Border moving effort reaches out to county
A man leading an effort to move the Oregon/Idaho border and envelop multiple Oregon communities is reaching out to Crook County officials.
Mike McCarter, president of the Citizens for Greater Idaho, has reached out to several committees and elected officials in Oregon and Idaho. He stated in a recent news release that the Senate and House joint committee of the Idaho legislature will meet to hear testimony from the Move Oregon's Border movement on April 12. McCarter added that Elgin rancher and former Oregon Speaker of the House Mark Simmons is expected to testify in favor of the border move.
McCarter has announced plans for several meet and greet events throughout Central and Eastern Oregon communities, including Harney, Baker and Grant counties. One was planned for Crook County at a Redmond lodge.
In addition to these meetings, McCarter said that the Crook County Court notified Move Oregon's Border that it will meet on April 21 to "consider the board relocation issue."
Crook County Judge Seth Crawford said that the governing body will listen to what is being proposed but stressed that it has no authority to affect the Oregon boundary.
"That is up to the state legislature and the governor of both states," he said.
Move Oregon's Border recently formed a new 501c4, McCarter reported, and the PAC (political action committee) is focused on Oregon ballot initiatives. Meanwhile, Citizens for Greater Idaho will focus on supporting the Move Oregon's Border effort.
McCarter said that five counties – Baker, Grant, Lake, Malheur and Sherman – will have border relocation measures on their May 18 ballots. Crawford said that Crook County Clerk Cheryl Seely was asked to put a similar measure on the local ballot, but she opted not to do it.
"She is required to review everything that goes up (for a vote) and an initiative petition must propose a law," Crawford explained. "It was the clerk's position that what was proposed was not a law but something administrative, resembling a public opinion poll."
The petitioners challenged Seely's decision in Crook County Circuit Court, Crawford went on to say, but the court ultimately agreed with the clerk's decision.
Regarding a poll of public opinion locally, Crawford questioned why including it on the ballot would be necessary.
"We are always open to people coming and talking anytime, so I don't know why they would have to put it to a vote," he said. "We are always willing to listen."
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