Ken’s Weekly Blog as County Commissioner
Last Sunday I met with neighborhood leaders and then joined the vets and Clarks Grange at the Vets Village for dinner.
On Monday I met w/ a constituent to discuss the county ISP concept, meet with a campaign supporter, filed for reelection, received an up date on Metro’s proposed transportation bond proposal and toured the South Metro transfer station in Oregon City. At the Metro transportation update I made it clear that several projects that Clackamas county has prioritized must be funded if the bond initiative goes forward!! I also made it clear that our county’s transportation needs have been neglected by Metro and that they are very different than our peer counties. 70% of our working folks leave the county to go to work and must use roads to do so. I also filed for reelection!
Tuesday and Wednesday were retreat days where we worked on County priorities, including transportation, homelessness, jobs(CLT, ISP, Land Bank authority), equity, diversity and inclusion, housing and others. I did manage to get to the Milwaukie city council where my team made a presentation on ISP and CBX( internet stuff) to the city. We are currently saving the public over 1.5 million dollars by providing internet access to over 270 different gov. agencies and /or buildings and making a profit which we invest in the system to save more money for taxpayers. One example is Colton School. The private market offered to do it for $10,000.00 per month. We do it for $255.00 per month (approx) ( that’s not a typo!) Wednesday I left the retreat and made it to the Molalla CPO meeting where flooding was discussed and some land use issues.
Thursday I met with the County Administrator to discuss budget, the projects above and office reorganization. That was followed by a business meeting. We honored the 100 years of service by the American Legion, with members of post 180 from Milwaukie present. We then joined D.A. Foote for the elected officials lunch. After that I had a progress report from staff on the ISP initiative and 2 budget committee interviews.That evening I attended a fund raiser and honoring ceremony for Joe Mazarra for Volunteers in Medicine.
Friday Grace and I attended the North Willamette Harvest Dinner by the OSU extension near Charbonneau celebrating the harvest and work of the extension Service to our farmers!. We then headed over to the Milwaukie Legion post to help out a bit at a fund raiser for women veterans in need.
Saturday Grace and I took our Grandson out to Colton for the civil war reenactment and an on the ground history lesson. Today I will be attending a neighborhood meeting and stand for questions with local citizens in Canby.
That’s all for this week, Ken
Monday,Tuesday and Wednesday was a whirlwind. We went to DC to meet with several of our representatives and several agencies. They were Senators Wyden and Merkely, followed by Reps Schrader,Blumenauer,Defazio,and Bonamici. We also went to the US dept of Transportation, Army Corps of Engineers, and attended a White House Conference held for the County Commissioners of several Western States.
At our meetings we advocated for the following issues-interstate 205 congestion relief and safety improvements including our Grant request ,funding for the Sunrise Hiway,phase 2 as part of the federally designated opportunity zones and a BUILD grant of 8.3 million to match our 2 million to replace the Bull run bridge.We were informed the Army corps has completed their analysis of the locks and has committed 2.7 million to repair them and are quite willing to transfer ownership to an agency the state needs to form.We also requested legislative support for the Willamette Falls Landing and Heritage area and the Legacy project(Blue Heron).We specifically thanked Rep Schrader for his help in receiving a Wood Innovations grant of 100k to fund courthouse design and research into its long term enviro benefits.
We discussed federal payment for our forest lands to support schools and sustainable harvest practices, and were pleased to inform them that Sauter Timber is locating a plant in Estacada to process CLT panels and ultimately employ 100 people at family wages!!As you know, this has been a 4 year effort that i have been involved in working towards with our Clackamas team. It is a red letter day for me and for Estacada and the county!! And a big shoutout to Mayor Drinkwine and his team for all the work, with us, to get this project!
We were pleased to inform the reps of a 1.7 million dollar grant Clackamas received to reduce youth homelessness and discussed funding for Health care, housing, veterans homelessness, public health, weatherization, energy assistance, juvenile justice, emergency management, earthquake early warning system, and Urban Areas Security Initiative.
Lastly, we learned of several funding opportunities by our attendance at the White House conference and met with one of the panelists at the Dept of Transportation which , hopefully, will help us secure the Bull Run Bridge grant.
