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County representative Jamie Damon visits Boring CPO

The CPO's 'Meet the Candidates' series continues in a forum with Jamie Damon
by:  JAMIE DAMON

When the Boring Citizen Participation Organization (CPO) gathers at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3, attendees will learn more about the views of their representative on the county commission.

Continuing with its 'Meet the Candidates' series, the CPO will allow current commissioner Jamie Damon to speak to the audience and to answer questions.

Damon was appointed to the commission in May. She took the unexpired term formerly held by Charlotte Lehan, who stepped up to the position of chairwoman of the commission when former chairwoman Lynn Peterson was hired by Gov. John Kitzhaber for a state position.

Damon says she wants to bridge the 'urban-rural divide,' not just among the commissioners but also between all levels of government.

Damon lives in rural Eagle Creek, and - even though all commissioners are elected at-large - she is the only commissioner living in a rural area.

The example of the urban-rural divide she described is the area flooded by last winter's rain on Mount Hood. She is now trying to locate support in advance at the federal level of government in case that type of event happens again.

But she's also trying to help commissioners from urban areas understand what the county could do to maximize resources.

'I am trying to (educate) the other commissioners about the (county) lands we have in federal ownership,' she said. 'More than one-third of our county land is owned by the federal government (USFS, BLM and USFWS). I want to increase our advocacy of these federal lands.'

By advocacy, Damon means she wants to be certain the lands are managed properly and opportunities for use by local residents are pursued.

'Rural residents have the potential,' she said, 'of receiving benefits from increased advocacy.'

The Sister County program, which pairs Clackamas County with Harney County, works for Clackamas County, she said, because Harney has about 75 percent of its land owned by the federal government.

'We can benefit from their experience,' she said. 'I was really struck by how much advocacy they do on behalf of the land in their county, that we're not doing. It's unique for a rural community. The commission is now discussing how to implement the sister-county relationship so it benefits both counties.

These and other topics that CPO members ask about can be discussed in an open forum with Damon at the CPO meeting.

Agenda

The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3, at the main building of the Boring Fire Department on Highway 212 in Boring.

On the agenda, said Chairman Steve Bates, is a conversation with Damon, followed by an update from the park committee and reports from the CPO treasurer, communications committee, water district and fire department as well as land-use issues.

Updates also could be heard on these topics: Boring Station Trailhead Park, Boring Farmers Market and the status of TriMet in the Boring area.

During the meeting, there will be opportunity for public comments.

For more information, call Bates at 503-663-6271.