Rocky Smith is a champion for Oregon City voters
The Oct. 3 edition of the Oregon City News contained an article on the City Commission race between Rocky Smith and Brian Shaw.
The article correctly notes that Shaw defied the will of Oregon City voters, when — despite the fact that we, not once but twice, rejected the developer-requested subdivision access in Wesley Linn Park — he voted to approve the access for the developer's subdivision.
The article also correctly reports that Shaw refuses to defend our City Charter provision granting the citizens the right to vote on annexations; both in approving numerous annexations without requiring a citizen vote, and in refusing to advocate for Oregon City to join other cities in challenging the state law that claims to extinguish that right to vote in city charters statewide.
Oregon City voters should know that these two examples are part of a broader pattern of Shaw's opposing citizens' right to vote, including on matters affecting the livability of our community.
In 2012, Shaw strongly opposed Measure 3-407, a citizen initiative to amend our charter to require the city to obtain voter approval before it could take on urban-renewal debt. Despite Shaw's opposition, the measure passed overwhelmingly: The over 9,000 votes it gained was the largest number of votes any candidate or measure had won in Oregon City's entire history. Shaw later openly disrespected the voters and the new charter provision, by approving urban-renewal debt for the Cove project without a vote of the citizens.
In 2015, Shaw voted to expand the Public Works Department into Waterboard Park, in open defiance of our City Charter provision that requires a public vote before taking such an action. The city is now spending tens of thousands of dollars of our taxpayer money to fight in court the citizens who stood up for their right to vote and to defend Waterboard Park. If this election does not change the City Commission, a long and costly appeals fight is certain.
Finally, in 2016 Shaw strongly opposed Measure 3-514, a citizen initiative to amend the charter to halt new collection and expenditures of urban-renewal tax money. Shaw went so far as to publish an editorial against the measure under his "city commissioner" title. A substantial number of voters disagreed with him; the measure passed easily.
What did Shaw do in response? The city is now in court attempting to invalidate Measure 3-514, and again, Shaw is spending our tax money to pay expensive lawyers to extinguish our right to vote. And again, if the City Commission does not change in November, a long and costly appeal fight is on the horizon.
Shaw, with his ally Dan Holladay, has spent the last four years trampling on the citizens of Oregon City, our right to vote, and our efforts to improve the livability of our city. Developers have rewarded him well.
Let's respond by voting out Brian Shaw, and replacing him with a proven peoples' champion: Rocky Smith.
William Becker is an Oregon City resident.