North Clackamas, Oregon City leaders look forward to 2022
Near the end of 2021, we asked leaders throughout North Clackamas and Oregon City to provide community newspaper readers with a statement on "What are you looking forward to in 2022?" Thank you to the many people who responded with thoughtful and inspiring words.
Tim Cook, Clackamas Community College president
There are many things I'm looking forward to in 2022, including seeing more live theater, music and sporting events. However, I'm most excited to see more students on campus learning from our excellent faculty and staff at Clackamas Community College.
Shay James, North Clackamas Schools superintendent
2022 is full of opportunities for North Clackamas Schools. I am looking forward to deepening relationships with our community and district staff. We'll be finalizing our five-year strategic plan this year and honing in on our district's core values and shared interest in the success of our students. There is beauty that emerges when we come together in service of our students.
Kyle Laier, Oregon City School District interim superintendent
I'm looking forward to welcoming community members to experience the new Gardiner Middle School and renovated Tumwata Middle School during grand opening events scheduled for early 2022. These innovative learning spaces were the keystone projects made possible by the generous community members who supported the 2018 Oregon City school bond. Each of these buildings was designed with our all of our students' needs and dreams in mind.
Laura Edmonds, North Clackamas Chamber CEO
As a regional Chamber of Commerce and Business Recovery Center supporting a large portion of Clackamas County, we are looking forward to businesses persevering, gaining momentum and regaining their workforce to keep our communities healthy and bouncing back from these challenging times. As an Oregonian, I look forward to getting out with my family, friends and neighbors, finding some normalcy, providing calm, sensible solutions to our challenging problems and reflecting grace without judgement.
Victoria Meinig, Oregon City Chamber of Commerce CEO
After two years of reimagining, reinventing and re-creating a new business model in order to survive a pandemic, I am excited to see our business community not just survive but thrive in this new world. I am so proud of our chamber members who reached out and supported one another through such difficult times. My sincere thanks and appreciation to all those who persevered and championed others. Here's to a new start for 2022.
Rachel Lyles Smith, Oregon City mayor
I am looking forward to downtown Oregon City events and Concerts in the Park, exploring Newell Creek Canyon, our businesses recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, visitors returning to our historic sites and museums, and seeing progress on the development at the old Blue Heron site at Willamette Falls. We have many great things to look forward to in 2022.
Adam Marl, Oregon City commissioner
I am excited to continue my work on the Oregon City Commission to make involvement more accessible to the youth in our community. My decision not to run for a full term still holds true, as I would rather focus on the next generation instead of the next election. Citizen involvement is what propelled me to the city commission, and as I enter the final months of my term, bolstering our civic culture is how I would like to leave.
Denyse McGriff, Oregon City commissioner
On a personal level, I am looking forward to getting outdoors more and taking some safe car trips. Regarding the city of Oregon City, I am looking forward to completing the urban renewal vision and plan update, resolving neighborhood street tree issues, continuing implementation of city commission goals and looking for more ways to get our community involved.
Rocky Smith, Oregon City commissioner
As someone who loves Oregon City's history and tradition, I am excited that in 2022 we will be able to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the iconic Arch Bridge. The Arch Bridge, designed by American civil engineer Conde Balcom McCullough opened to great fanfare Dec. 28, 1922, and was considered to be the "Most Beautiful Bridge in America" at the time. As 2022 approaches, let's celebrate Oregon City's amazing past and make its future even better.
Liz Hannum, Downtown Oregon City Association executive director
DOCA is very excited for 2022. We have increased parking capacity thanks to some fantastic property owners, we have lots of well-loved events returning, and we have even more amazing and unique retail and restaurants than we did pre-pandemic. There are lots of amazing development opportunities upcoming between the mill site, the courthouse and the North End of downtown, including the first new building in nearly half a century starting construction this year.
LizBeth Hale, Rotary Club of Clackamas and Happy Valley Business Alliance president
For 2022 I am looking forward to a fearless, unstoppable, healthy, prosperous year and spending more time with my granddaughter, spending more time under waterfalls searching for negative ions. Helping my clients grow their real estate portfolio for a healthier retirement. Continuing to help the community by volunteering with the Rotary Club of Clackamas and the HBVA. I will be traveling to Europe and wine tasting in Italy. I will be walking the road to the Camino de Santiago in Spain, and touring the home of Joan of Arc in France.
Tom Ellis, Happy Valley mayor
2022 will be another exciting year in Happy Valley. I'm hopeful we'll be able to have more community events where we can enjoy good food, music and one another. We have exciting upgrades to existing parks and entirely new parks coming soon. Despite supply chain challenges, the city is finalizing construction of safety improvements, such as sidewalk and roadway improvements on 129th Avenue and the Superblock. Finally, we are in the planning phase for a library expansion and new community center.
David Emami, Happy Valley city councilor
I'm looking forward to Oregonians working together toward common goals we all share. Regardless of where you live, we all want great schools for our kids, safe neighborhoods for our families, better roads to drive on and, perhaps most pressing, is a return to normalcy in the midst of the pandemic. People all across our state voted in the current elected officials to make things better, and I hope in 2022 politicians can put their differences aside and put Oregonians first.
Mark Gamba, Milwaukie mayor
I'm looking forward to a more progressive congressional team being elected, specifically Matt West in the 6th district and Jamie McLeod-Skinner in the 5th. I'm looking forward to a far more effective leader, Libra Forde, replacing Paul Savas at the county commission. I'm hopeful that America will finally get vaccinated against COVID-19 so that we can all go back to being more social. I look forward to getting new state laws in place that will help us continue to address climate chaos.
Lisa Batey, Milwaukie city councilor
If vaccines turn out to be effective against new variants, we can get back to larger community gatherings in 2022. I would love to see the downtown business community expand First Fridays to a year-round event. I'm looking forward to groundbreaking at Milwaukie Bay Park, the "gateway to Clackamas County," on the drawing board for over two decades. The amphitheater, play and picnic areas will be a great regional amenity for gatherings and performances.
Angel Falconer, Milwaukie city councilor
In 2022, I am looking forward to reconnecting with family, friends and neighbors. The past two years have been difficult in ways many of us couldn't have predicted, and I think it will be some time before we truly understand the depths of how much has changed. The magnitude of loss of life through the pandemic is something that's hard to wrap my mind around, and rebuilding community will be important to healing.
Kathy Hyzy, Milwaukie city councilor
I'm looking forward to some great community conversations around how we all get around the region as Milwaukie begins its Transportation System Plan update. It was wonderful to see Milwaukie turn out for the Umbrella Parade in December, and I hope 2022 brings more opportunities for us to safely gather, celebrate and have fun. It's been a long couple of years, and I think we could all use more joy.
Desi Nicodemus, Milwaukie city councilor
In this age of polarization, it is going to take more than a statement of support or a training to make real change. We need a change in culture especially in a diverse, dynamic community such as ours requires both urgent action and patience. Where people can't agree on whether masks should be worn or whether racism and gender discrimination are real, there is no "one size fits all" solution. Systematic change does not happen overnight, but it can and must happen. We need healing to occur in our community. Give yourself a break, take a little time off, and engage in some self-care. We're all tired, but we need everyone in our community to be happy and healthy and ready to tackle whatever 2022 brings.
Tammy Stempel, Gladstone mayor
In 2022, Gladstone will again be incredibly busy with amazing projects. We look forward to the new Public Works Facility and library process, the next steps for the Trolley Bridge, and looking at ways to continue the high level of service provided by our fire department. Our Housing Code Audit is complete, and implementation is on the horizon. I-205 tolling impacts will be a huge issue for our city moving forward.
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