In the January 27, 2018, issue of the Register-Guard, Eugene resident Laura A. Hammond, who the community relations director for the City of Eugene, writes in a letter:
Some have asked about a recent notice seeking volunteers to write an argument in opposition to an upcoming ballot measure. The city is legally required by Eugene code to post this notice. The purpose is to ensure both sides of a proposed measure have an equal opportunity to be represented in the Voters’ Pamphlet.
If a measure is referred by a vote of the City Council, up to three councilors serve as the proponent committee, providing a written argument in favor. The city is then required to recruit applicants to serve as the opponent committee and provide a written argument against the measure.
When a citizen-initiated measure is on the ballot, the chief petitioners serve as the proponent committee. The city is then required to recruit applicants to serve as the opponent committee to provide an opposing argument. The same notification method is used for both types of measures.
While it may seem odd to see public notice seeking opposition to a ballot measure, it is an important and required element of our local election process, helping ensure that voters have an opportunity to hear arguments on both sides of an issue.