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Alice Norris: Former Oregon City Commission president demonstrated abilities during upheaval

"Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm." — Publilius Syrus

Alice NorrisDuring eight challenging days without power here in Oregon City, I was continually impressed with the leadership provided by Rachel Lyles Smith. She acted like a mayor. A good one. Her frequent updates and communications about the ice storm, the power outages and debris disposal were calming, helpful and welcomed. She investigated complaints and responded to citizen inquiries. Her leadership skills during this crisis convinced me that she is clearly ready to take the helm as mayor of Oregon City.

Our city expects much of our mayor, a volunteer position that demands countless hours, making difficult decisions, collaboration with colleagues and regional officials, solving complex problems with citizen input, and engaging with the public. I believe Rachel has the proven skills for this responsible role.

After serving eight years as Oregon City mayor, I value strategic, fair and ethical leadership. Rachel demonstrated her abilities when she served as Oregon City Commission president during the upheaval created by a mayoral recall election. Her sensible, intelligent and compassionate hand on the helm has helped our community begin to heal. She's never backed away from the tough issues and has the people skills to proactively move our city forward. Rachel leads with respect, a trait missing under the previous mayor. She can proudly cite a long list of accomplishments during just two years on the city commission.

I like the fact that Rachel has shaped her priorities after hearing from citizens over those two years of service. She's an independent thinker with deep affection for her community and its history.

PMG PHOTO: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Cars loaded with tree debris line up to use the dumping site at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City. The site soon had to be closed due to overuse, and City Commissioner Rachel Lyles Smith shared the message of another site available at the Clackamette Cove.A mayor is the face and voice of the community in the region and helps shape the public image of Oregon City. Rachel represents Oregon City well on several important committees. I was impressed with her strong voice in support of the partnership with the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde with the Willamette Falls Legacy Project and the Riverwalk.

Rachel is the only candidate addressing both the housing shortage and affordability, economic development and job growth. Her balanced approach to these competing interests shows that she understands that we don't have to lose livability for economic development.

Leadership matters. Rachel would provide the confident and reality-based guidance that comes from her experience in public service, consensus-building and positive action. Please join me in supporting Rachel for Oregon City mayor.

Alice Norris served as Oregon City mayor from 2003-10.


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