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Volume 8, Issue 5


May 2010

May election voter guide

Justice of the Peace

Among the many Washington County contested races to be aware of is the Justice of the Peace. This is a non-partisan race to be decided in the May 18th Primary Election—there will be no runoff in November. The Washington County Justice Court is one of 41 Justice Courts in Oregon. The court processes over 900 small claims and more than 20,000 traffic violations annually. Frequently before the court are evictions (Forcible Entry Detainer) cases, Trimet fare evasions, building code and noise violations. Mediation is available and often mandatory. It is often the first stop in the legal system for young offenders. Along with adjudication of disputes, the Justice of the Peace also performs marriage ceremonies. Justices are elected for a six-year term for this non-partisan position.

There has not been a contested election for Justice of the Peace in many years. The incumbent, James Shartel, was appointed in 1991 and remained unchallenged for three elections. The challenger, Teresa Kohl, is a Community Service Officer for the Forest Grove Police and a volunteer Certified Mediator in the Washington County Courts since 1998.

You can read a side by side profile of the candidates in the Oregonian Voter Guide.

County Auditor

The office of County Auditor is mandated by the County Charter and is an elective office. The Auditor serves to independently evaluate the effectiveness and results achieved by County programs and activities. The costs and resources used to achieve those results are also evaluated. The results of these evaluations, including recommendations and the County Administrator’s response, are reported to the Board of Commissioners and the public. The Auditor makes recommendations that assist the Board and management to clarify policy and improve program performance, management practices and operating efficiency.

Alan Percell, who has served as Auditor since the position was created in 1981, announced in January that he would not seek re-election. The non-partisan position has two candidates running, John Hutzler has been an auditor for several public agencies and governments. His opponent, Kim Johnsen, is a CPA with private auditing experience.

Comparisons of the candidates are on the Oregonian Voter Guide at


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Publisher/Editor:Virginia Bruce
PO Box 91061
Portland, Oregon 97291