An Important Letter from Four Clackamas County Mayors


l-r: Mayors Axelrod (West Linn), Gamba (Milwaukie), Holladay (Oregon City), and Knapp (Wilsonville)

Voters of Clackamas County:

The last four years have been hard on Clackamas County. Working relationships with other area governments have suffered. Positive forward progress has largely stopped. Lawsuits, acrimony and conflict have flourished. County staff morale appears at an all time low. A citizen itemized $3.4 million of public money has been unnecessarily wasted by Clackamas County actions.

Still worse, Chair John Ludlow and Commissioner Tootie Smith have run roughshod over County staff, their own cities, and regional government. They have spent hundreds of thousands of public dollars trying to change farmland protections that have previously been developed through inclusive public processes. Their poorly conceived plan would produce large profits for a small group of private developers (who have been their largest campaign donors), but would cost the public millions in future expenses.

Responsible leaders learn how to work with their partners, whether or not they agree on every issue, finding common ground and working toward the greater good. Ludlow and Smith often attempt to dictate policy based on superficial knowledge and fringe ideology. Thoughtful planning is a casualty.

Their consequent rude approaches, bellicose comments, and poorly conceived policies have offended many in our county and cities, and alienated people in adjacent governments that we need to work with. Business looks for stable, responsible government when deciding where to invest. Economic growth, job creation, and business investment have fallen behind in Clackamas County. These conditions will cost our cities and county significant funding for years to come.

We need a change in direction and leadership, and now have that opportunity. If you would like to see Clackamas County redeem it’s reputation, have a brighter economic future, and work more effectively for our citizens, the Mayors shown here urge you to vote for Jim Bernard Chairman, and Ken Humberston Commissioner this November.

Mayor Mark Gamba, City of Milwaukie

Mayor Dan Holladay, Oregon City

Mayor Russ Axelrod, City of West Linn

Mayor Tim Knapp, City of Wilsonville