No locals in our county race


The race for the newly expanded Clackamas County Board of Commissioners is starting to get crowded. As of this week, there are candidates running for the four available seats.

With the recent addition of former State Rep. Ron Adams, the number of candidates running for Position 5, the two-year seat, has increased to five. Three candidates are seeking Position 4, and it's a two-way race so far for Position 3. The newly created Clackamas County chairperson position is, at present, uncontested.

A look into a Sandy Post edition from 60 years ago reveals statements on the editorial page attesting that the Sandy/Mount Hood area - really the entire northeast part of Clackamas County - is neglected compared to its south and west corners.

We hope this larger, five-member commission will allow for greater representation in all corners of the county, but we must admit we're disappointed that a prominent leader from our neck of the woods hasn't opted to file for one of the seats.

The closest contender to the Sandy area is Estacada resident Emil Hnidey, who is seeking the Position 5 seat against some heavy hitters with more experience, better name recognition and some money for a campaign.

Everybody else is from the other side of the county. Incumbent Martha Schrader, seeking Position 3, is from Canby. Her opponent, Raymond D. Nelson, is from Wilsonville.

Speaking of Wilsonville, the mayor of that town, Charlotte Lehan - a friend of Sandy Mayor Linda Malone's - is running for Position 4, against Clackamas businessman Dave Mowry and Gladstone's Matthew L. Green-Hite.

Newcomer Adams is also from the Wilsonville/West Linn area. His fellow Position 5 contenders, Trent Tidwell and Katherine Kehoe, are from Oregon City, and Lori DeRemer is from Happy Valley.

The city of Sandy has had a difficult relationship with Clackamas County in recent times. Disagreements over the Green Corridor Agreement (the document that aims to keep a rural buffer between Gresham and Sandy), the approval process for the Haley Road billboards and the continuous cry from the east side for its fair share of services has increased local leaders' distrust of the county.

Of course, we'd love to see a local rise up and file for the less-contested positions 4 or 3, because a commissioner who lives here would know firsthand the effects of the county's relationship (or lack thereof) and would be held accountable to the development of that relationship.

But in the end, what we need is attention to our needs. Hopefully the new commission setup will free up leaders to come out to our areas and address our specific needs.

We'll be watching throughout this campaign to see who best understands us.