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Readers advocate for a new Clackamas County clerk and against a potential Aurora Airport runway extension

We need change after Clackamas County clerk fiasco

The county clerk administers and conducts all local, state and federal elections for Clackamas County, a job the current county clerk struggles to perform. The May 17 election was poorly planned and executed. As a result of this dismal performance, we have an unacceptably long delay in reporting the election results. On election night, the Oregon Secretary of State said, "the county's reporting delays tonight are unacceptable. Voters have done their jobs, and now it's time for Clackamas County elections to do theirs."

The county clerk is the critical link allowing citizen participation in our government through voting, and the current county clerk has disappointed us all with a botched election effort. We need competency in this office, and, this November, we have the opportunity to vote for a change.

Catherine McMullen brings experience in voter education and outreach and promotes inclusive voter assistance for those with disability and language-access challenges. She is a voter-focused elections administrator, a lifelong public servant, a proud union member, a champion for voting rights, a community leader, a wife and a mother.

Catherine McMullen will make a difference. Vote Catherine McMullen for Clackamas County clerk this November.

William House

West Linn

No to runway extension idea at airport

I have attended two meetings of the Aurora State Airport Planning Advisory Committee for the new master planning process because of my concern that there will be larger and louder planes using the airport should the runway be extended from 5,000 feet to 6,000 feet (as has been previously proposed). If a plane requires a longer runway than Aurora provides it should change its place of operation. There are nearby airports that are already longer than the Aurora State Airport such as Portland at 11,000 feet, Hillsboro at 6,600 feet, Salem at 5,811 feet and McMinnville at 5,420 feet.

At Aurora there are planes that seek waivers to take off even though it may not be safe. Apparently, there are pilots with overweight planes that don't even know that they require waivers. Since they grant waivers on a 5, 000-foot runway, what will prevent them from granting waivers when even bigger planes use a 6,000-foot runway?

A safe takeoff means that the plane can accelerate to take-off speed and then can brake to a stop before the end of the runway. I imagine that planes that need longer runways, but choose not to use them, are much louder due to the power needed for takeoffs. Any plane that cannot meet that standard should not operate out of Aurora.

It has been said at the master plan committee meetings that when the runway is lengthened larger planes would not use it. It is a safety issue only. Poppycock! We know that the landowners adjacent to the airport simply want to develop as much as they can. I'm sure if they had a slogan, it would be: Bigger! More! Better!

I've lived in Wilsonville within three miles of the end of the runway for 34 years and the plane traffic and noise is greater nearly every year. The jets directly overhead are far more numerous. Aurora State Airport continues to grow and its usage increases without a runway extension. It is time to set limits. My slogan: No 6,000!

Steven Benson


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