Letters for Oct. 31
I will be voting for Oregon City Commissioner Brian Shaw when I cast my ballot.
Here's why: I have lived in Oregon City for close to 20 years. I first met Brian Shaw as a volunteer at a local church. He was also an active member of the Optimist Club and encouraged me to join and I still regularly volunteer with him at various community events. He has demonstrated through his actions his love and commitment for the Oregon City community.
I also had the pleasure of working with Brian when I was on Oregon City Library Board and later as a member of the Oregon City Library Foundation. Brian was an early advocate for expanding the library at the Carnegie Center, which the OC Library Board officially endorsed after a yearlong evaluation of various sites in OC. He went so far as to render drawings of what the library expansion could be, and met with community members to share his ideas. His involvement was one of the reasons the library expansion came to fruition.
More recently Brian has put forth detailed ideas of what his priorities are for the community for the next four years. He works hard for the community and deserves to be re-elected.
Pamela White brings management experience
Having just completed my own ballot, let me urge readers to mark through all the positions on the first page and make sure you cast your vote for Pamela White for the nonpartisan position of Clackamas County clerk.
I have known Pamela for the last three years and can attest to her willingness to work hard, her integrity, and her understanding of the duties of the office. She will bring to the position two decades of experience with management, budgeting and communications from her work in the world of nonprofit organizations, and pledges to transform the clerk's office to be more diverse, inclusive and accountable.
Having worked with her on more than a few local projects, I can attest to the fact that her tenacity and forthrightness is tempered with a good dose of humility and empathy. Please complete your ballot and vote for Pamela White as county clerk.
We're not Anywhere, USA
Do you want to retain Oregon City's unique and historic hometown charm? Then vote in Rocky Smith for commissioner and Damon Mabee for mayor. They're not OK with OC becoming more like Beaverton, Tigard or Anywhere, USA.
OCBA supports Mike Mitchell, Brian Shaw
The Oregon City Business Alliance (OCBA) is endorsing Mike Mitchell for Oregon City Commission Position 4 and Brian Shaw for re-election to Position 1.
Mike has the business experience and community involvement with other city commissions and committees to become an effective city commissioner, as shown in the Voters' Pamphlet, where you can also see how Mike is clearly known in the community based on his endorsements from community leaders.
Mike's background demonstrates that he has put in the effort required to have the breadth of experience and qualifications to be a city commissioner who is ready for that next challenge.
The OCBA supported Brian Shaw when he ran for the City Commission in 2014. Now we're endorsing Brian for re-election.
Commissioner Shaw continually demonstrates that he's the right man for the job. He has been an advocate for all aspects of Oregon City. He seeks a balance of the need for economic development to ensure the future vitality of the city with need for livability. For example, Brian has been consistent in his involvement and decisions about affordable housing balanced with his support of the Beavercreek Employment Zone for job creation.
Brian has broad-based involvement in the community. In addition to his role as a city commissioner, he's involved in several service organizations and other committees. He really cares about Oregon City and thus, his motto is clear: "Live Here, Work Here, Play Here."
OCBA strongly recommends that you vote for Mike Mitchell for City Commission Position 4 and to re-elect Brian Shaw for City Commission.
Oregon City Business Alliance president
Support for increasing OC jobs
As I have been walking the neighborhoods of our city and talking with many people, I have been struck by how everyone wants to "keep the Oregon City charm" and not be Portland. One question I get frequently is, "Where do you stand on annexation and development?" My answer is that those are two separate questions.
On the question about annexation, I recognize that those properties within the urban-growth boundary will eventually become part of the city and we have, for the most part, planned for them. Regardless of the question about voting for the annexation, when city services can support them, they should be annexed.
On the question about development, I am in full support of commercial, industrial and residential development, when the city services can support them and when they meet our code requirements. During my 12 years of service on the City Commission and Planning Commission, I can only recall a half dozen times I have not supported an application, and I have never been in the minority on those votes. Each time I voted no, it was because I didn't believe that we could support the development as a city, or they were asking for too many exceptions to our codes and were trying to make Oregon City adjust to their needs and not adjusting their needs to meet Oregon City. I strongly support industrial and commercial development more than residential, because I support increasing jobs in Oregon City. Residents should be able to commute minutes not miles.
Oregon City mayoral candidate
No on Measure 105
Oregon signed into law 31 years ago what is called "The Sanctuary Bill," making Oregon a sanctuary state.
At the time the law passed, the Senate voted it in by a margin of 29-1, and the House by a margin of 58-1, with bipartisan support. This law protects our immigrants, neighbors and friends, while continuing to prosecute those who commit or have committed crimes.
Our local law enforcement is in support of retaining this law. Why? Police officers don't want to be spending their time on non-criminals, and that is what this would do — give them carte-blanche permission to profile and arrest those suspected of nothing more than being an immigrant.
Please vote NO on Measure 105. Let's keep Oregon a sanctuary state — a place I'm proud to call home.
