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Voters oust Clackamas River Water Commissioner Pat Holloway

Citizens overwhelmingly voted Patricia Holloway off of Clackamas River Water’s governing board in a Tuesday night recall election that centered on whether Holloway was making frivolous accusations about the use of the district’s tax base.

Preliminary election results on March 19 showed Holloway falling by a 93.7 to 6.3 percent margin.

Chief petitioner Naomi Angier, celebrating the election results from a San Diego trip she had scheduled prior to the campaign, hoped that CRW board meetings would have fewer instances of hostile, open conflict with Commissioner Grafton Sterling pacified by his ally’s recall.

“I predict the board meetings will get a lot more productive,” Angier said via cell phone on Election Night.

Former CRW Commissioner Cyndi Lewis-Wolfram, a recall campaign field organizer, celebrated that district staff will now be able to focus on serving 50,000 customers in the area rather than addressing Holloway’s concerns.

“I see a big opportunity now to get on with what we should be doing,” Lewis-Wolfram said, watching the results come in at Clackamas County Elections headquarters in Oregon City. “People watch the entirety of things happening, not just what someone says is happening, and this won because there were people from all sides of the political spectrum watching her and waiting for her to change her behavior.”

Without setting up any campaign apparatus through the Oregon Secretary of State’s Office, Holloway had resorted to arguing in recent weeks that she was being targeted by outside interests.

“If I did an ad campaign, I’d have to set up a committee and open a bank account for it,” Holloway said. “I can’t possibly compete with this financial onslaught.”

CRW’s union members voted to support the recall effort, and more than $32,000 of in-kind contributions came in solidarity from the national Working America union affiliated with Washington D.C.-based AFL-CIO. Lewis-Wolfram guessed that Holloway was unable to generate the grassroots support necessary to start a campaign.

“Perhaps she’s just been there too long, so it’s time for her to go,” Lewis-Wolfram said.

Recall organizers also celebrated that three CRW board members, who were appointed by the county in November, announced that they would file for the election in May.

“They landed with their feet running,” said Lewis-Wolfram, “and it’s just amazing to be brought out the way they were and make decisions in a timely matter. They’re doing the job that needs to be done in the face of uncooperative board members.”

Lewis-Wolfram added that she hoped Sterling would get the message and leave the board “as soon as possible” or face another recall effort. Sterling would have also faced a recall if it weren’t for a petitioner’s clerical error.

“I would hate to have to do this again because a board member didn’t make the right decision after voters sent such a clear message,” she said.

Remaining board members will have an opportunity to appoint Holloway’s replacement in the coming months.




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  • 30 Jul 2014

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  • 31 Jul 2014

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