Four and maybe five of the new, expanded, Clackamas County Board of Commissioners will be local government experts - mayors, city councilors, current commissioners.

Four will be elected in the May 20 primary election or the November general election, and the fifth will be appointed by the elected four in January after they take office.

In many ways, that common background is wonderful. Five dedicated people working together with shared contacts, beliefs and experiences.

In managing the $600 million Clackamas County budget, I believe other experience might also be of value. I am the only person in the race with:

* Extensive big-business management experience (AT and T and Pacific Northwest Bell).

* Six years in the Legislature (Revenue, Information Management and Ways and Means Committees).

* Experience running a college degree program and teaching business courses at the college level.

* Service on a Community College Board. Clackamas Community College for six years - elected. (I believe in life long learning, and am a product - 8 years to get my bachelors and 29 additional years to get my masters.)

* Experience running a statewide environmental program for at-risk youth as director of the Oregon Youth Conservation Corps for eight years.

My experience, if elected for Position 5 of the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners, won't dilute or diminish the valuable local government experience brought by the other four commissioners.

My prism, my background and how I see the world will bring an additional dimension to the discussions.

When the voters decided on five commissioners, I think they wanted to broaden the diversity of the board while increasing the number. I would help bring that diversity.

I like the candidates. I respect their experience and think they will serve well. The question is: would my additional broad experience allow the board to serve Clackamas County even better?

I think so. The voters will decide on May 20, or in November.

Ron Adams is a West Linn resident.

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