Clackamas County Commissioner Election

Oregonian: Clackamas County Commissioner Races

Election underway.  Ballots due Tuesday, May 15, 2012.

A new term has entered the political lexicon of Clackamas County: Portland creep.

Those two words, intended to denote density, crime, congestion and tax-happy bureaucracy, appear on two can’t-miss billboards along Interstate 205 near Gladstone. The conservative Oregon Transformation Project’s political action committee paid for the billboards to support a slate of candidates who, if elected, would take majority control of Clackamas County government.

The new phrase also sums up what’s at stake in this year’s race for three seats on the five-member Clackamas County Board of Commissioners: Should the county be a cooperative partner in regional efforts or become more politically independent and fiscally conservative?

Board seats are nonpartisan, though many decisions fall along party lines. Currently, four of the five seats are held by Democrats, causing friction with the county’s burgeoning conservative movement.

This election is in many ways a referendum on whether the county is on the right path. If the Oregon Transformation Project’s slate wins, Clackamas County could reverse course and end support of regional planning and transportation efforts.

All three candidates supported by the Oregon Transformation Project – John Ludlow, Jim Knapp and Tootie Smith – vow to fight the Portland-Milwaukie light rail extension, for example, even though Clackamas County signed contracts approving the project years ago and construction is under way.

The county’s largely conservative, grass-roots movement already chalked up two significant reversals of county policy over the past year.

In May voters resoundingly approved a referendum that reversed the commissioner-approved $5 annual vehicle registration fee intended to help build a new Sellwood Bridge. In November, voters overwhelmingly supported requiring countywide approval for new urban renewal districts in unincorporated parts of the county, a move that effectively kills urban renewal.

Voters face another important decision on the Sept. 18 ballot, where they will decide whether to require countywide voter approval before officials can spend money to finance, design, construct or operate any rail lines in the county.

And in recent months, whispers started circulating among discontented conservatives about withdrawing from Metro and TriMet.

oregon transformation project billboard.JPGView full sizeEverton Bailey Jr./The OregonianA billboard along Interstate 205 near Gladstone urges Clackamas County voters to support Tootie Smith, John Ludlow and Jim Knapp, candidates for the Clackamas County commission. The billboard was paid for by the conservative group Oregon Transformation Project PAC.

But voters have eight other candidates to choose from, including several who support light rail and pledge a more friendly attitude to regional partnerships in line with current positions. Jim Bernard, the one incumbent not involved in the May election, is the former mayor of Milwaukie and a long-time supporter of light rail.

Paul Savas, a current commissioner running for chairman, would remain on the board even if he fails in his bid to move up, creating the possibility of a reversal from a 4-1 majority favoring Democrats to a 4-1 majority favoring Republicans.

It all makes for the county’s most important and competitive commission races in years, with consequences sure to extend beyond the county lines.

Yuxing Zheng

VICTORIA TAFT: The Clackamas County Rebellion Claims Three Lake Oswego City Officials–Including the Mayor

Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Clackamas County Rebellion Claims Three Lake Oswego City Officials–Including the Mayor

The Clackamas County Rebellion is in full flow.

Unaffiliated concerned citizens, members of Americans for Prosperity and Oregon 9/12  have engaged in a high intensity push back on big ticket transportation and planning items that they believe will gut their pristine county, grow crime, and leave taxpayers tapped out. They’re sick of it.

They’ve told Clackamas County Commissioners and Lake Oswego Council members to knock it off and get out and the street car you rode in on. 

They’ve pushed back and threatened to run candidates against at least three of the Lake Oswego Council members–including the mayor–for ignoring the will of the people and going forward with plans to build a street car.

Yesterday the Mayor, City Manager and one council member said they were leaving.  Good. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Perhaps the turning point for these folks was news that a meeting of pissed off Clackamas County voters drew approximately 250 people in Milwaukie Monday night–demonstrating the movement is continuing to grow.  Political consultants are now involved.

People who don’t want their city gutted with Crime Met light rail and street cars are fighting back.  They have rebuffed the Professional Planner Class who want their light rail coming to Milwaukie bringing their beatings with it.

Milwaukie Light Rail. 250+ people gather at the Milwaukie Elks Club to kick off the “push back” on Milwaukie light rail. This is the beginning of taking back our County. People who are being burdened with this confiscatory debt insist on having a vote. IT’s too big to let the Deep Green commissioners decide for us. They’ve clearly shown they are working hard to overcome the will of the people.

Portland Sellwood Bridge- Clackamas Commissioners demand taxpayers in Estacada, Molalla, Canby, Boring, Sandy…pay up!



