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Ex-commissioner files revised ballot measures

Published August 15, 2004

By LEE JUILLERAT - H&N Staff Writer

He was blocked in an attempt to put one power plant initiative on the ballot in Klamath County, so Clif McMillan has come back with six new ones.

The former county commissioner said all six are intended to limit the ability of the Klamath County commissioners "to encourage the Cob project through economic sweetheart deals."

The proposed measures were filed Friday at the county clerk's office. They would ask voters to decide whether:

n The project should be denied any property tax preference from the county.

n The project should be denied any property tax relief from the county.

The county should be prohibited from participation in any economic development program to benefit the project.

The county should be prohibited from participating in granting any economic incentive to the project.

The county should be prohibited from all preconstruction involvement with the project

The county should be prohibited from spending any money on the project.

Last week McMillan submitted a petition to County Clerk Linda Smith seeking to overturn "property tax preference and other economic incentives and support from Klamath County" for the proposed 1,160-megawatt power facility planned near Bonanza.

Smith rejected the petitions on the grounds that they addressed more than one topic. The constitution forbids that. McMillan has appealed the decision in district court in Klamath County.

"The county seems to want to play word games," McMillan said. "We will see if the clerk finds grounds to disqualify any of these titles. I think my objective is quite clear, and I have never been known to be at a loss for words, so we will just keep submitting until we have some options.

"I am hopeful that the court will draft an acceptable single ballot title but, if not, opponents of the Cob may end up using any of these, or even a combination of two or more propositions if that is what it takes to shut the door on a giveaway."

McMillan said he's considering an initiative to block the Klamath Falls City Council from extending an enterprise zone to the Cob plant site. That extension is required before the city and county can grant tax breaks and other inducements to build the plant.

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