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Monday, March 21, 2011

On the streets where you live

Oh, those troublemakers down at the U of O. Now they've caught wind that somebody's questioned whether the chancellor of the state university system, George Pernsteiner, should be voting, as he apparently does, in Eugene.

He's reportedly listed on voting records down in Lane County as living in the Eugene mansion that the state maintains for him, but he also allegedly spends quite a bit of time in a nice house that he owns in Southeast Portland, for which the state pays him a handsome housing allowance. According to a recent article in the O --

The chancellor says he probably spends a little less time in Treetops than in his Portland home, for which he gets an allowance of $26,000 a year.
Which is his "residence" for voting purposes? If it's Portland, he's apparently been voting in the wrong place for some time.

Here, as best we can tell, is what the Oregon statutes say about "residence" for voter registration purposes:

247.035 Rules to consider in determining residence of person for voting purposes. (1) An elections official, in determining the residence and qualifications of a person offering to register or vote, shall consider the following rules, so far as they may be applicable:

(a) The person’s residence shall be the place in which habitation is fixed and to which, when the person is absent, the person intends to return.

(b) If a person’s property is split by a jurisdictional line, the person shall be registered where the residence is located. If the residence is split by a jurisdictional line, the person shall register where the greatest value of the residence is located according to county assessment and taxation records.

(c) A person shall not be considered to have gained a residence in any location in this state into which the person comes for temporary purposes only, without the intention of making it the person’s home.

(d) If a person moves to another state with the intention of making a permanent home, the person shall be considered to have lost residence in this state.

(e) If a person goes from this state into any other state or territory and votes there, the person shall be considered to have lost residence in this state.

(f) A person who has left the place of the person’s residence for a temporary purpose only shall not be considered to have lost residence.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, a person who has left the place of the person’s residence for a temporary purpose only, who has not established another residence for voter registration purposes and who does not have a place in which habitation is fixed shall not be considered to have changed or lost residence. The person may register at the address of the place the person’s residence was located before the person left.

(3) An elections official may consider, but is not limited to considering, the following factors in determining residency of a person for voter registration purposes:

(a) Where the person receives personal mail;

(b) Where the person is licensed to drive;

(c) Where the person registers motor vehicles for personal use;

(d) Where any immediate family members of the person reside;

(e) The address from which the person pays for utility services; and

(f) The address from which the person files any federal or state income tax returns.

All good stuff for the chancellor to produce. On the final point (d) just quoted, one clue in Pernsteiner's favor comes from the recent O article:

It could be less expensive to give up Treetops and put Pernsteiner up in a hotel when he's in Eugene, though that would be hard on his family.
In these cash-strapped times, maybe the state should fire the maids who tend to the mansion and let it go back to the family of the person who gave it to the state. For what they're paying the mansion maids alone, Pernsteiner and his clan could be put up in a perfectly nice leased house or apartment somewhere else in Eugene. An added bonus: The mansion could go back on the tax rolls.

Comments (4)

Any registration cards for past residents of Mahonia Hall?

Interesting to note the threat of condemnation to keep Treetops from reverting to the heirs. "Thanks for the conditional donation of use, we'll ignore the conditions now and keep the whole thing". Wonder if Phil Knight's lawyers are paying attention?

I'm hoping Phil Knight has his eye on Treetops. Why not? It's a fabulous house - second largest in the county, amazing history. Built with Alaskan gold rush money. Landscaped by a Frederick Law Olmstead student. Room for a helicopter pad. Perfect getaway for Ducks games. Billiards room, music room, etc. Current resident has legal issues, is looking for a quick sale.

Excuse my enthusiasm, I'm just looking for my 6% commission.

UO Matters.

Can we sell Mahonia Hall, while we're at it?

I don't really care where Mr. Pernsteiner votes, as long as he only votes once. Now, if he's registered in both Multnomah and Lane Counties, then I have a problem.

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