John Day City Council & residents discuss future of police dept.

By on Wednesday, August 25th, 2021 in Eastern/Southeast Oregon News More Top Stories

JOHN DAY – The City of John Day’s police department is in jeopardy of dissolving due to budget shortfalls. The John Day City Council met last night, and a discussion regarding the future of the police department took place. No big decisions were made, but the city council as well as several members of the audience weighed in on the subject—including local 9-1-1 Coordinator Valerie Maynard, who agreed with Councilor Rookstool in saying the matter should be taken to voters in a regular election:

“You guys decided to put the levy on, and it’s a Special Election. Special Elections historically do not have the turnout that the General or Primary [Elections] do. Let’s put it back on the ballot. Let’s let it go to an election where it doesn’t have to be ‘fifty-plus-one’”.

In the Special Election on August 17th, 284 John Day residents voted in favor of the local option levy to fund a city police department and 169 voted against it. 38.9% of ballots were received, falling short of the “50% + 1” requirement for the special election. Had it passed, it was figured that a household with an assessed value of $100,000 would pay approximately $5 monthly in additional taxes to fund the department.

We’ll keep you updated on future discussions.