Do you know what Clackamas County residents need?  Apparently Ann Linniger, Democrat Clackamas County Commissioner, does.  She thinks we need a bunch of lobbyists, developers and political hacks from Portland, Salem and, if you can believe this, New Jersey, to tell us about how critical it is that Clackamas County residents place another burdensome fee on the backs of an already over taxed and over fee’d population.  As the recession lingers on and most Clackamas County folks struggle to pay their bills, the lobby to extract even more of your hard-earned money to pay for fancy bike lanes, walking paths and a new bridge in Portland is being financed by the Multnomah County Commissioner, Jeff Cogan, a developer in Tigard and a consultant from New Jersey.  New Jersey!!  Really??  These are but a few of the 15 known groups, politicians and businesses that have contributed thousands to buy your vote.  Only two of the 15 donors that support sending your money to Portland are from Clackamas County.  Over 94% of the support for the Vehicle Registration Fee (ballot measure 3-372) comes from outside Clackamas County. 


So, who’s looking out for you?  Everyday citizens of Clackamas County.  Folks from Molalla, Canby, Boring, Estacada and Oregon City to mention just a few.  Mothers and fathers trying to make ends meet in a tight budget economy.  Small business people looking to serve their local community.  Virtually 100% of the money raised to fight the professional pickpockets disguised as Clackamas County Commissioners (notable exception: newly elected Commissioner Paul Savas) comes in the form of $5 and $10 donations.  They know that the $5 increase in the vehicle registration fee will go to $43 per year per vehicle ($86 per vehicle every two years – you do the math on how this will affect your wallet) in 2013.  Is there no end to the wanton desire, dare we call it greed, of the Clackamas County political elitists to pry open your wallet or purse so that they can fund pet projects that make them feel good and important and yet leave their constituents poorer and with nothing to show for their money other than pictures of happy Portlanders taking a carefree stroll or bike ride across the new Sellwood Bridge?


Make no mistake, the Clackamas Commissioners, again, with the exception of Commissioner Savas, are conspiring with out of county and out of state developers and consultants to empty your bank account and give it to people that, frankly, think that the everyday folks of Clackamas County owe them a living.


Vote “NO” on Measure 3-372.  I’m asking you to stand up and help take our county back.      


John Savory


Sellwood Bridge Carpet Baggers

It’s clear who is behind the effort to extort money from Clackamas County residents for the repair of a Multnomah County Bridge… Mostly, it’s Unions- and companies who stand to profit from the project, and/or from the light rail project which is REALLY what this effort is all about.  By the way, most of those who are raising money to try to ram this down Clackamas County resident’s throats.. don’t reside in Clackamas County.  Imagine that.

Let’s examine who wants to take money from the pockets of Clackamas County residents…

The pro-Vehicle Registration Fee PAC goes by the name Clackamas County Citizens for Jobs and Safety. Interesting.. note how few are actually from Clackamas County.  If deception is involved from the very beginning, don’t you think you should look deeper into the actual reasons why we see this “Carpet Bagger” approach is being pressed upon us?  These outside interests happen to also influence the Clackamas County commissioners with “strings attached” campaign contributions.  These same commissioners had hoped to avoid a vote on this outrageous tax on Clackamas County residents in order to bail out fiscal mismanagement by Multnomah county by simply passing a fee designed by a State legislature last year with a super majority democrat house and senate.  The fix for extracting more money from Clackamas County was planned well in advance.  They didn’t expect county residents to go to the trouble of saying enough is enough.

To date, this Multmomah County based PAC has raised about $25,500 $68,000 $100,000+ (as of 5/10/11)  in cash to support the campaign for the proposed Clackamas county registration fee.   The fifteen largest donors account for 95% of those donations ($24,250).

Q.  Care to guess how many of those fifteen donors were actually from Clackamas County?

A. Two.

Here’s how the donors rank from top to bottom:

1.  Oregon AFSCME                                         $5,000  (Union PAC, Salem)
2.  CH2M Hill                                                    $2,500  (Engineering firm, Portland)
3.  Jeff Cogen                                                 $2,500  (Mult. Co. Commissioner PAC, Portland)
4.  T.Y Lin Int’l                                                 $2,500  (Engineering firm, Beaverton)
5.  CenterCal Properties, LLC                           $2,500  (Developer, Tigard)
6.  Oregonians to Maintain Comm Standards     $2,500  (Trade Union Pac, Portland)
7.  Harper, Houf, Peterson & Righellis                $1,250  (Engineering firm, Portland)
8.  NW Oregon Labor Council                            $1000  (Union PAC, Portland)
9.  Michelle Giguere                                          $1000  (federal lobbyist, Portland)
10. HDR Engineering                                         $1000  (Engineering firm, Portland)
11. OTAK Inc.                                                  $1000  (Architects, Lake Oswego)
12. Brenden Barnicle                                         $500  (financial analyst, Portland)
13. James Bernard                                            $500  (Clackamas County Commissioner)
14. Int’l Longshoreman and Warehouse Union     $250  (Portland)
15. Hatch Mott MacDonald                                 $250  (Consulting Engineers,  New Jersey)  

