ago on this day, Uganda achieved self-government, which in my Lugbara language is called “Ocema Ceni”.

On March 1, 1962, Benedicto Kiwanuka was sworn in as Prime Minister of Uganda, with a cabinet of 13 ministers which replaced the British colonial governor’s Council of Ministers. In substance, not much has changed, but symbolically it was a giant step for the Ugandan people’s struggle for self-determination.

On October 9, 1962, Uganda gained independence, or uhuru in Kiswahili, or driwala in Lugbara. Following the general elections of April 25, 1962, won by an alliance formed by the Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC) and Kabaka Yekka, a new Prime Minister, Mr. Apolo Milton Obote, was sworn in in a colorful ceremony held at Kololo Independence Grounds, in the presence of thousands of jubilant people, including the Duke of Kent who represented Queen Elizabeth II.

Ugandans, especially UPC members, have tended to claim that Obote, the first president of the UPC, was also Uganda’s first prime minister. Let me set the record straight, Benedicto Kiwanuka is Uganda’s first Prime Minister, although he held the post for a very short time.

Unlike Uganda and Kenya, it took five years for Ghana to gain independence on March 6, 1957, after gaining autonomy in 1952, with Kwame Nkrumah as Prime Minister.

I’m told this was the model the British originally planned to use to decolonize their former colonies, but in 1960 the UN General Assembly pressured Britain, France, Portugal and other colonial countries to speed up the process of granting independence to the colonies. countries and peoples.

I was in Year 2 at Sir Samuel Baker School in Gulu on that historic day Uganda achieved self-government, a day that was sadly treated as a footnote by the Ugandan government , especially by the corrupt, morally decadent and self-condemned government. click. Unlike in Kenya, whose Home Rule Day, June 1, 1963, is commemorated annually as a public holiday known as Madaraka Day, here in Uganda the NRM regime prefers to reopen old wounds by reminding citizens peaceful and peace-loving a bloody and fratricidal and useless civil war every year on January 26th.

The struggle for autonomy began in the 1940s, but concrete and decisive actions were taken to advance the cause in the 1950s and 1960s by the Uganda National Congress (UNC), the Democratic Party (DP) and the ‘UPC which were formed in 1952, 1954 and 1960 respectively.

Credit must be given to the visionary leaders and members of the above political parties who led a courageous, patriotic, relentless and selfless struggle for self-determination which culminated in the achievement of self-government on March 1, 1962.

Importance of self-government
First, the just and valiant struggle for Uganda’s self-reliance, human dignity and ultimately independence was not the struggle of one man, one party or one tribe. It was a collective struggle of Ugandans from all walks of life, from all parts of our country and from many political and social organizations.

Unlike some arrogant and self-centered contemporary politicians who behave as if Ugandans owe them a living, the vanguard of Uganda’s struggle for liberation from the yoke of colonialism, such as Ignatius Musaazi, Benedicto Kiwanuka, Milton Obote and Gaspero Oda saw themselves as servants of the Ugandan people, not masters and warlords of the wananchi.

Secondly, Uganda’s struggle for autonomy has received valuable support from friends and supporters abroad, such as Kwame Nkrumah from Ghana, Julius Nyerere from Tanzania, the Fabian Society, the Great Britain Labor Party Britain, church organizations and Sir Andrew Cohen who was a progressive, enlightened and reformist governor of Uganda, to name but a few. We owe them all gratitude.

Third, in my view, Ugandans must urgently rekindle the spirit that guided and motivated the struggle for autonomy and independence, in particular the commitment of political leaders to serve the Ugandan people and to place the interests common interests of Ugandans above and above personal, regional and partisan interests.

Fourthly, I think it is important for Uganda to remember our struggle for self-reliance, like Kenya and many serious African countries, so that Ugandans, especially our young men and women, do not forget the relevant and salient lessons of our history.

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Home rule

Executive Branch | Home Rule Discourse Resurfaces in Champaign County | Columns

Recently, discussion has resurfaced regarding whether to acquire home-rule status for Champaign County. The autonomy designation gives the county government the maximum authority to make autonomous local decisions.

Counties without Home Rule only have the power to make decisions specifically authorized by state law; internal counties have the power to make any decision that is not specifically limited by state laws, including the most debated one – increasing tax authority.

The Illinois Compiled Statutes 55 ILCS 5 /, also known as the Illinois County Code, describes the many powers and duties that the state legislature has delegated to the county government as well as the mechanisms available to fund these activities.

As a unique case, Cook County is currently the only county in Illinois with self-governing authority specified in the county code. Other counties may opt for self-government through a local electoral referendum, although none have currently done so.

Many activities carried out by county governments are mandated by the offices of county elected officials. These duties include functions such as keeping records of real estate transactions, holding local elections and establishing a county courthouse.

The county may pursue many other activities considered optional, depending on the needs and wants of local residents, and for some of these, additional special taxes may be levied by local referendum (such as mental health council) or fees (such as animal control). It is the responsibility of the county council to approve a balanced annual budget to accomplish its tasks, whether or not the county has autonomy.

It is unlikely that a single county could (or would) perform all the activities permitted by the County Code. If possible, another entity, including a municipality, can fulfill this role sufficiently by creating another special tax district (with the approval of the voters) or through a private company.

In Champaign County, this includes such efforts as running a library, park, or hospital. If this is not a local priority, some permitted activities, such as a zoo, may not exist at all.

There are many fundraising strategies available to counties to increase revenues or reduce expenses to balance their budgets. Home Rule gives county councils the ability to assess additional types of taxes and fees not specifically mentioned in the County Code as available to county governments, thereby expanding their authority.

Resident approval for proposed future tax increases rests with voters when they decide to accept national government status, instead of individually voting on referendum questions for specific types of increases.

As an additional consideration, the County Code requires that a county executive can veto board actions in order to balance the wider discretion of the county council in an autonomous county.

In 2018, residents of Champaign County adopted this form of government, which creates the third branch of county government by separating the executive and legislative functions of a traditional council.

However, like the other county in Illinois with an executive (will), residents approved this change in the structure of local government without conferring local government status.

The basic question is to what extent the county board has autonomy to make tax decisions, and self-government is likely to be debated again whenever county budgets tighten.

Darlene Kloeppel is Champaign County’s first executive, elected in 2018. Got a topic you’d like her to cover? She takes requests to [email protected]

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