Why the Clackamas County rebellion?

by John Ludlow

The people of Clackamas County have been under assault by their own County Commission. Let’s examine how the commissioners continue to subvert the will of the voters.

1st strike…The Clackamas County Commissioners tried to put a vehicle licensing tax on county residents in order to pay $22 million for the replacement of the Sellwood Bridge in Multnomah County. Fortunately a citizen’s initiative required it to be voted on. The measure stopped the tax with a 63% plurality.

2nd strike…The citizens placed a measure on the ballot to require a county-wide vote on the creation of Urban Renewal taxing districts. These districts take millions of dollars from schools, fire & police protection, libraries and cities. The commissioners reacted by putting up a “companion” measure which would have allowed only the small amount of people IN a proposed district to vote on the use of county-wide taxes. The citizen’s measure surpassed the commissioner’s measure with over 70% approval.

3rd strike…When the Clackamas County Commissioners refused to put the question of light rail to the voter, the citizens again gathered enough signatures to put the question to the voters on this September 18. Measure 3-401 will require county-wide voter approval for Portland light rail to enter Clackamas County. Four of the County Commissioners have stated that the vote doesn’t matter, the rail is coming. In a hurried meeting on August 22 a majority of commissioners, knowing Measure 3-401 will pass overwhelmingly, voted “yes” to pay TriMet in full before the public has a chance to vote on the issue.

Three strikes, and they need to be out. On my website take a look at the August 1 debate between Chair Lehan and myself. During the entire debate Ms. Lehan never mentioned the words “voter” or “taxpayer,” instead favoring “regional partners” and “the plan.” They have a plan; your wishes are just not part of it.

The voter initiatives and the Clackastani movement are more than about bridges, light rail and the misuse of urban renewal. What we have is a rebellion against the gradual and continual eroding of our freedoms. Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle said: “Men seldom rebel against anything that does not deserve rebelling against.”

Why the rebellion? Let’s evaluate where we stand:

  • The citizens of the City of Damascus are trying to keep their town’s identity. They are bucking the high density residential “plans” that METRO and Clackamas County have for them.
  • The citizens of Boring are chaffing at a Clackamas County and ODOT illegally taking of lands along Highway 26.
  • Lake Oswego doesn’t want METRO’s high density or TriMet’s light rail.
  • Oak Grove wants to keep their library and were never told, in the last county library election, that they would lose it.
  • Estacada put their foot down and said that they would vote on the use of all future Urban Renewal taxes. Gladstone did the same. Oregon City will vote on the issue on November 6th.
  • The commissioners handed Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts an eviction notice from his North Station building, ordering deputies to get out so the lucrative Justice Court could move in. The Clackamas County Commission unfairly did this considering deed restrictions require the property to be used only for public safety.

This IS a rebellion. It’s time for reform. It’s time to stand up and be bold. Vote “yes” on Measure 3-401 and vote “yes” for John Ludlow for Clackamas County Chair. It is the job of the Clackamas County Commissioners to represent the will of the majority, at which most of them have failed miserably. When elected, I will continue as I have begun — on the side of the voters.

John Ludlow has served as a Wilsonville City Councilor, Wilsonville Mayor and Wilsonville Chamber of Commerce President, and he is running for Clackamas County Chair

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Posted by at 05:08 | Posted in 2012 Election | 9 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Bob Clark

    I’ve thought about moving to Clackamas from Multnomah County, inspired by the grassroot forces fighting back against the central planning regime of Portland and Metro.
    Without Metro, Multnomah County and Portland would have a big hole in their boat. Portland is propped up by Metro’s pushing population back into the city of Portland. As it is, Multnomah County is still by far the poorest of the three counties making up Metro, even with this artificial assistance (land use restrictions). Metro should be abolished so communities can compete, and provide a diverse supply of alternative life styles and economic opportunities, rather than Metro’s one size fits all central plan.

  • Guest

    1st Strike…

    Yeah, good call on that one since no one from Clackamas County uses the Sellwood bridge.

    End Tea Party Creep in Clackamas County!

    • Guest

      And, congratulations to the citizens of Gladstone who screwed getting a new library. I need to move to Milwaukie where at least the library seems to be a priority.

  • Leathermouth

    Keep fighting, Clackamas County! And one of you smart people get a motion on the ballot to get rid of Metro. It is gobbling up our freedom, as we speak!

    • conservatively speaking

      Specious-scurrilous Ballot Measure 6 (May 1978) created Metro despite Clackamas County voting No! The county would still vote no but Multnomah and Washington Counties played “bully bully” then and would continue to flex their immaculate contraption muscles today.

      Doubtful Clackamas County might lawfully/politically secede on its own, but the Metro mon$trosity could (should) be dissolved – lo, a costly govermentium “Billions and billions” (Carl Sagan) astronomically highly silk PERS’n $uperfluous entity.

  • valley person

    Clackamas County, where I live, has far too few jobs for the number of workers. This means many if not most of us have to transport ourselves to and through Multnomah and Washington Counties to get to work or our businesses.

    People in those counties, working through the elected regional government, decided long ago that the would not allow new highways through their neighborhoods. They opted for light rail, and made us in Clackamas county a deal. They said they, along with state and federal governments, would pay 95% of the cost of extending light rail to our county so that at least some of us could get to work without being stuck in traffic. Our county commissioners agreed and signed a deal, which is their fiduciary responsibility.

    Now along comes Mr Ludlow and the so called Clackistani rebellion. Basically a bunch of retired white guys who don’t have to get anywhere have ginned up this rebellion against modernization, and it will cost working people many hours in lost time stuck in traffic.

    We in C County are going to learn the hard way that we live in a region and need a regional transportation system, including links to other counties.

    • guest

      IMO, Jojo,self anointed Dean of Clackamas County needs to get back, get back to where he belongs, e.g., Melanoma County.

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