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    Commonly Asked Questions

    Stopped Tolling

    How did you stop tolling from being implemented?

    This commission was successful in stopping freeway tolling… TWICE! The first time, we worked with the Clackamas County Department of Transportation and Development to draft a letter outlining the deficiencies with the I-205 Toll Project Environmental Assessment. This led to the governor's decision to pause tolling for two years. The second time we continued our push to end freeway tolling and took a stand with formal endorsement of IP-4 (Vote before tolls) by a vote. When it was clear that they had severe opposition to their tolling scheme, the governor decided to ‘stop’ tolling.

    Why do you oppose tolling Clackamas County?

    Tolling is a regressive tax on the working poor and vulnerable population that accomplishes nothing other than government control over residents’ movements. The negative impacts of tolling can not be understated; tolling would force traffic to divert onto local streets and roads, slow the deliveries of goods and services, cause more air pollution as cars sit idle, and put a burden on county residents trying to make ends meet.

    What can Clackamas County do to stop tolling permanently?

    Residents can sign the IP-4 petition, which amends the Oregon state constitution and requires a citizen's vote on all tolls. This amendment puts the power back in the hands of Oregon residents, where it belongs.

    Fully Funded Police

    How did you successfully fight against the defund & vilify the police movement?

    This commission has stood united and strong against the destructive political pressure of the ‘defund & vilify the police’ movement that led to a massive surge in crime, homelessness, and dissolution of community trust in neighboring counties. As a result, the four safest cities in Oregon are in Clackamas County. The current commissioners proudly and unanimously support fully funding law enforcement. We understand that to have a safe county, we need a robust and well-funded police force. That is why in the 2023-2024 county budget, our commission guaranteed funding to keep every current boot-on-the-ground law enforcement officer and expedite hiring new officers.

    How have you supported the police since you became Chair of the Board of Clackamas County Commissioners?

    When I first became Chair of the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners, we referred a successful vote to increase the Sheriff's Office levy by 50% so the county could have more patrols protecting our streets. We understand that having more police leads to a safer county. And no, I didn't oppose the funding. I kept my promise to refer all tax increases out for a vote of the people, and those trying to claim otherwise simply aren't being honest.

    How do you plan on supporting law enforcement going forward?

    Public safety is our commission's top priority, and the 2023-2024 county budget reflects that. The budget allocates over 65%+ of general funds to public safety, and as a commission, we promise to supplement any budget revenue decline for the Sheriff's Office through general funds. We understand that a unified Public Safety force is not just uniformed deputies in cars but an entire defense system. That is why as commissioners, we voted to build a new courthouse so the state would pay for more judges to prosecute criminals. We also allocated additional funds for high-speed software for body cams to the District Attorney's office. The linear flow of public safety is arrest, investigation, jail, trial, and prosecution, and all of these functions are necessary for swift justice and to keep our residents safe.

    Reduced Homelessness

    How did you significantly reduce homelessness in Clackamas County?

    While neighboring counties have seen skyrocketing homeless, we decreased our unsheltered homeless population by 65% in Clackamas County. We achieved this by adopting a recovery oriented system of care (ROSC) that focused on the core issues homelessness which are addiction and mental health issues. We took the opposite approach of neighboring counties that continue to ignore these core issues, and instead enabled those suffering with addiction and homelessness with drug paraphernalia, safe injection sites, and housing they are not ready for. Our commission is committed to finding real solutions, like those we discovered at the Clackamas Addictions Recovery Summit, that will give people a second chance at life.

    What are the core principles on homelessness that lead this commission?

    Our commission understands that mental illness and addiction are the root causes of this crisis and that much of this is intertwined. Even with affordable housing available, often, people experiencing homelessness choose to stay on the streets or end up back living on the streets due to mental illness and addiction. Even if someone did not become homeless due to mental illness or addiction, the risk for both increases the longer someone lives on the streets; that is why we are taking a recovery-oriented approach to homelessness in Clackamas County.

    What is your plan to reduce homelessness in Clackamas County?

