Could Clackamas County Reduce Its $37 Million Debt Service?

Third in a series about issues identified by Clackamas County Democrats at their recent platform issue meeting.

The prior article in this series described how the Bank of North Dakota works. This article will provide information as to whether or not a similar bank concept could save money for Clackamas County, our special districts, education system, and cities.

Clackamas County government, not including all the special districts and cities, has a long term debt of more than $248 million. It will have to pay more than $37 million in debt service. In terms of bonds issued with the full faith and credit (FFCO) of the county government, the county pays about $29 million in interest annually. Adding revenue bond interest of $4.3 million results in some $37 million in interest every year. Continue reading

Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington Commissioners to Select Senate District 19 Replacement

News from Clackamas County …

Following the resignation of Senator Richard Devlin earlier this year from the Oregon Senate, commissioners from Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties will hold a joint session on Monday, Jan 29, to interview candidates and select a replacement for the open position.

Oregon law requires that a legislative vacancy be filled by county commissioners representing the district in which the vacancy exists. Senate District 19 includes voters in all three counties. Continue reading

Voting “Yes” on Measure 101 Is Good for Your School District

An op-ed piece by Ginger Fitch, Chair, West Linn-Wilsonville School Board
and Chelsea Martin, Vice-Chair, West Linn-Wilsonville School Board. Reprinted by permission of the authors.

Voters, you need to know that the Oregon School Boards Association, Oregon Education Association, Confederation of Oregon School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers Oregon, Head Start, Oregon PTA and numerous other groups who care about education have all strongly endorsed a “yes” vote on Measure 101.

Why are educators and education advocates for a “yes” on Measure 101? It’s because anyone who works with children knows that our students learn best when they are healthy and have healthcare. Continue reading

Parrish Channels Her Inner Trump, Seeks to Manipulate the Voters’ Pamphlet on Measure 101

Oregonians are proud of their state — from public beaches to the bottle bill, from first-in-the-nation land use planning to vote by mail. In our culture here, what passes for sacred has more to do with protecting the public or keeping it weird as it does anything. One of the iconic events that’s part of every Oregonian’s civic duty is to read their Voters’ Pamphlet.

At a time when social media is manipulated by foreign powers, racists occupy the White House, and major news organizations are owned by Fortune 500 companies who allow lies to go unchecked, an unbiased source for real facts is needed now more than ever. Continue reading

iPA Candidate Forum on SD 19 Appointment Draws Full House


More than 100 people heard seven candidates for the appointment to the State Senate District 19 vacancy speak at a well-attended forum in West Linn, sponsored by independents for Progressive Action.

The candidates are Claudia Black, Tualatin; Joelle Davis, Tualatin; Tim Loun, West Linn; Gerritt Rosenthal, Tualatin; Greg Macpherson, Lake Oswego; Rob Wagner, Lake Oswego; and Daphne Wysham, West Linn. Loun, a political newcomer, is the latest to file.

Candidates had 75 seconds to answer some questions and 45 seconds for others, in a whirlwind program that took two hours.

Topics covered included:

  • Health Care for All. All endorsed Measure 101.
  • Housing Problems. All agreed homelessness needs prompt, creative attention.
  • Tax Reform. Tax the rich more and corporations more and tax individuals and families less.
  • Women’s Right to Choose. All were in agreement as pro-choice.
  • Education. (See Tax Reform.) All had it as a priority.
  • Campaign Finance Reform. Eliminate big money from Oregon politics.
  • Justice Reform. Oregon has a disproportionate number of minorities in its jails.
  • Climate Change. Not enough being done, but some serious steps are under way.
  • Jordan Cove LNG plant in Coos Bay. All opposed, though one hedged a tad and invoked labor concerns.
  • Who the candidates would use as allies in the legislature. Many names were bandied.
  • Extend the Max line to Tualatin. All in agreement.
  • Naturopaths. Add naturopaths to physician list of those allowed to administer cannabis for medical use.

A video of the full forum is available on youtube.

The short-answer format served the evening well but at the expense of longer, more complicated answers.

Lisa Ortiz chairs the iPA group that put on the forum.

The Oregonian Got It Wrong on Measure 101

By Charles Gallia, State Senate candidate, SD 20

When the Oregonian made a “tough call” to oppose Measure 101 (12/16/2017), they were indifferent to the harm and chaos taking such a stand could create.

The objections they raised to it are minor and could be responsibly dealt with in a regular legislative session. They fail to appreciate that the legislature did its job. They advocate a broad tax increase for everyone out of general funds. That’s revenue that did not exist in the earlier session, does not exist now, and won’t magically appear in the next 30 days. Continue reading