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Hunt: Current commissioners dysfunctional

State representative is running for county chairman, proposes sweeping changes
by:  Dave Hunt

Dave Hunt, a candidate for Clackamas County Commission chairman, says the commission erred in the last election when it proposed to change rules governing urban renewal.

Speaking before the Boring Citizen Participation Organization, Hunt said the state's two biggest abusers and over-users of urban renewal funds are Clackamas County and the city of Portland.

Hunt said he supported Measure 388 in the previous election because it didn't create as many disadvantages for unincorporated areas as Measure 386.

He also said the commission has been wrong to stay in its chambers and meet only during normal working hours.

'If you meet with the county commissioners,' he said, 'you have to take time off work and go to Oregon City to get your three minutes - and they don't respond. It's just a completely broken model. They're not publicly engaged.'

If he's elected as chairman, Hunt said he's committed to holding town meetings in every city and every CPO in the county every year.

Prior to answering questions from CPO members, Hunt described the accomplishments of the previous Legislature, taking credit for those achievements - especially transportation funding - since at that time he was serving as speaker of the House.

'We accomplished a series of (transportation) projects, where we were actually doing things that had been planned and dreamed about for years, but never were actually funded,' he said. 'We did that under my leadership.

'We passed ethics reform, election reform and changed what had been a 20-year slide in the number of state troopers on our highways - adding 139 troopers. We also passed legislation that I wrote that goes after first-time drunk drivers.'

He also took credit for the Legislature's approval of bills relating to mental health parity and capital construction for community colleges, including Clackamas Community College.

Under his watch, Hunt said he and his colleagues have reclaimed what he called 'a completely dysfunctional Legislature 10 years ago,' and given it the ability to be more accessible and functional.

In his bid to be chairman (Position No. 1) of the Clackamas County Commission, Hunt says he wants to bring to that county panel the same kind of leadership he had in Salem.

'We just have a completely dysfunctional board of county commissioners right now,' he said. 'It's almost embarrassing - especially when you put it in context with the potential of this county.'

Hunt says he wants to move the county forward especially in two areas: economic development and infrastructure.

'If you watch the commission meetings now,' he said, 'they are focused on everything but jobs and the economy and infrastructure.'

Hunt also said he supports electing four of the five commissioners out of districts (rather than at-large) to facilitate regional representation on the panel.

Hunt is opposed in his bid for Position No. 1 by Paul Savas, John Ludlow and incumbent Charlotte Lehan.

The primary election is set for May 15, which should narrow the field to two candidates. The general election is set for Nov. 6.

For more information, call 503-650-9434 or visit the website electdavehunt.com.