Seaside signal. (Seaside, Or.) 1905-current, April 13, 2018, Page 3A, Image 3

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    April 13, 2018 • Seaside Signal • • 3A
County commission candidates discuss range of topics
Eight candidates
vying for three
open seats
By Jack Heffernan
EO Media Group
At a forum that covered
a range of Clatsop County
issues, a few seemed to be
a priority for candidates and
spectators alike: job creation,
emergency preparedness, a
November jail bond, housing
and the environment.
Eight candidates for three
seats on the county Board of
Commissioners in the May
election gathered Tuesday,
April 3, for a forum at Asto-
ria High School sponsored by
the American Association of
University Women and The
Daily Astorian.
Thompson is facing chal-
lenger Susana Gladwin — a
Jewell farmer — in the race
for the District 5 seat, which
encompasses Cannon Beach
and much of the South Coun-
Candidates running for Clatsop County commissioner take their seats.
ty. Both discussed housing,
economic development and
emergency preparedness —
three topics Thompson has
often highlighted at commis-
sion meetings, as well. The
most specific proposals from
each candidate came in a dis-
cussion about preparedness
for a Cascadia Subduction
Zone earthquake and tsuna-
Thompson said it is critical
to train residents in disaster
preparation, build up supplies
and establish relationships
with other at-risk counties.
She mentioned her attendance
at statewide conferences,
which has drawn criticism
from other commissioners
due to her travel expenses, as
useful in this context.
“We have friends all over
the state to help us,” Thomp-
son said.
Gladwin said she was
isolated for four days on her
Jewell farm in 1996 due to
flooding on the Nehalem Riv-
er. She said Seaside needs bi-
cycle evacuation drills, bridg-
es and more truck routes out
of cities.
“We plan constantly about
how as a community we will
survive because we know
we’ll be isolated after a bad
earthquake and the bridges
are down,” she said.
Thompson and
Gladwin largely avoided ad-
dressing a question about the
upcoming bond measure that
would relocate and expand
the county jail at a cost of
more than $20 million. Most
of the other candidates sup-
ported the need for a new jail
with the exception of McCa-
rtin, who questioned whether
such an expense is justified.
Candidates to replace
Commissioner Lisa Clement
in District 3 are Peter Ros-
coe — a former restaurateur
and Astoria city councilor —
Doug Thompson — a proper-
ty manager and also a former
Astoria city councilor — and
Pamela Wev — an Astoria
land use planning consultant.
In District 1, Mark Kujala
— owner of Skipanon Brand
Seafood and a former War-
renton mayor — George Mc-
Cartin — a retired attorney
and regular presence at public
meetings — and Andy Da-
vis — a medical data analyst
— are vying for the seat be-
ing vacated by Scott Lee, the
board’s chairman. While each
candidate listed some specif-
ic points of interest, they all
agreed on one area in need
of change: the commission’s
State House candidates appeal to voters
Several compete
to replace Boone
By Edward Stratton
The Daily Astorian
The five hopefuls to re-
place state Rep. Deborah
Boone in state House District
32 pitched themselves to vot-
ers Tuesday in a candidate fo-
rum at Astoria High School.
Three Democrats are run-
ning in the May primary, in-
cluding Tillamook County
Commissioner Tim Josi and
political newcomers John Orr
and Tiffiny Mitchell.
Josi, who served in the
state House from 1991 to
1998 and the last 20 years on
the Tillamook County Com-
mission, has come out as the
early front-runner with the
broadest name recognition
and biggest campaign coffer.
He touted his experience and
how he has been reacquaint-
ing himself with people in the
“I served this area, and
the people who remember me
know it’s not what you do in
Salem,” Josi said. “It’s what
you do when you’re in the
Orr, a local lawyer, called
himself the true progressive
candidate of the race, noting
his experience leading the
North Coast Land Conser-
vancy, working at recycling
company Trails End Recov-
ery, running a local legal
practice for 24 years and
serving as a municipal judge
in Gearhart for more than 20
“I know firsthand the is-
sues that face the people who
Candidates prepare to answer questions from the audience
in Astoria.
live here and work here,” Orr
said. “I know how laws affect
Mitchell, a case manage-
ment coordinator for the state
Department of Human Ser-
vices, moved to Oregon from
Utah in 2015 and jumped
into the race after local col-
lege adviser Melissa Ousley
dropped out.
An activist with progres-
sive group Indivisible North
Coast Oregon, Mitchell has
cast herself as a candidate for
the working class. “I’m going
to be that voice that will fight
for all of you in Salem,” she
Vineeta Lower, an educa-
tor with the Oregon Virtual
Academy, is the sole Re-
publican candidate after the
withdrawal of Banks contrac-
tor Gene Stout. She touted
her education experience and
said the state needs to focus
more on developing trades
programs and internships to
increase student engagement.
Brian Halvorsen, a com-
munity organizer who found-
ed North Coast Progressives
last year, has filed as an In-
dependent and focused his
campaign on economic fair-
ness, environmental justice
and campaign finance reform.