    Our commission is dedicated to getting real solutions, not government bandaids, when it comes to homelessness. That is why we implemented a recovery oriented system of care (ROSC). To create the basis for our ROSC, we held a Homelessness Causation and Accountability Summit and convened a Blue-Ribbon Committee of homeless experts and thought leaders from the national, state, and local level to discuss how we can better serve those suffering from addiction. We also acquired a 40,000-square-foot building for a Mental Health Clinic that will have a treatment section, partnered for $5 million of the opioid federal settlement fund with a private nonprofit for a navigation center in Oregon City, and obtained $4 million for the Sheriff to establish a 23-hour stabilization center. As a board, we approved spending one-time ARPA dollars worth $1.3 million to purchase a Teen and Adult Challenge Northwest women’s residential recovery center and the Canby Center for $640,000 for additional space.

    What was the reasoning for your final vote on Project Turnkey?

    I voted against Project Turnkey because it was simply not the right time, place, or project to get the job done. This community did not want a transitional housing project in a high-traffic business area akin to a scene out of downtown Portland, and I understood their concern. From watching Portland’s attempts at addressing homelessness, we understand that just getting someone off the street does not solve the underlying issues that got them there. As a commission, we are 100% committed to solving this problem, and we WILL.

    Reduced Crime

    How has Clackamas County avoided the massive spike in violent crime and homicide as we’ve seen in Portland?

    As a commission, public safety has and always will be our top priority. To ensure public safety we rejected Portland’s destructive policies that defunded & vilified police and allowed criminals to go unprosecuted. Instead, we fully funded public safety and allocated 74% of the county's general fund to the Sheriff’s Office. As a result of our county's strong public safety efforts, Clackamas County was recognized as the safest large county in Oregon. Meanwhile, a person is TWICE as likely to be a victim of crime in Multnomah County as they are in Clackamas County. Our commission has and will continue to ensure our law enforcement officers and services have the resources and funding they need to maintain law and order and keep our community safe. In our county, criminals are dealt with, the district attorney prosecutes, and our judges issue sentences.

    What have you done to ensure law enforcement is well equipped to handle crime in Clackamas County?

    Our commission just passed the largest budget for public safety in county history, and we ensured no law enforcement positions were cut in the process. We understand that to reduce crime, our county need boots on the ground to catch criminals.

    What was your reasoning for supporting the Replacement Courthouse project?

    The Oregon Justice Department recognized counties could not afford to build courthouses, so they set up a 50 percent matching grant fund through the Oregon legislature. Our Commission took advantage and voted to use a P3 model – a private-public partnership. This is the first partnership in the state that guarantees a price, a deadline, and maintenance for 30 years. With this partnership, we are able to build a new courthouse without raising taxes. The current courthouse was built almost a century ago to serve a population of 50,000 and is extremely unsafe for ongoing service. We desperately need a new courthouse that can handle the county's growing population, currently at 430,000, to maintain law and order and reduce the likelihood of repeat offenders. Our county needs this replacement courthouse to serve justice effectively and efficiently.

    Defended Property Rights

    What is your stance on the Metro council’s decision to do an urban growth boundary land exchange where Clackamas County’s growth boundary is decreased so that Washington County’s growth boundary can be extended?

    Metro has repeatedly favored Washington and Multnomah County at the expense of Clackamas County, and this decision is no different. I led the protest against Metro’s efforts to do a land exchange because it would not solve the underlying issue in our region; it only moves resources from one part of Metro to another while hindering development in Clackamas County.

    What is Metro?

    Metro is a regional government that includes portions of Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington County. It is the only directly elected regional government and metropolitan planning organization in the United States. It oversees the solid waste system, general land use, and transportation planning and maintains regional parks and natural areas.

    Do you feel that being in Metro, the elected regional government, is positive for Clackamas County?

    No, being governed by Metro is not in the best interest of Clackamas County. Metro has sacrificed our county’s growth and potential for other counties. Clackamas County is not Portland! We have very different needs, and we have chosen a different path of living that has proven far more successful than our neighbors. Being lumped together under one regional government will only increase the likelihood that the disastrous policies implemented in neighboring counties will make their way into Clackamas County.

    Improved Public Safety

    Is public safety a priority for you as you seek re-election for Chair?

