On Wednesday night, June 20, I attended a town-hall meeting hosted by the Democratic candidate for House District 40, Brent Barton, and the man he is running to replace, Dave Hunt. With Mr. Hunt finishing up his term in the Legislature, I have hopes a positive attribute of his office will be continued, that of regularly held open public meetings.

It is critical that our elected public officials hear from their constituents. It is also important that as citizens we listen, with open minds, to our elected officials. In attending prior meetings, I have seen minimal amounts of boorish citizen behavior that may lead some politicians to want to avoid public meetings. It is important that both sides show respect for differing opinions and to listen to all points of view with the intent of learning all sides of an issue.

Mr. Hunt always has had open dialogues with constituents and fielded tough questions when presented in a proper manner. Complex issues of school funding, transportation and public safety are complex in their nature and often difficult for citizens to comprehend without the ability to question, or to receive explanations.

I encourage either Brent Barton, or Steve Newgard, whoever wins the House District 40 seat, and our incumbent senator in District 20, Alan Olsen, to hold these meetings, with advance publication on a regular basis. They will build trust in the electorate and go a long way to bring transparency to state government.

Patrick J. Smith


County Dems vote to oppose 3-401

Clackamas County Democrats unanimously voted at their regular meeting Thursday night in Gladstone to oppose Ballot Measure 3-401 in the special Sept. 18 election.

This is about jobs. Passage of 3-401 is against expanding light rail in our county and the thousands of jobs that come with it. We will be working for a strong 'no' vote in September.

More than 14,000 jobs-from construction and planning to expansion of economic growth and business-are predicted by economists with the expansion of light rail. Clackamas County is hurting, and we need those jobs.

Deceptive wording of the measure seems designed to trick people who support light rail into voting 'yes.' This measure would throttle our local government from acting in everyone's best interests in Clackamas County. A 'no' vote supports economic development.

Let's be very clear on 3-401. Its passage will hurt our county, cripple economic growth, and increase our taxes with excessive special elections. A 'no' vote is sensible and reasonable.

Larry Skidmore

Gladstone resident

Chair of the Clackamas County Democratic Central Committee

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