Cedar Mill News election endorsements

by Virginia Bruce, Publisher

After listening to the candidates and spokespeople for the measures at our October CPO 1 meeting, and reading and reflecting on the literature, here are my views on the local, regional, and state choices on the November 3 election. (You can view the meeting here.)

Metro Council candidates: District 5

I endorse Chris Smith for this position. While his interests are centered in Portland, he understands the need to find longer-term solutions to the area’s growth and transit problems. “Metro needs to work on the 2050 plan and influence land use practices,” he said in an interview today.

The bulk of this Metro District is in northwest Portland, but it also encompasses Forest Heights and the eastern edge of the Cedar Mill area.

Metro District 5

District 33 State Representative

I urge a vote for Maxine Dexter. Her experience as a physician is invaluable as we deal with the pandemic, and she has made an effort to reach out and learn more about our area.

Tualatin Soil & Water District Board Position At-Large No. 2

Dean Moberg lives in Cedar Mill and has been active in bringing sustainability information by organizing Sustainability Fairs at the Farmer’s Market. He’s passionate about educating people on ways to conserve and enhance the natural environment, while understanding the needs of landowners.

Washington County Charter Amendments

I urge a YES vote on both these measures, because Washington County deserves a full-time government.

Measure 34-300 changes the way our Board of County Commissioners’ (BCC) salaries are calculated. This will pave the way for full-time Commissioners, and will open up that job to more potential candidates. Currently, only the Chair, who represents all 610,000 county residents, receives “full-time” pay. The other Commissioners only get half-time salaries, whether they work full-time at the job or not. Many of our current and past Commissioners have a separate full-time job, which lets them afford to run for this office. 

If passed, an independent Salary Commission will determine the appropriate pay. Each of the four regional Commissioners represents approximately one-fourth of the county’s population, or about 153,000 people. That isn’t a half-time job! 

Measure 34-301 will eliminate “Ordinance Season.” The BCC can only consider Land Use Ordinances—the laws that govern everything from how many chickens you can have to how many homes can be built and how nature is protected—between March and October. This leads to a rush to pass Ordinances at the last minute. It was instituted at a time when information had to be distributed only on paper, and it’s time to modernize the county.

State Measures

I’m voting YES on each of the Measures on the ballot.

Measure 107: amendment to Oregon Constitution will help Oregon have more fair elections by getting out-of-state and dark-money groups out of our election process.

Measure 108: increasing tobacco and e-cigarette tax: discouraging tobacco use and raising money for OHA programs is a good idea.

Measure 109: regulatory program for psilocybin: it’s time for a well-regulated program to legalize this important new mental health treatment modality 

Measure 110: decriminalizing controlled substances: the criminal system has never been a good way to deal with drug addiction and the mental health problems that contribute to drug abuse.

Metro Regional measure

Measure 26-218: “Get Moving 2020” transportation project: I’m voting NO on this measure. We don’t see much in this measure that will benefit our area, and throwing a small fortune at the same old solutions doesn’t seem like a good idea. We think Metro should focus on a long-range vision for how the region develops and how to serve all neighborhoods.