Lynn Peterson named Kitzhaber transportation adviser, will resign as Clackamas County chairwoman
Published: Monday, February 21, 2011, 5:15 PM Updated: Monday, February 21, 2011, 5:38 PMOREGON CITY — Lynn Peterson, chairwoman of the Clackamas Board of County Commissioners, has been named as Gov. John Kitzhaber‘s sustainable communities and transportation policy adviser.
Peterson will resign her county position effective March 11 and begin working in the governor’s office March 14.
“It is an honor to join the governor’s team to help communities across this state achieve their goals for healthy, vibrant, and sustainable growth and development,” she said in a prepared statement. “I am excited to build on the successes we have had in such a diverse county as Clackamas and apply the lessons learned to assist cities and counties statewide.”
In her new post, Peterson will lead the governor’s policy efforts on transportation initiatives, such as high-speed rail, freight and highway planning and improvement, solar highway projects, and linking transportation to housing and sustainability.
Kitzhaber said in a statement that he was “pleased” that Peterson would be joining his team. “Her knowledge, dedication and expertise will be integral to helping get Oregonians back to work building a sustainable 21st Century transportation system,” he said.
The four remaining Clackamas County commissioners will decide whether to appoint somebody from the outside straight into the chairman position or elevate a current commissioner and then appoint an outsider as a commissioner.
Commissioner Jim Bernard, who serves as vice-chair of the board, said he would likely serve as chairman until Peterson’s replacement is named.
Names that have been floated of outside candidates, either for the chairman or commissioner position, include former Estacada mayor Bob Austin and former state Senator Martha Schrader, Bernard said. Both are previous county commissioners.
Bernard said he would especially like to see a candidate from eastern Clackamas County. All of the current commissioners are from urban portions of the county.
Peterson had briefly explored running for governor herself in 2009 before endorsing Kitzhaber and helping develop his transportation policies during his campaign. Rumors had previously swirled that she would be departing the county for a role in Kitzhaber’s administration, possibly with the Oregon Department of Transportation. She denied those rumors as recently as December.
Peterson is a transportation planner by training and previously worked in that role for Metro. She also has served as a Lake Oswego city councilor, a transportation advocate for 1000 Friends of Oregon and a strategic planning manager for TriMet.
She earned a B.S. in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Wisconsin and two Master’s degrees from Portland State University in civil and environmental engineering and urban and regional planning.
Kitzhaber has also asked Patricia McCaig to be his lead adviser on the Columbia River Crossing project. McCaig has been serving in this role during the transition and will continue to do so in the new administration.
The newspapers won’t report it but let’s be clear about Lynn Peterson:
In doing so the vacancy may be filled with someone outside of the problem profile.
Clackamas County was somehow taken over by a bunch Metro/TriMet zealots who then moved the county to start duplicating all things Portland.
Led by former TriMet and Metro employee Lynn Peterson.
Peterson maxed out the county credit card taking their debt from $47 Million in 2007 to $233 million in 2010;
they built a new county administration building they did not need;she had them join ICLEI Membership (United Nations sustainable cities club that could cost 100s of thousands a year) http://www.iclei.org/;
They passed a surface water resolution handing over management to the EPA;
sold out the county’s share of $200 million in Metro Flex funds to Milwaukie Light Rail;
passed a fee to pay for another county’s long neglected bridge;
and they are planning a Portland/SoWa style Urban Renewal scheme to fund $25 million towards Milwaukie Light Rail and a $100 million more for the Metro development that follows.
Peterson has been a lousy manager when dealing with county employees.
She shifted county counsel from under the county administrator to the board and then back when personnel issues needed genuine management skills.
Peterson’s tyrannical and vindictive manners have made county employees fear retribution for raising any objections or problems.
Public safety found Chair Peterson to be at cross interests with their mission and misrepresenting of their challenges.
Peterson refused to acknowledge the Green Line crime problem or the effect of Urban Renewal on essential services.
Chair Peterson ignored the poll of Clackamas County residents:
Pay for part of Sellwood Bridge 76% NO
New car registration tax 84% NO
Milwaukie Light Rail 71% NO
And she tried to rig an impression of support for her agenda by recruiting Portland’s Bike lobby & fellow Metro Bike committee member Jonathan Nicholas to stuff the public input tally with e-mails of approval.
At two hearings 185 and 175 opponents showed up and Lynn Peterson used her conniving stunt to claim, “We definitely have a feeling from the public on what they think about this. Not only from the testimony, but also from the written testimony that we got under public comment, and it was two-to-one in favor.”
And now in all of this controversy Peterson takes an exit. That’s a good development only if the new chair and vacancy is filled with someone without her agenda. That means No Bob Austin, No Martha Schrader and No Judie Hammerstad.
Clackamas County is NOT Portland or Multnomah County.