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Aug 292014

By Peter Toll

steve-spinnettDamascus Mayor Steve Spinnett, the anti-light rail, anti-Metro, anti-land use choice and, it appears, largely anti-Damascus politician, is done. At least he has announced he is not running for re-election.

There are two pieces of very good news attached to his parting letter: He won’t be around to continue dividing the city and driving it into the ground. Too, his departure may prompt an upsurge from citizens who are sick and tired of the terrible lack of cooperation by Spinnett and the council in accomplishing anything positive. Continue reading »

Aug 272014

Court Gavel And MoneyCounty Board Chair John Ludlow set a new public record for down and dirty Tuesday when colleagues allowed only $5,000 each for the legal fees he and Tootie Smith incurred in defending a hostile work place complaint of former employee Jared Anderson. The vote was 4-1 with Commissioner Paul Savas casting the no vote.

Listen to your county commissioners in action Continue reading »

Aug 172014

Scott_Mills croppedClackamas County has a good archetype of opposites on the fall ballot. Democrat Scott Mills, a long-time trade union member and Aurora city councilor, is challenging Republican Vic Gilliam in House District 18; it stretches from just outside Canby all the way into southern Marion County. Rep. Gilliam brings a big wallet to the race, tending to reflect his political philosophy of more for the rich and less for everybody else. Mills, chair of the local painter’s union, is gaining confidence, despite a strong Republican edge in voter registration. Forty percent of the district is in Clackamas County.

Aug 152014

missing mayorNobody ever said politics was a game with polite rules and high standards. Nobody ever said it would be a wholesome exercise for the good of all. But there is a certain standard one would expect of elected officials. Damascus Mayor Steve Spinnett doesn’t think so. He’s playing dirty by not allowing a competing issue on the ballot. Not nasty, mind you, just slimy and ugly by bending the rules to fit his particular agenda.

Sorry, folks, but the so-called “citizens” comprehensive plan won’t be on the ballot against the city’s (and Spinnett’s) preferred option. He’s blocking it by intentionally not attending a special council meeting to authorize it.

Spinnett, an anti-light rail zealot with his buddy County Commissioner John Ludlow, sees himself as a citizens’ advocate. Hardly. In fact, he’s more like Ludlow — my way or the highway.

Aug 132014

Just when Monica Wehby thought her fortunes were brightening with $3.5 million coming in via ugly television ads paid for by the Koch Brothers, fresh Wehby Bad News surfaces. Seems she picked a convicted wife beater to head her volunteer small business committee. Oops. Given her own proclivities toward domestic craziness, one could rudely figure moderate surprise on her part. What ever, he’s gone now.

Just another bad Wehby decision. Any other convicted felons ready to volunteer for her? Just call her office, since the Koch ads are inviting people to call Jeff Merkley’s office to complain about his votes.

Aug 022014

By Peter Toll

ludlow-20County Chair John Ludlow got lathered lately when he went to the Oregon City City Council and asked it to rescind a $1.67 per household fee they’re imposing on folks in Oregon City, Gladstone, and West Linn served by the Tri-City Service District, which operates the sewage treatment plant for those cities. (Add 11 cents per household in Oregon City.) Councilors all but ignored him.

Whining that the $1.67 per month is a “tax” by one municipality against others, Ludlow (with support of Gladstone and West Linn mayors) wanted Oregon City to stop the practice immediately. No soap, said Oregon City, we need the money to operate the plant. In case you missed it, Ludlow was complaining about one dollar and sixty-seven cents per month on a household, not per capita. Continue reading »