A $29 million bond for recreation improvements is on the November ballot. It's the only measure that could raise your property taxes, if you live in the Bend area.
One of the things the measure would do is provide safe passage through the Colorado Dam, and it would do much more than that.
But not everyone's on board.
Open up the 2012 Oregon General Election Voter Pamphlet to Measure 9-86, and you can't help but notice all of the support
"The portfolio of projects that we put together for this are really what the community wants and has told us repeatedly through surveys," said Scott Wallace, who sites on the Bend Park and Recreation district board. "And public outreach is important to the community."
Wallace told me timing is everything.
"We put this together because this is what the community tells us they want," Wallace said. "It also has an opportunity to take advantage of conditions available land, willing sellers, low prices, low bond ratings."
The bond measure would complete, among a whole list of things, the Deschutes River trail, create a safe passage at the Colorado Dam and acquire new land for new parks.
"Now is the time to make that investment," Wallace said.
Bend resident Mike Lovely wants that investment to go someplace else.
"People need to wake up and smell the coffee," Lovely said. "And parks and trails are all nice and well, but I think there is other things that need to be taken care of first."
Lovely says the city faces more pressing matters than recreation (though the frequent City hall visitor knows the park district is a separate taxing district with a separate budget from the city). Priorities, he believes, cross those lines -- since they all come together on a property tax bill.
"Drinking water, sewer and public safety are a lot higher of importance to me then trails," Lovely said.
And if there's one thing you don't hear much about on the issue, are the opponents side. That's true of many money measures -- the wallet, and demands for what's in it, is the only "organization" that often exists, and it can be a powerful one.
"There's a lot of people that are afraid to speak up," Lovely said. "And I'm sure there are a lot of people that are voting against any additional taxes."
No opponent is listed in the voters' pamphlet, and there's no known organized vocal group, but that's still not stopping Lovely from voicing his views.
"So it's not any special interest of mine, it's for the good of the community," Lovely said.
Wallace defends the request and its goals: "I think when you look at what the project list is and what the bond would do, no one really probably thinks those are not good ideas or good projects for the community."
The cost of the bond measure would be $48 per year for a home assessed $200,000.
One of the reasons why you don't see an opponent ad in the pamphlet? It costs $400 to file an argument there
And by the way, the last time Bend Parks and Rec won voter approval was for a tax levy in 1995.