    YES! As a commission, we have made public safety our top priority, which can be most clearly seen in the 2023-2024 county budget where we allocated over 74% of the county's general fund towards public safety. Nothing is more important than ensuring our county is safe to live and do business.

    What have you done to improve public safety in Clackamas County?

    Our commitment to public safety is evident through our proposed budget, where we allocated over 74% of the county's general fund towards public safety, kept every law enforcement position, and promised to supplement potential revenue declines for the Sheriff’s Office with general funds. We also voted for the new County Courthouse to ensure criminals are held accountable and justice is served. While this commission has been in office, our record in Clackamas County speaks for itself. We have reduced homelessness by 65%, and our county is the safest of any county with a population over 90,000.

    Why was it so critical to have a new Clackamas County courthouse?

    As a commission, we voted for the new county courthouse because we need one that can handle our growing population. The new courthouse will ensure justice is served safely and efficiently while providing easy access to county resources, including Social Services, Behavioral Health, Public Health, Juvenile, Veterans Services, and A Safe Place Family Justice Center. Add to this a rare opportunity where the state has offered to provide up to half the funding, and this was a once-in-a-lifetime ability to get this done.

    Increased Public Accountability

    What have you done to ensure the county is not wasting taxpayer money?

    As a commission, we ensure that every single tax dollar is stretched to the max and in our recent budget deliberations, we asked that all departments be frugal and reduce costs where they can.

    What have you done to ensure the county budget is transparent?

    As a commission, we want full transparency for the public regarding the budget. That is why the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners implemented a new budget system requiring every department to submit a chart of accounts and reconcile their monthly budget. Clackamas County residents deserve full transparency on how the county spends money, which this system provides.

    Why did you call for an audit of the Sheriff’s Office?

    One of our primary responsibilities is to do all we can to spend every taxpayer dollar wisely, and this commission takes this seriously. We work with all department heads to ensure they have what they need and verify the appropriate use of funding. The audit was necessary after the Sheriff’s Office did not comply with the prescribed budget system. We aim to ensure that all tax dollars go towards their intended purpose to serve county residents best.

    Ended failed ‘Portland’ policies

    How has Clackamas County avoided so many of the issues we see in Portland?

    I promised you I would stop “Portland Creep” when I ran for office, and our commission has done exactly that. While almost a third of Multnomah County’s population reported being a victim of crime over the last three years, Portland defunded the police, poured millions of dollars into expensive “affordable housing” and aided the destruction of countless lives with its “harm reduction” tactics. Our commission took a different path and the results speak for themselves; we decreased homelessness by 65%, implemented a recovery oriented system of care (ROSC), and fully funded police so criminals can be held accountable. These successes are a result of our concerted effort to listen to local voices and continually analyze decisions and outcomes made by other leaders and governing bodies.

    How have you handled homelessness differently?

    Neighboring counties enabled people to use killer drugs and allowed homeless camps to overtake its cities through policies like decriminalizing hard drugs, refusing to prosecute crime, and allowing open-air drug use while providing drug paraphernalia. Meanwhile, Clackamas County had a 65% reduction in our homeless population. We achieved that by implementing a recovery oriented system of care (ROSC) that focused on the root causes of homelessness, which are addiction and mental health. Our commission is committed to addressing these root causes, which is why we hosted the Addictions Recovery Summit with health experts and recovery service providers so we could identify REAL solutions to the homeless epidemic in our state. The insistent refusal by neighboring counties to accept that addiction and mental health are the driving forces of homelessness is why Clackamas County is leading the way on reducing, and effectively ending homelessness.

    How are you addressing the impacts from drug decriminalization from Measure 110?

    Clackamas County led the fight to Re-Criminalize killer drugs. Following drug decriminalization from Measure 110, we drafted a referral for a Clackamas County vote on repealing Measure 110 AND 26+ other municipalities stood up with us. Our voice, and that of our community, was so clear that the legislature had no choice but to address this in their special session with HB 2002. The 'fix' isn't perfect but we did get much of what we needed changes so we can further work to reduce drug addiction and associated homelessness. We will now be allowed to pressure criminals addicted to hard drugs into recovery. We will be watching this closely to see how this works and whether we should refresh our efforts to repeal Measure 110.