REDMOND, OR -- Redmond officials continue to discuss the possibility of imposing a six dollar monthly public safety fee, "To bring on board six officers," says Mayor George Endicott, "So, some would go on patrol duty, some would be specialized into things like some of our task forces."
Endicott believes adding the additional charge to monthly utility bills, the Redmond Police Department could help an understaffed police department. He tells KBND News, "Our crime rates are not the best in Oregon, and a lot of that is drug driven. So, some of these folks that are the new officers that will come on board will be dealing with that project in particular. We also don’t have enough officers on duty during the day for traffic and those sorts of things, so we’ll add an officer to each of the shifts if Council goes ahead and approves it."
The first of a series of public meetings took place this week, which drew about 40 people. Mayor Endicott says there was, "A lot of input, a lot of interest – as you’re always going to get, a couple of people want no fee- no tax. Overall, I think that staff did an excellent job – and Lt. Chambers from the police department – in talking about the need and why it’s a fee instead of property tax, that sort of thing." So far, the fee is still just a proposal, "That’s what we’re trying to decide. I’m not sure we really have the answer yet. I mean, I don’t want to pay it either. We just have to keep watching and, is it so necessary that Council is willing to vote in the fee?"
Two more community feedback open house sessions are scheduled:
Tuesday, December 5 at 5:30 p.m.
Monday, January 22 at 5:30 p.m.
Both take place at Redmond's City Hall and include a presentation and question/answer session. Mayor Endicott expects Council will vote on the proposal by spring.