How to choose candidates
I have a love/hate relationship with this time of year. I love Halloween, but just a few days later, we have elections. The lead up to elections can often become nasty and full of lies. I still have editorials from back in my youth that I wrote. Published in the Oregonian, they commented about the lack of facts in political ads that are full of lies and exaggerations.
Fifty years later, here in small little Oregon City, it is the same. All these candidates are good people — Dan, Damon, Mark, Rocky, Brian, Rachel and Mike. They all have good intentions and are friendly to talk to. My only hope is that these candidates — and we as citizens — can return to sociable conversation and realize that, in the heat of campaigns, negative things are said.
My problem is typically not with any of them, but with the big money. It has become quite evident to voters that I don't care for the huge money trying to buy our elections here. What I need to clear up is that I am not against responsible development. As a planning commissioner, I can think of very few developments that have come before us that I didn't vote for. I've approved the majority. Even when it came to Park Place, I recused myself so I didn't actually vote against it. I voted for Beavercreek and South End concept plans. I believe the only time any of us have voted against development is when lot averaging skewed the whole zone changes.
I was, however, totally against the Park Place Annexation. This area features the "End of the Oregon Trail." All the street sign toppers indicate the historical nature of this area. It is rapidly losing its character. Citizens in this area are concerned about traffic, schools, safety, livability and more that will come with this development, pushed heavily by big money. We also believe that infrastructure needs to be in place before big development begins. Existing residents should not be an inconvenience in the way of lining the pockets of developers.
So there you have it. I had the opportunity to interview every one of the candidates in a neutral setting with the same exact questions. I wanted myself and others to hear their answers without debate or interruptions. I liked each one. Some of us just disagree on policy. As a citizen of Oregon City, I do, however, have the right to make a choice when it comes to candidates. I choose candidates that are not supported by big money.
Please join me in voting for Charles Gallia to become an active Oregon state senator for Senate District 20.
He knows that the faster growing population in his district are the people over 65 years old. These are individuals who have family and longtime friends in their neighborhood and don't want to move to some facility where they don't know anyone. Charles will listen to seniors, who are having difficulties staying in their homes on a fixed income as rent or taxes all continue to increase. He will hear the individuals who are asking for help because they are no longer able to drive and are worried about getting to their doctor appointments, shopping and church.
Charles Gallia will work at the legislature to develop programs that assist his elderly constituents with programs that allow them to stay in their longtime homes near their friends and relatives.
Please join me to elect Charles Gallia as the next senator for Senate District 20. He will be an active and involved senator who will seek to hear from all of the people in Senate District 20 and be fully aware of the needs of individuals as they continue to age.
Janelle Bynum will protect choice
For the past two years, I have watched in horror while politicians systematically attack women's rights. Roe vs. Wade hangs by a thread.
I refuse to go back — which is why I'm voting to re-elect State Rep. Janelle Bynum. She trusts Oregonians to make their own health care decisions. By voting for 2017's Reproductive Health Equity Act, she safeguarded abortion rights and no-cost contraception in Oregon — no matter what happens at the federal level. I'm grateful for her bold leadership at this critical time.
Please join me in protecting women's rights by re-electing Janelle Bynum.
Vote for Matt Tracy
"Who are these people in the Voters' Pamphlet? Should I vote for the one with the most signs in the street right-of-way? I know voting is important, but I can't tell some of them apart."
The answer is simple. The best candidates have the experience and strength required to make difficult decisions that affect all citizens, and the ability to work well with others. Providing critical services and making critical land-planning decisions are the most important things local government does. One candidate usually has more experience in those areas.
An good example is the Gladstone City Council race between incumbent Matt Tracy and Frank Hernanadez. Matt has many years of valuable planning experience that is reflected in how he governs. His resume is a perfect fit for what the city needs. He isn't a member of the mayor's clique, so we can count on him to make unbiased decisions in the future.
Tired of negativity
Having your own opinion is a good thing, but making false statements or accusations about others and then trying to pass them off as factual, without any proof, is wrong.
I attended the football game Greg Alexander mentions in his Oct. 23 written attack on City Councilor Tom Mersereau. A group of us waved "Mersereau for Mayor" signs and talked to residents. We did not block access to the sidewalk or stadium. We didn't violate any city ordinances or school property rules, nothing; we did it by the book and Greg knows this, because he chatted with us as others passed by.
I've been very nice to Greg, even invited him to Tom's campaign party, which he attended. This despite his outburst at High Rocks Restaurant, where he snapped photos and raised his voice at us as we ate breakfast, prompting a call to the police. When dealing with people, Greg can be aggressive, he applies pressure and uses intimidation when they don't have the same opinion as him or who are simply exercising their rights to free speech and assembly.
I think we need new, positive leadership in Gladstone. I'm supporting Tom Mersereau for mayor. Like many, I'm extremely tired of the negative politics as usual in Gladstone. Tom has absolutely nothing to gain. He just wants to serve his community and would like to see the city function as it should for the citizens.
Please conduct your own research and due diligence before you cast your vote.
Move Gladstone forward with Tom Mersereau!