Last day surge pushes turnout to 36-percent in Lane County…
The final ballots were counted by 1:30 this morning, and the turnout in Lane County surged with more than 20-thousand ballots arriving in the final 24-hours alone as the May 15th primary election wrapped up. In the Florence and Mapleton areas, voters said yes by a slim margin, 53 ½ percent to 46 ½ percent, to a five-year $4-million operating levy for Western Lane Ambulance District.
West Lane Voters didn’t have a say, but there will be one new Commissioner on the Lane County Board next year as North Eugene’s Rob Handy was easily beat by Pat Farr. He picked up just over 59-percent of the vote. Handy finished with just over 30-percent and Nadia Sindi had about ten percent.. South Eugene Commissioner Peter Sorenson, facing his first opposition in his 16-years on the board won reelection over challenger Andy Stahl with 57 ½ percent of the vote.
In Reedsport, voters there were being asked whether or not any tax or fee increases approved by the city council there since August of 2010 and into the future should be put to a vote of residents. They said yes by a 60-40 margin.
Complete election results for Lane and Douglas Counties can be found at kcst.com.
New Number Two at Florence Police
Florence Police Sergeant John Pitcher will be promoted to Lieutenant effective July 1st. He’ll fill the spot that opened when Chief Ray Gutierrez was named Chief in January. Gutierrez said Pitcher’s new job will come with some duties new to the position as he took the occasion to do some reorganization.
Ray Gutierrez — “Our chief communication officer, we’re doing away with that position so his primary focus will be on communications. He’s going to oversee the jail during the day, and patrol operations, he’ll be the, he’ll be the secondary officer and on call.”
Pitcher won’t be facing all administrative duties.
Ray Gutierrez — “He’ll also be working some evenings when we feel the need to have extra staff. He’ll be filling in there as well.”
He’s been with the department for nearly 25-years.
Sheriff To Hear Local Concerns
In the one week period that ended last Friday there were 65 early releases from the Lane County Jail because of overcrowding. 11 of those, according to the Sheriff’s Office, were released before serving their complete penalty, including one prisoner who spent one day in jail on a 60-day sentence for assault. The remaining releases… 54… were all people who had been arrested and charged, but not yet faced trial. They were told to go home and report back for their trial when summoned.
The only problem, according to officials, is that there is no real penalty for not appearing. Lane County Sheriff Tom Turner will continue his Wednesday evening Q-and-A sessions around the county this evening in Florence. He’ll be at Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue to talk about those issues and more from six to eight pm.
Rhododendron Princess Angelina Perez is a senior at Siuslaw High School and being on the Rhody Court has been something new.
Angelina Perez — “It’s definitely been a different experience for me. I’m learning to walk in high heels, which I’ve never done before, and I’m also learning to put on makeup which I’ve also never done that before. They thought I was joking when I said I didn’t know how to, but… “
Perez is a volunteer firefighter with the Siuslaw Valley Fire Explorer’s Post and plans on attending Lane Community College in the fall. She and the other three princesses, Lindsay Free, Marisha Reavis and Samantha Rodriquez will compete for the title of Queen Rhododendra Friday night at the Florence Events Center.