Here is another way to rank the top fifteen:

1.  51% Portland donors     
2.  20% Salem donor        
3.  10% Beaverton donor   
4.  10% Tigard donor         
5.    6% Clackamas donors 

Or another way:

1. 36%  Union donors
2. 35%  Engineers/architect firms
3. 12%  Politicians
4. 10%  Developer
5.   4%  Federal transportation lobbyist

Funny that a PAC that purports to speak for Clackamas County Citizens doesn’t draw much support from them. Probably shouldn’t surprise anyone though, since the PAC itself is located in another county.

Committee Information
Name: Clackamas County Citizens for Jobs and Safety ID: 14912
Statement Effective From: 01/11/2011 to present Filing Type: Original

Director Name
Effective From Effective To Address Phone Occupation / Employer

Joe Esmonde


01/11/2011 Present 15937 NE Airport Way
Portland, OR 97230
Business agent/Political director
IBEW 48, Portland, OR


Lynn Peterson named Kitzhaber transportation adviser, will resign as Clackamas County chairwoman |

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 PM
Yuxing Zheng, The Oregonian By Yuxing Zheng, The Oregonian
lynn peterson.jpg 
Lynn Peterson
(See comments below)

OREGON CITYLynn 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.

Yuxing Zheng

Urban renewal drains and pains taxpayers


Urban Renewal sounds good. But when you actually investigate the enormous costs and compare that to the benefits… just who is getting the benefit? Urban Renewal is another enormous waste of money… and another rabbit hole that government sells as a “desireable” function of government. Not so.
Urban renewal’s history of failure.. just a few..………

Urban renewal is the use of public funds to test extremely expensive and historically failed efforts to enforce conformity to the social viewpoint of elitist urban social planners. Only the public sector would waste money on this scale, over and over and over.. trying to create a narrow version of “heaven on earth” by the politically correct social engineering elite.

Urban Renewal is one of the most expensive and failed programs in government   Governments are filled with “planners” who plead for “do overs”.. insisting the next time, they’ll get it right.


Clackamas County Commissioners – Muzzle All Opposition Using “Ginned Up” Excuses

Re: Clackamas County considers ban on signs, added restrictions


County Chair Lynn Peterson is, as usual, simply making things up.

Her ginned up concern about “heart-wrenching” examples of county residents not being able to speak when people from outside the county dominated a meeting” is baseless, laughable and hypocritical.

That’s the story here. Too bad the reporter doesn’t get it.

Instead Peterson can make up anything to advocate getting her way.

Where is the “heart wrenching” example of county residents not being able to speak? Get real.

It is Chair Peterson herself who invites testimony from outside the county. In the case Portlander (and fellow Metro Bike Committee member) Jonathan Nicholas Peterson not only invited him but gave him preferential “invited” status usually granted only to public officials, staff or experts.

Allowing him to avoiding waiting in line and speak ahead of the general public.

In that Vehicle Registration Fee hearing process Peterson also enabled “Portland” Bike group members to stuff the testimony comments with emails supporting the fee. Allowing Peterson to then claim that there was more county support for the fee because of emails from “county residents”.

Her claim of support was reported repeatedly without any validation of those emails.

In stark contrast there’s been no coverage of the November poll of county residents even though the reporters and editors were provided the entire poll and it’s methodology.

So here it is again.

Nov 22 poll Clackamas County residents.
Pay for part of Sellwood Bridge 76% NO
New car registration tax 84% NO
Milwaukie Light Rail 71% NO

Chair Peterson’s shady methods have become increasingly transparent. In the case of these new guidelines they are a non-remedy for the non-existent problem she fabricated.

Making things worse by making more things up Chair Peterson tries to make sense out of her own nonsense.

This latest stunt of hers flies in the face of every other government entity holding meetings in the region and state where no such “behavior guidelines” exist. The idea that her board needs these to make her meetings “friendly, safe and secure to all members of the community” is nothing but yet another whopper by a county commissioner out of control.

Commissioner Paul Savas is a welcomed addition to the board. He reasonably would support guidelines that limit the size of acceptable signs in the meeting room. But Peterson and the other commissioners while foolishly claiming any size “could be” disruptive, have no legitimate basis at all for a total ban.

Commissioner Lehan piles on with more nonsense making up a scenario where imaginary people behind a holder of “any sized” sign has their entire view of the proceedings blocked. Proof again that any stupid fabrication seems to be acceptable.

I’ve got two better ideas for the Chair and Board of Commissioners and there is no legitimate reason not to do both.

