WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 10, 2018 HERMISTONHERALD.COM • A3 LOCAL County commission race: Pullen mostly self- funded, Givens goes for write-in redemption By PHIL WRIGHT STAFF WRITER Rick Pullen of Pendleton reported raising $3,020 and spending almost $2,800 so far in his campaign to oust incumbent George Mur- dock as Umatilla County commissioner. Murdock, also of Pend- leton, has reported rais- ing more than $10,000 and spending almost $7,200 to win a second full term as commissioner. Pullen’s campaign finan- cials became public this week on ORESTAR, the Oregon Secretary of State’s website for campaign finance activity. Pullen’s plethora of black and yellow political signs led some local political insiders to question how he was pay- ing for the campaign. The answer is, mostly out of his own pocket, it turns out. According to the web- site, Pullen has loaned his campaign $2,100. Close family have given $500 to the campaign, and the rest comes from small cash contributions. Pullen paid $384 to Cre- ative Signs and $450 to DG Gifts & Screen Printing, both in Pendleton. Bridgeview Press of Cave Junction in Jose- Rick Pullen George Murdock phine County got the big- gest check — $1,537. Pullen also spent $262.50 for signs from a company in Orlando, Florida. “We have purchased a lot of our stuff local,” Pullen said, and “we’ve gone where we can” to keep expenses down. Pullen also said he has family in Cave Junction and listened to their local recommendation. Murdock and Pullen are facing off for the Position 1 seat on the county board after neither came away with more than 50 percent of the vote in the primary. Murdock came close, with 45.4 percent, and Pul- len pulled in 30.6 per- cent. Tom Bailor of Pendle- ton came in third with 23.8 percent. Bailor said he is not endorsing either candidate. Pullen and Murdock aren’t the only race for Umatilla County commis- sioner on the ballot — com- missioner Larry Givens is not giving up on serving a fourth term. “I got some folks that are supporting a write-in cam- paign,” Givens said. “They approached me. This is sup- porter driven.” Athena Mayor John Sha- fer won 52.3 percent of the vote to defeat Givens in the race for position 2 on the Umatilla County Board of Commissioners. Nearly 12,000 voters cast ballots in that race, while the entire turnout for the primary was 13,310, or 31 percent. Givens, commissioner for 12 years, said Mel Keely, vice chair of the county fair board, came to him a couple of weeks ago with the idea of running a write-in campaign for the Nov. 6 election. A few more people made the same pitch soon after; Givens said he gave his blessing and the campaign is catching on in Hermiston, Pendleton and Milton-Freewater. “It comes from some folks who just are not happy with Mr. Shafer,” Givens said, but he did not specify what they might be unhappy about. Although Shafer gar- nered a majority of vot- ers in the primary, his name appears on the November ballot along with a space for write-ins. Umatilla County elec- tions manager Kim Lin- dell said that’s because the county charter specifies vot- ers elect commissioners in November. Shafer said he is sur- prised Givens is going for a write-in. “The people spoke in May,” he said. “Now they’re going to get the chance to speak in November.” BMCC selects interim president HERMISTON HERALD Blue Mountain Commu- nity College has picked Dr. Connie Green as the col- lege’s interim president. Green retired as president of Tillamook Bay Commu- nity College in 2017. She will guide BMCC while its board conducts a nationwide search to replace Cam Preus, who is leav- ing BMCC on Oct. 31 to become the executive direc- tor of the Oregon Commu- nity College Association in Salem. BMCC board chair- man Chris Brown said in a statement that Green has a “strong background” as a college president, leadership coach and workforce devel- Dr. Connie Green opment supporter that will help maintain continuity at the college during its search. “BMCC has maintained strong relationships over the years with the 16 other Oregon community col- leges, so we are familiar with Dr. Green’s leadership and experience,” he said. “Therefore, the board is very comfortable bringing Dr. Green in to assist us through this transition.” BMCC has hired Gold Hill Associates, a consult- ing firm that specializes in college executive searches, to assist in recruiting and selecting candidates. The same firm assisted the col- lege in hiring Preus in 2013. The board expects to hire a new president before July 1, 2019. According to a news release from BMCC, Green has stated she is not inter- ested in applying for the per- manent position. She has worked with BMCC in the past after being contracted to facilitate the college’s strate- gic planning in 2014. Green has a doctorate degree in education, pol- icy and planning from Uni- versity of Oregon. She was president of Tillamook Bay Community College for six and a half years and spent 30 years before that in various leadership roles at Cheme- keta Community College in Salem. She also spent two years as a policy advisory on com- munity college and work- force development for the state. Green will begin on Nov. 15, with vice president of student affairs Diane Dre- bin named acting presi- dent for the two weeks in between. STAFF PHOTO BY E.J. HARRIS A shipping container is offloaded from a railcar at one of the railroad spurs in May 2015 at the Port of Morrow. POM gets statewide business benefit By JAYATI RAMAKRISHNAN STAFF WRITER As the Port of Morrow grows, it will recoup some of the money it has spent to ready its property for new business. Business Oregon, the state’s economic devel- opment agency, recently named the Port’s East Beach Industrial Site as a “Regionally Significant Industrial Site.” The des- ignation is given to enti- ties that are developing sites for industrial use, and offers them tax reimburse- ment for money they spend on preparing a site. To qualify for the pro- gram, the port had to des- ignate a site and identify reasons the site was not yet “shovel-ready.” Those issues became the port’s development plan. They include providing fresh and potable water, nat- ural gas, rail and sewer improvements. Once the port has imple- mented its capital improve- ment plan and has tenants on the property, half the taxes tenants pay on their employees will be reim- bursed to the port, who can then use that money to pay for up to 100 percent of the cost to ready that site. That cost does not include ver- tical construction, or any work on buildings — only on the lot. “It could be anything from grade issues, deal- ing with access, providing utilities,” said Daniel Hol- brook, an industrial lands specialist for Business Oregon. “Once the issues are addressed, that site will be regionally significant for industry.” Port Director Ryan Neal said the port had to iden- tify a site that met some requirements before they could apply for the pro- gram. The site had to be vacant, slated for indus- trial use, and had to pro- vide a minimum of 25 jobs. The East Beach Indus- trial Site, which the port has identified for develop- ment, is about 982 acres, and could provide about 800 jobs, Neal said. He said the site improvements have to be completed by 2023. According to the program, rural sites must also pay employees wages higher than the county or state average, whichever is lower. The Port of Morrow was the second site in the state to receive the RSIS designation, after the Port of Portland’s Trout- dale-Reynolds Industrial Park. It is the first to qual- ify for the program. Want Year Around Outdoor Space? W e’ve Got Solutions! FREE Estimates! 541-720-0772 Visit our showroom: 102 E Columbia Dr. Kennewick, WA 99336 Patio Rooms Awnings · Sunrooms Pergolas · Patio Covers All Season Shades Solar Screens & More! (Call for Showroom Hours) www.mybackyardbydesignor.com BMCC to open resource center to help student veterans HERMISTON HERALD Student veterans will soon have a place at Blue Mountain Community Col- lege to study, meet other vet- erans, and find resources. The BMCC Veteran’s Resource Center will open in Morrow Hall, 2411 NW Carden Ave., Pendleton, on Wednesday, Oct. 10, from 1:30-4 p.m. The Veteran’s Resource Center was funded by a $50,000 grant from the Ore- gon Department of Veter- an’s Affairs that the college received last year. 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