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'Liberation of Damascus' party fetes continued land use stalemate, new mayor

Preliminary results show Diana Helm with a strong lead

Photo Credit: TRIBUNE PHOTO: SHASTA KEARNS MOORE - The crowd at the Citizens for Secession from Damascus party poses for a picture by activist Jim Syring. The audience was jubillent as its slate of candidates won more than 60 percent of the vote and the comprehensive plan was slammed with just over 70 percent no votes.

Diana Helm may be the mayor of no city at all as the pro-disincorporation candidate won the Damascus city election with nearly 64 percent of the vote Tuesday night. Her coalition of councilors, David Hadley and Nancy Robbins Carpenter also won with 64.96 percent and 64.15 percent, respectively.

"Now the hard work begins," Helm said at a "Liberation of Damascus" party held at the residence of Jim Syring.

Measure 3-448 also failed resoundingly with a 70.39 no vote in unofficial results, which brought a burst of cheers from the crowd.

Measure 3-448 would have created a comprehensive land-use plan for the city, a requirement from the state of Oregon. Damascus is six years passed the deadline for such a plan and development is frozen in a rural designation until that happens.

The measure, backed by Mayor Steve Spinnett, was the top pick during a run-off between three "comp plans" on the May primary ballot.

Read more on Damascus' struggles in our recent series:

The Fight for Damascus, Part 1

The Fight for Damascus, Part 2

The Fight for Damascus, Part 3

By Shasta Kearns Moore
email: shasta@portlandtribune.com
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