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Sparks fly as commission votes on park funding plan

Park advocate Paul Savas abstains; next fund vote set Aug. 7


Clackamas County commissioners resolved July 17 to move toward the next step in creating a separate North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District, but not without some drama.

Commissioner Paul Savas who has strongly advocated for the new parks district as a way to increase the number of parks in unincorporated areas south of Milwaukie abstained from the vote, drawing ire from Commissioners Tootie Smith and John Ludlow.

The second vote to refer the increased 35 cent-per-$1,000 of assessed property values will happen Aug. 7.

Then voters will get to decide on the new parks plan in November.

A transcript of the argument during the July 17 evening business meeting follows:

Savas: Abstain.

Smith: What?!

Clerk: Commissioner Bernard.

Bernard: Aye.

Clerk: Chair Ludlow.

Ludlow: Aye. Passes 4-0-1.

Savas: Commissioner Smith, excuse me but...

Smith: Excuse you.

Ludlow: Let’s let it go. It’s late, folks.

Savas: As I mentioned, I’m going to hold out for equity.

Ludlow: Paul, you’re not going to vote for this. Ever.

Smith: You’re not going to vote for this. Don’t pretend like you’re going to come back Aug. 7 and vote for this.

Ludlow: And now...

Savas: Shame on you both for saying that.

Ludlow: ... as we have uh...

Smith: Oo, I’m scared.

Ludlow: ...it has been decided and the motion is approved....

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