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Rumor, innuendo: Enemies to county's 'brighter future'

The Columbia River Crossing (CRC) has generated significant interest in the region and rightfully so.

We must be mindful of the role transportation infrastructure plays in our daily lives as well as our local economy. The very recent Interstate 5 bridge collapse over the Skagit River in Washington state will provide us some valuable insight as to how that region copes with the impacts.

Locally in Clackamas County, the impacts of tolling and funding the CRC project are important and should the project move forward plans must be put forth to cope with those impacts. More importantly good planning requires factual information, and unfortunately I am hearing concerns about misinformation, especially when it is targeted towards individual commissioners.

It is my hope that this publication will help address recent assertions and dispel the myths. The ability of this county to solve the problems we face will require transparency and honest dialogue. It has been my prior experience at both Oak Lodge Water and Oak Lodge Sanitary that rumor and innuendo interfered with problem solving and ultimately wasted ratepayer money. We solved those problems by working together and putting aside personal bias.

The citizens of Clackamas County have had more than their share of controversy, consequently our failing roads, infrastructure and our shortage of employment lands remain unresolved.

The last two years have provided me invaluable insight to the challenges we face, and I am actively engaged in paving the way to solving those problems. It will require cooperation with my colleagues on the commission, skilled staff, and an engaged community armed with accurate and unbiased information to meet our challenges head-on.

I am calling upon community leaders to join me in this effort. I am calling upon the media to play a strong role in fact-checking not only our elected leaders but also those who are politically motivated.

Free speech is fundamental in an open society. Every citizen should have access to accurate information in order to achieve balance.

We can move out of the quagmire, provided truth is not overshadowed with rhetoric.

Join me on a road towards collaboration and problem solving. I believe it is our journey to a brighter future!

Paul Savas is a Clackamas County commissioner.




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