May 21, 2020

My Vision for Clackamas County and Its Future

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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.…

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May 20, 2020

Tootie Smith takes Clackamas County Chair

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MOLLALA, Ore. – Tootie Smith, former Clackamas County Commissioner, state legislator, and government accountability advocate, won Tuesday night’s Clackamas County Chair race against Jim Bernard. She released the following statement: “Thank you to the people of Clackamas County for their support and placing their trust in me. They sent a strong message tonight that they want a county government that…

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May 19, 2020

Enough is Enough

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Every election is about choices, and the upcoming May 19 primary voters will never see a bigger contrast in two candidates. Citizens decide every two or four years if they’re happy with their political leadership. If are, they stay the course and incumbents are re-elected. But if they aren’t, they decide it’s time for a change and new leaders take…

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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 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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