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Nancy Hall: Clackamas County's in-person meetings should be reinstated immediately

Editor's note: This letter was sent via email to Clackamas County Chair Tootie Smith.

I read the Clackamas Review article dated Jan. 26 titled "Take the dais threat reported during tense Clackamas meeting."

I attended that meeting. You mentioned several times in the article that the people in attendance were "disrespectful." I would say that you set the tone for the meeting by being disrespectful to the citizens from the start.

After you halted the meeting and left the room, someone said that we should continue and have our own meeting. People stayed. Those who wished to give their testimony came to the front of the room to speak. No one approached or was even near the dais. No one from the county told us to vacate the room. This wasn't an "occupation" or a "riot" as you and others are trying to portray.

Now to the issue of the "take the dais and oust the commissioners" threat. I was there. I did NOT hear any person say to "take the dais" or anything like it. I did NOT hear any person say "oust the commissioners" or anything like it. Simply stated: It did NOT happen.

This falsehood is so offensive. Can county security personnel identify the alleged perpetrator(s)? I want to hear the audio recording of the alleged incident. I want to hear the testimony, under oath, from the security personnel who reported this alleged incident.

At the Jan. 13 meeting, the only commissioners in physical attendance were yourself and Commissioner Mark Shull. When you left the meeting, Commissioner Shull was still gathering his things and speaking to someone and was delayed in leaving.

Commissioner Shull then went out into the middle of the crowd (supposedly hostile) and collected his guest and then left to join the Zoom meeting. He was not threatened or harassed.

After the commissioners finished their meeting, Mr. Shull, as well as the county administrator, came back into the room and were there until the end of the meeting.

Allegedly, county security personnel heard threats against the commissioners prior to the meeting being shut down. Why would they then allow a commissioner and the county administrator to enter the room if they were at risk? Sounds suspiciously incongruous on the part of security.

The meeting continued until approximately 8 p.m. As I was leaving, I was wished a "good night" by several county employees. We all left the building as peacefully as we came.

Chair Smith, you have made a big mistake by halting in-person meetings. I strongly suggest they be reinstated immediately.

Nancy Hall is a resident of unincorporated Clackamas County.


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