In this week's Christmas Extravaganza, it's time to take a look at what some folks around the city asked Santa for. And what they actually got under their trees.

Dear Santa,

I'd really like a new City Hall this year for Christmas. Ours is cramped, some of us are in a maze of modular trailers out back and we need more space. Oh, and anything recycled. I already have a purse made from recycled Fred Meyer bags, so maybe a hat to match.


(Oregon City Mayor Alice Norris)


A new City Hall's a tall order. I've been working with some folks out there to see what we can do, but it probably won't be this year. How about opening the South End Fire Station early instead? And here's the hat. My elves are great, they reuse everything they can around here - you know that's why they picked green for their work clothes, right?


Dear Santa,

I'd really like for everyone to better understand the value of our rivers. They're our channels to commerce. And how about some more trees incorporated into the city's projects? The River Resource Museum could use a makeover, too. It doesn't have to be one of those Ty Pennington type extravaganzas, but some new paint and a living roof would be nice.



(Community Activist and former NRC member Jerry Herrmann)


I'm more of a snow and ice type of guy, but I feel for you. We're working on keeping the locks open, maybe we'll get some of the Clackamas dredged, too. And here's a gift certificate for some Metro recycled paint for the River Resource Museum. About the roof - I've left some dirt outside, you get to build it.


Dear Santa,

I'd like the resources to staff the department a little better. Crime's down in Oregon City, but there's still a lot we could be doing and better provide for our officer's safety if we had some additional staff.


(Oregon City Police Chief Gordon Huiras)


I'd love to leave you a big bag of cash, but that's just not how it works. You let me know when you get the D.A.R.E. program up and running and I'll get the elves to make shirts for the schools. Oh, and those kids your officers caught out on Leland Road last week - nothing but coal for them!


Dear Santa,

I'd like the city to just agree with me on something. First it was the SDCs for redevelopment. Now it's Urban Renewal. Singer Hill coffee shop and wine bar is up and running, we've got some exciting things planned for the rest of the block. What can you do?


(Phil Yates, Oregon City resident and business owner)


Let's face it, they're not going to agree with you on much. But keep it up…it's active citizens like you that are an integral part of keeping local governments accountable. And I did have a part in that Library Board reappointment, you know. Here are some new running shoes for the treadmill.


p.s. The elves loved the Sweet Dreams treats.

Dear Santa,

I'd really like to get elected to the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners. Can you give me the blueprint for a successful campaign this year for Christmas?


(Oregon City Commissioner and Candidate for Clackamas County Board of Commissioners Trent Tidwell)


Sure. Be honest. Assemble a strong campaign team. Learn as much about the county as you can. Talk to citizens and really listen to them. Remember it's not about you, it's about the people and how you'll serve them. Oh, and be sure to take a cue from John Edwards on the haircuts - that money has to come out of your pocket.


All of the letters above, obviously, have been fabricated in the spirit of the season.

I didn't actually receive these from Santa. He was busy.

Aaron Breniman writes, plays golf, and does a little of this and a little of that while spending most of his time in Oregon City. He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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