© 2022 Tootie Smith for Oregon. All Rights Reserved.


My Vision for Clackamas County and Its Future

The last few weeks that I’ve spent campaigning in person and online have given me the chance to think about what kind of future I would like to see for Clackamas County and its residents.

It’s important for leaders to have a road map in mind so they can set the right priorities and determine if progress is being made. Goals and benchmarks help guide the path forward.

My top priority right now would be to make sure that the county, and all of its businesses, are re-opened as quickly as safely as possible. The coronavirus crisis has shown how important it is for the county to be prepared for an emergency and have adequate reserve funds. I will help the county plan for those eventualities through my Federal Emergency Management Agency training.

Under my chairmanship, the county will be planning better for tomorrow’s challenges. That way, the next time a recession hits, the county government won’t have to make cuts or sacrifice services.

The county budget should be balanced without the need for additional tax burdens on our property owners, businesses, families and workers. I helped balance the state budget as a member of the Legislature’s Ways and Means Committee as we recovered from recession. This was done by prioritizing programs instead of raising taxes.

Ideally, the county should have a budget surplus. It did the last time I was county commissioner, and I will work to make sure that it does again.

I envision county residents being able to commute to work safely on well-maintained roads with adequate traffic capacity. I see the sheriff’s office funded responsibly enough to be well-staffed so that deputies are able to respond quickly to calls for service.

My vision includes courthouse facilities that the county leases with parking, elevators and Americans with Disabilities Act access already in place and that is easy for public transportation and vehicle traffic to get to.  

I see strong, healthy, vibrant, diverse communities throughout Clackamas County that are independent of Portland and maintain their unique characters. They include everything from suburbs like West Linn, Happy Valley and Lake Oswego to smaller, more rural towns like Molalla, Sandy and Estacada.

I picture thriving main streets where merchants and neighbors know each other. I see small businesses that are locally owned and operated open their doors for tourists, visitors and residents alike. I envision people coming from all over the world to enjoy outdoor recreation in our majestic mountains and on our rivers.

I dream of seeing those same business owners feeling well-served by their county government, instead of constantly being asked to fund its bureaucracy and those of Metro. I see a county government that takes a responsive, proactive, customer service-based approach and puts its residents’ needs before those of itself, Metro and Portland.

This is what I have in mind and why I am running for chair of the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners. I’m asking for your vote and for you to turn in your ballot by May 19.

6 thoughts on “My Vision for Clackamas County and Its Future

  1. Debbie Rivall says:

    Thank you, Tootie. I agree with your vision and pray you will be effective in your leadership for Clackamas County. I am very concerned about what our schools are going to look like when our children go back to school in the fall. What is the best way for parents to provide input into this process? How do we ensure local control in these decisions? Would love any recommendations you have as to how to ensure our children are free to receive a quality education that includes social, physical and the full-range of educational opportunities. Thank you!

  2. Michael Buscho says:

    Thank you for representing your constituents. It is so discouraging when we voters in Clackamas County vote for something or against and then have it rammed down our throats regardless. Thank you for bringing common sense and fiscal responsibility back into Clackamas County

  3. Keethlyn Fletcher says:

    I’m not sure why we are saddled with metro. Is there a way to get out from under their sway. Clackamas county can be it’s own entity and take care of the issues that are unique to us. Our tax dollars need to be used in our county.

  4. Rick Fernández says:

    I absolutely support your vision and am so glad we voted for you and you won. I wish there were a way to abolish Metro, but short of that, is there any way for the county to withdraw from Metro? If so, I hope you will work on that. I think many, many people in our county would support that. Thank you again.

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  6. Laura Petchell says:

    Thank you Mrs. Smith for your persistent support to the taxpaying citizens of Clackamas County. With your joining the board of commissioners as chair, I have decided to follow the Youtube postings of the board meetings. Thank you for keeping the meetings real and transparent.

    I have not heard much lately regarding the city of Damascus. I am very disheartened that the city disincorporated and may now be at the whim of Happy Valley’s growth. Clackamas County took over the city’s tax dollars at the disincorporation. As an unincorporated city of Clackamas, do we/will we get to vote on how that money is/was spent? During the commissioner board meetings, I’d like to hear more about what is going on/planned for Damascus.

    Tootie, please stay on top of what the state of Oregon (Governor’s) and the Oregon Health Authority’s plans are in regards to permanent masking and social distancing. As well as, in how long this overreach will continue. It is unconstitutional. Also, I would like to see more push back on the idea of “passports.” It’s wrong and will cause even more division among the citizens of Oregon, and Clackamas County.

    My last comment, have you ever thought of running for the Governor position of Oregon? You would have my support.


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