I strongly endorse the re-election of Andy Duyck as chair of the Washington County Board of Commissioners.

Andy is a local product of Washington County, having lived here his entire life. He was educated in our local school system and is a graduate of our Portland Community College. He is a farmer and an entrepreneur who started his own high-tech Duyck Machine Shop in 1983, and he still owns it.

Chair Duyck was the District 4 representative on the Board of Commissioners for 16 years before being elected chairman for years ago. During that period, I found him to be a hard working, informed and thoughtful board member who listened to all sides of an issue before casting his vote.

As chair, I’ve found that he has continued those traits as well as demonstrating leadership skills, which have served the county well.

During the recent economic downturn, Chair Duyck and the board were able to prudently manage the county’s finances so that it was able to provide needed services and assure that the county was able to maintain a most reasonable reserve, and have the county continue to be debt-free.

During Andy’s term as chair, a Metro-wide plan for urban and rural reserves was challenged, and the issue went before the courts. At the same time this was in the courts, the Legislature started considering legislation that came to be known as the “grand bargain.” After legislative negotiations, Chair Duyck and the board accepted the grand bargain, which greenlighted development on about 2,000 acres of land near Hillsboro, Forest Grove and Cornelius to resolve the issues before the court.

Another issue of great concern to the county is water for residential, agricultural, commercial/industrial and Tualatin River uses. The county, as a leader of a consortium of water users, is most actively pursuing additional water sources for the county to assure that this vital resource is available in the near and long-term future.

The county board, with Andy as chair, is also the Board of Directors of the Clean Water Services, the agency that provides sanitary sewer, storm sewer and water quality facilities services to 542,000 residents of the county and nearby areas. Clean Water Services is a nationally recognized leader in its field and has been under the primary leadership of Chair Duyck.

I strongly urge you to re-elect Andy as chairman.

John Leeper is a Cedar Hills resident and former Washington County commissioner.

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