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Incumbents take THPRD board races

Griffiths, Blowers emphasize responsibilities behind bond measure success

Beaverton-area voters voiced their satisfaction with local parks and recreation offerings by re-electing two incumbents to the Position 4 and Position 5 seats on the Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District Board of Directors.

Position 4 incumbent John Griffiths sailed to victory Tuesday with 12,937 votes, or 72 percent, over challenger Jeffrey S. Smith, who collected 5,007 votes, or 28 percent, according to unofficial election results.

Joe Blowers, a life sciences teacher at East Sylvan Middle School, overcame two challengers to the Position 5 seat he's held for two four-year terms with 10,786 votes, or 59 percent. Political hopeful and advertising sales representative Lisa Michaels received 6,522, or 35 percent of votes, while financial consultant Tim Tank took in 1,049 votes, or 6 percent.

Griffiths, a veteran of Intel Corp., ran on his record of land conservation and support of diverse recreational and creative opportunities in the district.

The Southwest Beaverton resident ran what he called a 'low key' campaign on the success of a $100 million bond measure - for land acquisition and dozens of improvement projects - that voters approved on the cusp of recession in 2008.

'We can now get a lot more done than we thought we could get for that $100 million,' he said Tuesday night. 'What we want to do is use that money wisely and deliver on what voters are going to hold us accountable for.'

Smith, a Tanasbourne resident, said he felt a more conservative approach in land acquisition was called for in shaky economic times and advocated for improving existing trails and facilities to accommodate ADA guidelines.

Noting that Smith's 28 percent of the vote was impressive for a newcomer, Griffiths said he never had an opportunity to discuss or debate issues with his opponent.

'Enough people resonated with his message,' Griffiths said. 'Fortunately for me, more people resonated with mine.

'My appreciation goes out to the people who voted for me. I will do my best for the next four years.'

Contacted at his home after Tuesday's election results rolled in, Blowers said he was 'relieved' by his victory, but couldn't help but ponder what voters may have found in his opponents.

'Right now I'm wondering 'What about these people who voted for Lisa (Michaels) and Tim (Tank),' he said in between grading papers. 'But I'm excited about another four years. We've got a good board going.'

Blowers, 55, said he felt he and his board colleagues owed it to those who supported the bond measure to implement it under their watch.

'We're kind of in the middle of it. I feel like I have a contract with voters to see it through,' he said.

Michaels, who produces her own public access TV show, 'Live with Lisa Michaels,' campaigned on building more and better facilities for existing parkland and applying her marketing experience to the board.

Tank, a former high school counselor, said if elected he would bring more fiscal responsibility to the board and make sure current infrastructure investments are sustainable.

Blowers looks forward to dedicating new trails this summer and finding better ways of communicating and reaching out to minority communities.

'I am thankful to voters that trusted me,' he said. 'In general, we (provide) pretty good service, and we want it to improve.'