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Letters to the editor: June 22, 2011

Just what kind of person runs for commissioner?

I was pleased with the outcome of the Sellwood Bridge measure in this last election. The voters of Clackamas County voted 63 percent no, vs. 37 percent yes.

It makes me wonder about our current Clackamas County commissioners who held several public hearings before deciding to impose the $5 per year, per vehicle, fee on their constituents.

Were they really that out of touch with us voters, or was there a political agenda? Could it be cronyism with the Multnomah County commissioners?

Whatever the reason, our commissioners definitely weren't looking out for us.

Those of us who were opposed to the Sellwood Bridge measure owe a debt of gratitude to Dan Holladay for circulating the petition to get the measure on the ballot. Otherwise we would have gotten the fees jammed down our throats - like it or not.

As out of touch with their constituents as the commissioners seem to be, it's probably also true that we voters may be equally out of touch with our commissioners.

The position of county commissioner is supposedly nonpartisan. Does that mean they check their party affiliation and political philosophy at the door? I doubt it.

The county commissioners just chose Jamie Damon to fill the vacancy created when Commissioner Peterson left to go work for the governor.

What would you like to bet that Jamie Damon's political philosophy coincides very nicely with that of the existing commissioners?

Because the position of county commissioner is supposedly nonpartisan, the voters pamphlet tells us very little about the person who is running.

It tells us what their education was, what they've done for a living, and what committees and government bodies they've served on.

Are they Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative? It's hard to tell, but it makes a very big difference in the way they govern.

I think it behooves us that come the next election for county commissioners we do a little more due diligence to determine who it is we're voting for, or maybe we should just return the position of county commissioner back to a partisan position.

Maybe we could eliminate things like the Sellwood Bridge fiasco in the future.

Robert C. Pursel

Sandy