FONT & AUDIO
Oregon City Mayor Dan Holladay's claims not based in fact
With this newspaper reporting Aug. 23, the community of Oregon City discovered they may endure four more years of the same-ole, same-ole caustic administration Dan Holladay has perfected into a bumbling art form. The facts have never been kind to Holladay, but he ran for mayor three other times before being elected to office.
Once he was elected his vision for Oregon City came with decimating an individual's constitutional rights and ignoring democratic processes. It paved the way for his backroom deals with developers and touting them as achievements rather than registering in his mind as unethical, corrupt or possibly illegal behavior. Fortunately, a lot of what Holladay has done can be easily reversed by removing the corruption with honest leadership and attracting new opportunities to move past his caustic administration.
There is no doubt Dan Holladay misrepresents the facts for his own benefit and is morally bankrupt when it comes to applying democratic principles. It should be accepted that a community has constitutional rights to have their votes recognized and question authority when decisions are made without their knowledge. Our personal constitutional crises was delivered on our doorstep in the form of an unlawful action by officials and successfully challenging the authenticity of an illegal Stop Work Order. Holladay's ignorant assessment about the litigation was deceitful and maliciously misleads the public about the costly litigation the city continues to perpetuate by hiding the truth.
More specifically Dan Holladay fabrications in the Aug. 23 article exemplifies the ease he will lie about someone. When it comes to the litigation, Honorable Susie L. Norby found the city illegally used its building code and Code Enforcement Department in seizing our property for over 23 months. In the six-page decision, she declared the city's action as illegal and unlawful, and never used the term "technical error" as Dan Holladay and the city are publically campaigning.
The bottom line, Anna and I took a stand on principle with the knowledge people have had entanglements with Code Enforcement in the past. It is easy for the general public to assume they did something to earn a visit from Code Enforcement and a $300-a-day fine for each violation they find. A person's gut tells them something stinks, but you can't fight City Hall, right? On the contrary, our Constitution gives us the right to challenge City Hall, and following your instincts against the odds takes courage.
Honorable Norby's decision to reverse the violation was not based on the Municipal Court clerk failing to record the trial and cannot be blamed for corruption in the city's Code Enforcement program. Holladay excludes from his ignorant deduction that the clerk used a small dictaphone to record a four-hour trial on miniature cassette tapes. This says more about the false confidence the Municipal Court has in its own rulings, and how easy it is for Holladay to lie in the process of throwing the clerk under the bus.
The clerk cannot be held accountable for illegally issuing a Stop Work Order, or city staff to lying under oath to win a favorable decision or forcing the city to retain two law firms and six attorneys to defend their actions. A reason to use 20-year-old technology to record a trial could be as simple as the Municipal Court, not the clerk, felt it did not need an accurate record of a trial when it is never seriously challenged. A botched tape is not something a judge would deem unlawful or illegal either, but Holladay prefers to lie to the public than be a leader. It is unknown if the Code Enforcement and Building Department staff were ever disciplined for their role in the incident or for lying under oath during the trial.
Holladay compounds his ignorance by speaking about his renewed vision for the former Blue Heron paper mill in contrast to Oregon City hosting a national infrastructure. The fictitious backroom deal he floated smells like the same type of deal the city made in 2013 with George Heidgerken, who was sued by the state of Washington Department of Natural Resources in 2000. The simple fact is the administration and Tony Konkol III have had years to resolve the issue and are still fumbling to find a light switch. The National Disaster Response Complex manufactures, operates and maintains disaster response resources and in the process it creates 725 jobs. Moreover, the national recognition and commercial tourism underscores Oregon City's importance and renewed energy to be competitive.
Experience matters, and knowing when to take a stand on principle does not come with dumb luck. Defending our interests from Code Enforcement abuse to orchestrating a memorandums of understanding with the state government of South Australia is the byproduct of years of working in government. I feel fortunate to share my own prosperity with Oregon City, but have experienced comments by officials interfering with initiatives in the past. Holladay, in a bid to outperform someone, will lie about what he knows to avoid competing on the merits. His vision for the Blue Heron site is building more retail stores — no surprise — and how is that different than before?
The Complex represents an industry that benefits Oregon City with 725 jobs, and comes with national recognition and a pilot facility for a larger Complex in South Australia. Holladay, as per usual likes to bully people to follow his lead but he has absolutely no way of knowing the status of my interests in South Australia, or the impact it has on Oregon City.
Holladay does underscore his reckless abandonment for the truth to promote his own agenda. The comments about the litigation and my commercial interests are petty and blatantly false in order to deceive the public. Nevertheless the inferences he loves to bathe his opinions in before spewing them into the wind for public consumption are not based in facts.
Mark J. Matheson is a candidate for mayor in Oregon City.
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