1. Spend the relative pittance and conduct a county wide poll of your own with straight up questions on your current agenda.
(Perhaps they already have and didn’t like the results?)

2. Refer to the ballot, by board resolution, both of the petitions being circulated and allow the two public votes in May. The inevitability of both signature efforts making the ballot makes refusal to do so a deliberate wasting of county resident’s time and efforts.


(email verified)
Wed, Jan 19, 2011 at 11:16 AM

Clackamas County considers ban on signs, added restrictions

New rules aim to make meetings ‘friendly to all’

By Raymond Rendleman
The Clackamas Review, Jan 19, 2011

Oregon City resident Karen Lee, 63, a member of Americans for Prosperity, displays a sign at a recent Clackamas County hearing on the vehicle registration fee for the Sellwood Bridge.
A local expert in constitutional law believes that Clackamas County will have to significantly alter its draft resolution that proposed banning signs, clapping and personal insults, while giving “authority to enforce reasonable restrictions” on the times the public would be allowed to speak, and on the use of video recording equipment.
The county can impose or maintain order to the extent that it interferes with the process, according to Jordan Schrader Ramis attorney Ed Trompke, author of “Oregon Constitution: An Owner’s Manual,” due to be published this year by the Oxford University Press.
“But an occasional outburst probably shouldn’t result in an extreme measure such as expulsion, especially if it is an emotional issue,” Trompke said. “They can be admonished and be told that if they don’t control themselves, they will be asked to leave.”
Draft rules stipulate that the county chair would be able to remove someone from the commission room who’s not complying with the rules. Local police intervened in a commission hearing last month after a Canby resident made personal remarks against commissioners.
County Chair Lynn Peterson said she was more concerned about “heart-wrenching” examples of county residents not being able to speak when people from outside the county dominated a meeting. She’d also like to see the rules edited to suggest “positive” behavior that would be posted in front of county meetings and understood as engagement guidelines.
“What we’re trying to do is make sure that these meetings will be friendly to all, and it’s not just about the board members; it’s about other members of the community feeling safe and secure,” Peterson said.

Banning signs

Commissioner Paul Savas said he’d support guidelines that limit the size of acceptable signs, but he urged the commission to avoid overreacting.
“I’m kind of concerned that this might rattle some cages and there might be some questions with the First Amendment,” Savas said, adding that he would instead encourage the public to make the signs suitable for all ages.
Peterson and other commissioners argued that signs of any size could be disruptive.
“Even if your sign is relatively small, it blocks the view of the people behind you,” said Commissioner Charlotte Lehan.
“Whether to allow signs is a difficult issue, because it is expression, but it can block the view of other members of the public, so the county will have to be judicious in protecting the rights of everyone,” Trompke said.
Possible effects
Savas said that he’s learned to be careful after seeing a backlash on past commissions.
“I’m not advocating that people come in here with profanity or that type of thing, and I don’t foresee that happening, but that could be challenged,” Savas said.
Any of the rules could be challenged, agreed county attorney Agnes Sowle, “so what we’re trying to do here is fashion these (rules) in a way that has been acceptable in the past.”
The county resolution would only provide non-binding standards for conduct, as opposed to an ordinance, which Sowle sees as equivalent to a law. The resolution wouldn’t be subject to the referendum or initiative process, and wouldn’t be enforceable by police or county courts.
Chapter 192 of Oregon state law restricts smoking at public meetings, for example, but leaves many other rules to local bodies. The Oregon Supreme Court has also historically interpreted freedoms more broadly than most other states.
“The commission has to look not only at the First Amendment right of the public to speak and seek regress of grievances, but also at the state’s right of free expression, which covers a lot more ground in allowing for what’s acceptable,” Trompke said. “The presiding officer’s going to need to balance that with the need to keep order in a meeting, but politics is often not pretty.”
Commissioners directed county staff to survey longstanding rules of other local bodies to determine what has been acceptable. Commissioner Jim Bernard suggested following Robert’s Rules of Order as a standard to justify banning signs, applause, booing and other types of interruptions from the audience.
“That’s a standard that’s been accepted throughout the world,” Bernard said.
No one has recently taken a county agency to court for alleged free speech violations, but the issue remains a hot-button one for the U.S. as a whole.
The Pennsylvania State Superior Court ruled in June that a woman should be spared charges of disorderly conduct for disrupting a 2008 Blawnox Council meeting, according to reports by the Aspinwall Herald. The ACLU then filed a complaint in federal court on her behalf, alleging that a number of the council’s practices and handling of residents at borough meetings violated civil rights.
“I just want to make sure that we’re not seen as being restrictive, and as a result we might excite those who might feel that we’re trying to censor them,” Savas said.
In the coming weeks, commissioners will continue to discuss the guidelines for conduct in county meetings.
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