Ben Marcotte of Garden Home says it's time for voters in Washington County's southeast corner to elect a new commissioner after more than three decades.
Marcotte is the sole candidate so far to file in District 3, which Commissioner Roy Rogers of Bull Mountain has represented on the county board since 1984. Rogers is seeking a 10th term in the May 19 primary, and would be the only one of five members with more than a couple of years
Marcotte says Rogers is rarely around for meetings of community participation organizations or the parent Committee for Citizen Involvement. Marcotte sits on his local CPO and the CCI.
"We regularly see the other commissioners … but Commissioner Rogers' appearances are few and far between," Marcotte said in a statement. "The other commissioners seem to have a better grasp on what issues are important to their constituents, and seek out our input when those issues will be coming up before the board."
Marcotte said the county should have more specific plans to guide development in urban unincorporated communities that are home to about 200,000 of the county's 600,000 people. He said:
"Washington County has over 200,000 residents living in urban unincorporated areas
without a comprehensive plan to deal with the growing needs of an urbanized area,
without the civic infrastructure to address them, and without an established system for
public input in changes that affects these areas."
Commissioners did consider $250,000 to start work on community plans. but the request failed to make the priority list for $2 million they set aside for new initiatives in the current budget cycle.
Marcotte said it is daunting for such communities to form their own cities or seek to annex to existing cities without more active involvement by the county.
"Even without substantial policy changes in that regard, I would want to find ways for the
county to allow for more public input in the existing processes that affect the urban
unincorporated areas," he said.
Marcotte also criticized Rogers on his long tenure and his leadership roles in transportation.
"The population of the county has more than doubled, thousands are now employed in high
tech roles that didn't even exist back then, and density has increased significantly in all
corners of the district," he said. "The transportation needs of a modern metropolitan area are
vastly different than those of the collection of quiet suburban locales we once were.
Our policies need to change with our changing needs."
Marcotte, 47, and his wife Emily live in Garden Home outside Beaverton. He has been a senior software engineer for Comscore Inc. since June 2018, and has spent most of his professional career in software development. He earned a bachelor's degree in biology in 1994 from the University of Oregon.
Campaign contact: benfordist3.org
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.