Asked how they would ad-
dress school safety, the three
Democratic candidates and
Halvorsen focused on stricter
gun laws and improved men-
tal health services. While a
ban of assault-style weapons
would be unlikely to pass
constitutional muster because
of operational similarities
with a hunting rifle, Orr said,
he supports intensive yearly
mental health screenings for
students. As a former teacher,
Lower said, schools need to
focus on bullying.
All candidates except for
Lower supported reworking
the tax system to provide
more revenue for services.
Mitchell, Orr and Halvorsen
specifically supported rais-
ing taxes on the wealthy and
corporations. Lower said the
focus should be on trimming
government waste.
All candidates voiced sup-
port for a national popular
vote for president except for
Lower, who seemed unsure,
and all supported some form
of campaign finance reform.
Halvorsen said the state
should move toward a sim-
ilar model of partial public
financing found in Portland,
where municipal candidates
starting next year can agree
to limit private fundraising in
exchange for a public match.
Each candidate was given
a chance to voice a top prior-
“If we don’t have hous-
ing for the people who want
to work in our communities,
we’re going to grind this
economy down to a halt,”
Josi said.
Orr focused on raising tax-
es on the wealthy rather than
the middle class to stabilize
funding. “Until we do this,
we will accomplish nothing,”
he said.
Mitchell, recounting how
her parents’ insurance was
able to pay for treatment of
her brain tumor as a child,
focused on the need for af-
fordable health care. “No one
should have to worry about
their own finances when
they’re sick,” she said. “They
should be focused on getting
Lower decried the condi-
tion of Northwest Oregon’s
highways, calling for more
infrastructure investments.
Halvorsen called for eco-
nomic fairness. “We need to
level the playing field be-
tween the rich and the work-
ing class,” he said.
Local activist, advocate begins state House campaign
Mitchell running
for Boone’s seat
By Edward Stratton
The Daily Astorian
When Melissa Ousley
dropped out of the state House
race to replace retiring state
Rep. Deborah Boone, Tiffiny
Mitchell said she felt like
there was no longer a candi-
date quite representing her
So Mitchell became the
third to file in the Democrat-
ic primary in May for state
House District 32, along with
Tillamook County Commis-
sioner Tim Josi and local at-
torney John Orr. She kicked
her campaign off Monday
amid a packed taproom at
Buoy Beer Co.
“When she dropped out of
the race, I felt this void that
really needed to be represent-
ed,” Mitchell said of Ousley.
“I listened to the other two
candidates, and it’s not that
they’re not good people. They
just didn’t represent my val-
ues or the values of so many
other people that I had talk-
ed to that had also expressed
that same regret that Melissa
dropped out.”
Mitchell is a case man-
agement coordinator for the
state Department of Human
Services who moved to Ore-
gon from Utah in 2015 with
her husband, who works for
Pacific Power. She is an orga-
nizer with progressive activist
group Indivisible North Coast
Oregon and has focused her
campaign on broader social
policies such as affordable
housing, health care, repro-
ductive health, stable educa-
tion funding and equal pay.
She has received endorse-
ments from a variety of labor,
education, women’s and con-
servation groups.
State Rep. Deborah Boone and state Sen. Betsy Johnson
talk at a town hall at Seaside City Hall.
Johnson, Boone hold
Seaside town hall
Climate change,
tax reform
By Brenna Visser
Cannon Beach Gazette
Climate change, emer-
gency preparedness and oth-
er topics were on the minds
of residents who came
to City Hall on Saturday,
March 31, to ask state Sen.
Betsy Johnson and Rep.
Deborah Boone questions.
With retirement on the
horizon for Boone, some
quizzed her about the future
of emergency preparedness,
her legacy issue.
One of those constitu-
ents was Tiffiny Mitchell,
a candidate running for
state House District 32 —
Boone’s soon-to-be former
“I come from Utah,
where we have similar is-
sues living on a fault line,”
Mitchell said. “Then I
moved here and I felt I was
moving from one communi-
ty with emergency planning
issues to another facing the
same issues. What do you
think needs to still happen
to make sure this area is
Boone, D-Cannon Beach,
mostly reflected on progress
the state has made, includ-
ing legislation that created
the Oregon Resilience Plan
following the 2011 Japanese
tsunami, as well as a bill
that allows retired medical
professionals to practice in
Medical Reserve Corps like
the ones in Cannon Beach
and Manzanita.
Most of the success
Boone said she has seen
has been on a local level
with neighborhood mapping
efforts and preparedness
“They’ve taken the wand
in the relay here and are put-
ting these ideas into place,”
Boone said.
Johnson, D-Scappoose,
emphasized a need for clear
messaging when it comes
to responding to a disaster,
after a tsunami watch issued
for the Oregon Coast in Jan-
uary caused local confusion.
In a separate interview,
Boone said she sees the fu-
ture of emergency planning
in promoting relocation
projects like the Seaside
School District is embark-
ing upon, as well as sup-
porting more dual-purpose,
resiliency-based develop-
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