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June 28 update: Denyse McGriff was only candidate to submit Voters' Pamphlet statement on time, but Allen Bedore, Dan Berge and Leslie Wright will also appear on ballot

Two retired residents of Oregon City are participating in the special mayoral election on Aug. 23, when there will be four candidates on the ballot.

Former Mayor Rachel Lyles Smith made the special election necessary when she resigned effective April 22 to move out of the state.PMG PHOTO: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Oregon City's Robert Libke Public Safety Building houses OCPD, the Municipal Court and the city commission's meeting chambers.

Allen Bedore and Dan Berge both submitted their candidate paperwork in the final week before the deadline to file, but they did not submit Voters' Pamphlet statements. The ballots for the mayoral election will also have Commission President Denyse McGriff and Leslie Wright, who were previously featured by Pamplin Media Group.

According to the Clackamas County Elections Office, McGriff was the only candidate to submit a Voters' Pamphlet statement by the 5 p.m. June 27 deadline. On the morning of June 27, Bedore called Pamplin Media Group asking where to file his Voters' Pamphlet statement, and he was directed to the elections office.

Wright said that pressing business concerns distracted him from his political ambitions.

"Right now I'm in the process of building my business up," he said. "These are the small things that I'm not used to in politics, and I didn't even know there was a deadline for a Voters' Pamphlet statement."

A retired mechanic, Bedore received 10% of the vote in a three-way race for mayor in 1998. He ran for an Oregon City commission position in 2000, when he lost the election with 20% of the vote to Gary Hewitt's 80%. Bedore ran again in 2006, earning 23% of the vote to 76% for Alice Norris as mayor.

If elected in his fourth attempt, Bedore hopes City Commission will agree with his leadership as mayor to expand use of the Metro Community Enhancement Grants to pick up trash of homeless residents in Oregon City. He'd also like the police department to bring back its program to provide portable toilets for homeless people.

"My platform is to clean up the city, the streets, if necessary to bring out my broom, which is what I do in Park Place," Bedore said. "I'd like to see people cheer up, like when they see me sweeping up the streets, and they wave or salute."

Final mayoral candidate Berge is currently the owner of a limited-liability company called Berge NW, which he says he keeps active in case he wants to return to farming, although he's currently retired. He was previously in business with Emmert International and Stone Ridge Golf Club owner Terry Emmert from 2011-14 under a company called B&E Development LLC, and from 2013-20 under the name Ember Development LLC.

Berge's other previously owned companies were called A-Lectric Contractors LLC; ABT, Ltd.; American Poly Coat, Inc.; CBD Green Farms LLC; Chris Crossing Owners Association; Continental Satellite Antenna Manufacturing Inc.; Danber Enterprises, Inc.; Get Set-Go Inc; Highland View Mobile Home Park; Millennium Buildings Ltd.; NABT Solutions Ltd.; Oreganic CBD Inc.; Oreganic Hemp LLC; and Telesat International, Ltd.

In 2018, a county circuit judge granted a restraining order against Berge to prevent him from damaging legal cannabis plants or interfering with "Alex Wall and Greenpoint Real Estate LLC's right to possession" of a portion of property on McCord Road. Wall had filed a lawsuit against Berge for padlocking the property and threatening to burn up Wall's $200,000 worth of cannabis plants.

"I was renting a piece of property, and I didn't think it was a legal marijuana operation, and I said that if they didn't provide me documentation, I was going to pull out the plants and burn them, which I probably shouldn't have said," Berge said.

Berge's mayoral campaign platform includes reducing water and sewer rates. He is concerned about the many former employees who have left the city, and he said he has spoken with some of them to get some ideas for improving employee morale.

"We're losing super-qualified people who are unhappy with the politics internally," he said.

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