May 14, 2020

My Closing Arguments

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The May 19 primary election is just around the corner. Voter pamphlet statements have gone out, and people have received their ballots. Many have even turned them in by now. Yard signs are up, and so are field signs. Campaign websites are filled with content, candidate social media pages are active and voters’ mailboxes are flooded with election-related materials. The…

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May 12, 2020

Public Service Should Be a Sacrifice

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I still fondly remember the two terms that I served in the Oregon Legislature. Because I was on the budget-writing Ways and Means Committee, each legislative session meant getting to the capitol early each morning and staying well into the evening for meetings. I would leave my family farm as the sun was rising and make the commute to Salem,…

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May 8, 2020

Tootie Smith’s plan to Re-Open Clackamas County

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Summary of a Draft to Re-Open Clackamas County Combatting CoVid-19 By Tootie Smith May 7, 2020 Download PDF of full report here Combatting CoVid-19 in its tracks and returning society to normal is as important as caring for the people who have contracted the disease. Realizing that government assistance programs will soon extinguish, and a functional economy is integral to…

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May 7, 2020

The Relationship Between Business and Government

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The coronavirus and the resulting shutdown continue to have devastating consequences for businesses and workers alike. An economy that had been growing at a healthy pace has literally come to a halt as storefronts remain shuttered worldwide. Job creators are becoming increasingly anxious amid uncertainty as to when they can open their doors again. Some may never be able to.…

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May 5, 2020

A Higher Standard

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Public officials are held to high standards, and for good reason—their roles involve being stewards of taxpayer dollars. That’s why it’s important that people holding elected office strive to be honest and ethical. One of the main reasons I’m running for chair of the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners is I don’t feel those values are being represented in that…

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April 30, 2020

Government Exists to Serve the People

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It is clear by now that the coronavirus pandemic and resulting economic shutdown is going to hit people and businesses right in their pocketbooks. What can government do to ease the pain for the average family from economic ruin? The generous unemployment benefits from the federal government will help in the short term, but there’s a higher picture to consider.…

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April 28, 2020

Customer Service as a Top Priority

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At the end of the day, the purpose of every public organization should be to improve the quality of life for the citizens it serves. But far too often, it seems that the politicians and bureaucrats in government agencies prioritize pet projects over their residents’ needs. Throughout my careers in both the public and private sector, I’ve placed an emphasis…

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April 23, 2020

Farmers, Loggers, Ranchers and Truckers Are Essential

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I’ve long admired the pioneer spirit that founded Oregon, as well as the industries that brought people to this region in the first place. And as much as society and the world have changed since then, our natural resource industries are still a critical part of the state’s economy. Even though we’ve seen the advent of technology, tourism and other…

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April 21, 2020

Prudent Planning with Proper Priorities

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After years of riding on the coattails of a booming national economy with low unemployment, the State of Oregon is now in a world of hurt. The impact of the coronavirus and resulting forced government closures of business have caused a record number of unemployment claims to be filed. Because Oregon has no sales tax, it is highly reliant on…

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April 16, 2020

The Fundamentals of Good Management

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There were a lot of things I learned when I served in the Oregon House of Representatives from 2001 to 2005. One of them was how to best prioritize and utilize taxpayer resources to fund critical government services. I was assigned to the budget-writing Ways and Means Committee. Many of my colleagues were on policy committees and would be able…

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