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Heavy rains ruined several ceilings in the high school and central office. It was certainly unfortunate to have such bad weather in the middle of roof repairs.


“Welcome to Estacada’s culture war,” the paper said as it introduced the battle over an anti-gay initiative on the city’s September ballot that had been raging for the better part of a year. Ballots would be mailed the Friday after the paper came out, so Clackamas County News Editor David Bates went about summarizing the argument.

It all started in January 1993. Oregon voters recently had turned down Measure 9, a proposed anti-gay state law.

The Oregon Citizens Alliance announced it would attempt to amend the Estacada city charter with what Bates called a “watered-down version” of Measure 9.

The initiative, Measure 3-1, would amend the city charter to prohibit civil rights protections based on homosexuality and the spending of city funds to “promote” homosexuality.

Oregon Citizens Alliance Director Lon Mabon said a “moral standard” was behind the attempt. Mabon also had announced plans to promote anti-gay measures in six counties and several Oregon cities.

In February 1993, six of the seven Estacada city councilors urged voters to not sign the petition to put the anti-gay initiative on the ballot.

In Estacada, supporters and opponents seemed to agree that Measure 3-1 was largely symbolic and that it did not address a local problem.

Further complicating the issue, a state law prohibited cities from enforcing laws that target individuals based on sexual orientation. Even if passed, Measure 3-1 would be impossible to enforce.

In Estacada, supporters of Measure 3-1 were backed by the Oregon Citizens Alliance and a political action committee from Wilsonville called No Special Rights Committee.

Opponents of the measure formed a political action committee called Estacada Citizens for Fairness. The statewide Save Our Communities PAC and the American Civil Liberties Union also opposed the measure.

Charles Hinkle, an ACLU attorney, told the press that if voters passed the anti-gay measure on Sept. 21 he would file a lawsuit against the city of Estacada and request attorney’s fees.

In August 1993, the ACLU had unsuccessfully attempted to get an injunction in Clackamas County Circuit Court to stop the election. Hinkle then filed an injunction in the Oregon Supreme Court.

In other news, the city of Estacada had quite a “woops” moment. A new city councilor had been appointed earlier in August. But it turned out she had been appointed illegally. She had been appointed to the council on a 3-1-1 vote, but the city charter required a four-vote majority for the seat. Another candidate for the seat pointed out the error.


Estacada Public Works Superintendent Bill Strawn resigned after 16 years of service to the city. He sited “the PERS situation” and differences with then-City Manager Randy Ealy as reasons behind the decision.

“I think Estacada is a great city. There are a lot of good things about it. It’s a charming place to live with a lot of possibilities. On the same hand, there are many challenges and problems that face this community. We need to diversify our economy, bring family-wage jobs to the area, and we have to be careful about falling into the trap of escalating the costs of basic services like water and streets because we siphon money from these services to fund Mardi Gras-type functions,” Strawn said.

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