Choices that Created the Oregon Mystique: Governor Tom McCall's Foresight and Accomplishments

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Beach Bill Signed; McCall Clears His Desk

By Matt Kramer
Associated Press Writer

Gov. Tom McCall signed the beach bill into law Thursday and declared it "a momentous accomplishment of the 1967 Legislative session."

"It is one of the most far-reaching measures of its kind enacted by any legislative body in the nation. This bill guarantees that Oregon's coastline will remain secure for generation s to come," the Governor said.

The Governor cleared his desk of legislative bills, signing 43 and vetoing 2. This action came just 24 hours before the deadline in which he could sign bills into law. The two vetoes were minor bills.

'Forced Out' for Action

McCall took note that the beach bill almost died in the House Highways Committee. He said it was forced out only because the news media and then the public demanded. It.

The governor praised the efforts of the bill's supporters, include Rep. Sidney Bazett, R-Grants Pass, committee chairman who almost alone kept the bill alive for weeks until support finally formed, and of Rep. Norman Howard, D-Portland, committee vice chairman.

Howard was on hand for the signing. Bazett, unable to attend, sent a telegram saying that the governor's support was vital to the bill's eventual success.

Property Rights Issue

Opponents of the bill contended it would violate private property rights. Supporters said it did not affect those rights, but preserved the sands for public use.

The bill designates the State Highway Department to represent the public in cases where property rights are at stake on the beaches. It also zones the beaches so that anyone wanting to building on the bare sands must get a permit from the state.

The measure carried an emergency clause and so went into effect at once.

From Kramer, M. (July 7, 1967). "Beach bill signed; McCall clears his desk." Oregon Statesman. Salem, Oregon: Section 1:7.