On a personal note, when I returned on Wednesday I got a few hours rest and headed for Hood River to attend a Trade Union conference Thursday and today. I learned more about Project Labor Agreements that help prevent labor unrest on jobs and, more importantly, allow for apprentices to get on the job training and experience as well as guaranteeing a really cooperative working arrangement with management and labor. I also announced my reelection campaign and discussed the progress made here in Clackamas County in rebuilding relationships with our regional partners and the benefits that have accrued to Clackamas County by doing so. As you may know, I have drawn an opponent so I hope I can count on you for support.I would like to continue to work for you for 4 more years.
ps please share with all you know
This week was a short one. We returned from hiatus on Wednesday. That day we had an exec session, work session discussing land use, VRBO rules, and Health services to name a few.
Thursday researched Hunting on county lands at a constituents request, met with the GM,approved a resolution on the impact of racism on Health of minority citizens to be presented to the board., had a regular business meeting, quarterly sustainability meeting, and a prep phone call for an upcoming board retreat about board priorities.
Friday I joined fellow vets for breakfast at the Rivershore restaurant, met with a D.A.to discuss, among other things, law enforcement issues in the community of Colton,and took a short cruise on the Columbia with members of the Oregon China Conference.
Today, Saturday , I attended the Springwater Grange breakfast and talked with constituents, headed back to Milwaukie to the American Legion for a fund raising breakfast for veterans in crisis sponsored by the Milwaukie Police dept, dropped by OnTap, Uncorked at the Milwaukie Center, went to the BeaverCreek Grange and presented on the many accomplishments of the last 2.5 plus years.
Next week I will be in Washington meeting with our electeds there to advocate for issues important to Clackamas County. Have a good week, Ken
The last 2 weeks we have been on Hiatus from the office. Nonetheless we have been busy- or at least I have . Here’s a rundown of the last 2 weeks–Dog services meeting with rescue groups, meeting with numerous individuals re issues and or political supporters, campaign team meeting,Canby Car show,Oak Grove Festival,Clackamas Dems Picnic,house painters for 5 days( I helped) Oregon City View Manor, community meeting,housing meeting w/ homelessness vet, speaking at Chuck Robbins retirement, Canby’s Bridging Cultures, Pietro’s Pizza Car show to raise money for the Milwaukie HS music program,Grover Bjornfeld and Ann’s anniversary celebration, and finally the North West Labor Council annual BBQ at Oaks Park today!. Inbetween all this- numerous “honey do’s” and hosting our family who participated in the Hood to coast run. All in all I never ran out of things to do. I hope you all had a good two weeks. Back to work tomorrow, Ken
Here’s a few pic’s
PS don’t forget to support our campaign
The week started off with car shows where I got to talk w/ a lot of constituents and friends.On Monday I attended the Clackamas Service center celebration- a 1 year anniversary of their reopening since a fire. They have been helping people for 46 years!! I then hustled up the mountain to see a Habitat and river confluence restoration project that Clackamas, Portland, the state and others are partnering on. It is near the Barlow trail Head on the Sandy river.
Tuesday was busy. It started with an exec session w/ our attorneys followed by a work session. That covered the Park Av. Advisory committee, the short term rental draft regs, the Hillside Manor Master plan and a Managing for Results policy session. A pizza lunch was held for an employee leaving our service. On That afternoon we went to the O,C. Library for a launching event for the Community Prosperity Collaborative.
On Wednesday I dropped in on the Good Morning Oregon City meeting at snap fitness. That was followed by an exec session.
Thursday I met with staff to discuss legislative priorities for the next session, followed by a business meeting. Numerous staff were awarded recognition for their excellent service to the county and its citizens. That was followed by another exec session. Then I went out to TMK creamery with staff to discuss economic development with the owners and how our team could work with them to help grow their business. They are doing great! If you like REALLY GOOD CHEESES-I highly recommend them !! MMMMMM Good. Then it was off to a Fair Board meeting. They voted to accept their Master Plan which will soon be presented to the BCC.
Friday Grace and I lunched with a Chinese friend from our Oregon China Council . We also discussed how we can move forward business interests here in Clackamas County, particularly ag exports and Chinese investment.Keeping our local relationships strong while the National gov’s work out their differences is important as we have a 2.8 billion surplus in trade w/ China- the only state to have one. That evening it was out to Boring for Boring and Dull day -lots of good ice cream and music!!.
Saturday I went to a house warming and tonight to an Association of Oregon Counties dinner.
That’s it for the week, Ken