STATEWIDE Across Oregon, dozens of small-town planning commissioners and city council members have been resigning their posts in protest over a state ethics law that now requires formerly exempt rural public officials to complete a statement of economic interest form.
For weeks, local newspapers have reported the real and threatened flight of officials from Elgin, Enterprise, Brookings, Canyonville, Maupin, Umatilla, North Powder, Cover, Imbler, Island City, Joseph, Lostine, Wallowa, Nehalem, Milton-Freewater, Adair Village, Boardman, Irrigon, Gearheart and Rogue River. According to Ron Bersin, executive director of the Oregon Ethics Commission, 82 people had officially resigned as of mid-April, with “about 95%” of them saying it was the requirement to list direct relatives older than 18 and household members that was the biggest issue. Bersin said that the commission would review the issue in the next legislative session.
The forms also require that public officials disclose sources of income, property ownership in their jurisdiction, business ownership and office-related events.
Have an opinion? E-mail feedback(at)oregonbusiness.com