Plus, McFarlane leaving TriMet in better shape and anti-Trump protest scheduled whenever.

PORTLAND TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO - Oregon Secretary of State Dennis RichardsonOregon Secretary of State Dennis Richardson has contradicted an opinion by the Multnomah County counsel, which commissioners Jules Bailey and Loretta Smith relied on to run for another office without resigning from their county seats.

The County Charter prohibits commission members from running for another office without resigning before their final year in office. The Portland Tribune reported that Bailey would run for Portland mayor on Nov. 25, 2015, more than a month before the beginning of his final year. Smith said she was considering running for the City Council in September, more than three months before the beginning of her final year.

In both cases, Bailey and Smith relied on a county counsel opinion that said only formally filing for office triggered the official countdown. But in response to a complaint filed against Smith, Richardson disagreed and fined her $250 for not updating her campaign committee filing to say she was running for the City Council.

McFarlane leaving TriMet in better shape

TriMet General Manager Neil McFarlane took a lot of heat when the regional transit agency cut its budget after revenues fell during the Great Recession. But McFarlane is leaving TriMet in much better shape as he prepares to retire early next year.

Most recently, the transit agency Board of Directors ratified a new labor contract with the agency's largest union at its Wednesday, Dec. 13, meeting. The contract previously had been approved by a majority of the voting members of Amalgamated Transit Union 757, whose president, Shirley Block, praised it.

Before that, TriMet officials convinced large employers to accept a payroll tax increase to help fund TriMet operations and secured funding for a low-income fare discount program from the 2017 Oregon Legislature.

McFarlane is leaving one big challenge for his successor, however. Funding for the $2.4 billion Southwest Corridor MAX project is more uncertain than ever after TriMet stopped working on a November 2018 regional transportation funding measure and turned the responsibility over to Metro, which won't offer a transportation measure until November 2020 at the earliest.

Protest scheduled whenever

Liberal activists are preplanning protests if President Donald Trump fires special counsel Robert Mueller, who is investigating allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 elections.

Last Thursday morning, members of in Lake Oswego announced a Nobody Is Above the Law rally protest would be held in Millenium Plaza at 5 p.m. if Trump fires Mueller before 2 p.m., and the following day at noon if he fires him after 2 p.m.

"We expect to have speakers, signs and plenty of people — 137 have signed up so far. As of two days ago, over 100,000 people had signed on to attend rallies planned across the country," Cay Borduin said in an email to the Lake Oswego Review. It included a link to the website, where similar protests are being planned across the country.

Despite rampant speculation on news sites and social media, Trump did not fire Mueller last week.

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