Lynn Peterson: Why I'm Running for Clackamas County Chair

By Lynn Peterson of Lake Oswego, Oregon. Lynn is a Clackamas County Commissioner and was elected County Chair by her fellow commissioners. Last year, county voters voted to expand the Commission to four Commissioners plus one elected County Chair. Learn more at

So, have you heard? I'm running. Yes, I'm running . . . again! And, NO - I'm not gearing up for CD5 (Congressional District 5). But thanks for thinking of me. I'm excited to be running for Chair of Clackamas County's NEW five member Commission.

Lynnpeterson_2Since being elected to Clackamas County's Commission in 2006 - - we've accomplished a great deal by reforming government and making it more accessible.

-In less than one year, we appointed a task force to look at the structure of government, accepted the report and sent the proposal to the voters. Citizen's overwhelmingly agreed that a five person commission made sense for the citizens and for the County government structure. The proposal also included an elected chair -- the citizens would choose the Chair instead of the Chair being chosen by a few.
-At my request, Commission meetings, proposals, agendas are now online for easier accessibility to the citizens.

I acted immediately to the threats of Measure 37.

-Clackamas County had more Measure 37 claims than any other jurisdiction in Oregon. Together with my fellow commissioners, we sent a map to every household in the County educating citizens of the impacts of Measure 37.
-I spoke with voters and the legislature so that all parties could understand how Measure 37 really would impact the land, water, and Oregon's future livability.

It’s been a great year . . . and we need to finish that work we’ve begun.

I want the five member commission to be successful and make government even more accessible and transparent to the residents.

I want to ensure that we improve roads and transportation across the county in a way that creates an improved quality of life for all residents.

Clackamas will be doubling in population and we need to work with our citizens to protect open space and natural resources and farmland.

We need to grow our light rail and streetcar system into Clackamas County.

We are becoming more sustainable – reducing the county’s carbon footprint – but we have much more to do including working with developers on green development practices.

I want Clackamas County to be a place worth living and working. I’m proud of our accomplishments this past year, and I want to ensure that we follow through on what we started.

Please join me in supporting my campaign and our efforts. Visit our website, Lynn Peterson for County Chair. Lend a hand, create a buzz. Tell folks that Clackamas County is changing - - it’ll be worth the effort.

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    I ain't in ClackCo, but I'd be lucky if I were! Go Lynn!!

  • Brian Newman (unverified)

    Yeah, you rock Lynn! It's nice to see you switched your photo to one where you are wearing your glasses. The old one didn't even look like you. So when am I going to get a speed bump on my street?

    You will do a great job as chair and I will work hard to help you win (even if I never get said speed bump). We can show the rest of the region how fertile the soil in Clackamas County really is... for cultivating young progressives!

  • Nathalie Darcy (unverified)

    It has been my pleasure to have worked with Lynn at the regional level. I know her to be an excellent leader who is extremely competent in getting things done that benefit the citizens of Clackamas County and the region as a whole. She's got my vote! Oops, I live in Washington County so I guess I can only endorse her.

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    Yes, while Lynn's name hasn't come up for Hooley's seat, I think it should in the future, after she has a chance to shine as Chair!

    Go Lynn, go!

  • Andi Jordan (unverified)

    Lynn forgot to mention her Kickoff . . . Come one come all! Tuesday, March 11th 7-8:30 PM Carnegie Center 606 John Adams Street Oregon City

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    And what about that county snowplow guy that showed up three days after we needed him, but at least had the courtesy to destroy both my mailbox and post in a Drive By Plowing while my wife stood slack jawed in the driveway?


    Anyhow, we out here in the wilds of HD 52 were totally impressed with Lynn when she ran for her current seat, and we'll be supporting her for chair too.

    I don't speak for all my fellow PCPs, but I seriously can't think of even one that doesn't support her.

    Run Lynn Run.

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    Hope that got it.........

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    Interesting that the preview can't tell you if you've managed to close an open tag or not. If this doesn't work I'll leave it to management.

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    Well it half worked so once more unto the breech ...

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    Lots of luck on the campaign - I know from what I've seen you've been a great commissioner.

    I do have one question - what are your thoughts on somehow coming up with a regional solution to the Sellwood Bridge problem? Folks out here in eastern Multnomah County are extremely mad at the proposal that, if passed, would make residents out here pay for a bridge that is primarily used by Clackamas and Washington Counties.

    I have little doubt that if this issue makes it on the ballot that Portland will vote for it, which means it'll pass for the county. And I'm afraid that will be the straw that breaks the camel's back... or should I say breaks Multnomah County into two pieces.

  • Lynn Peterson (unverified)

    There are alot of regional facilities owned by one jurisdiction or another - - and we all use them. I am supportive of Ted Wheeler's initial proposal for a Regional Bridge Authority . . . I'd prefer a Regional Transportation Authority that pays for all regional roads/bridges and transit rather than on the backs of one jurisdiction or another. Ted says he is supportive of the idea. We'll move this forward together. Clackamas and Multnomah Counties working together - - who would of thought?

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    Thanks for the answer. I agree with you on a Regional Transportation Authority. I think that would be a great idea. I had a feeling that would be your answer, but I wanted to hear it for sure. It's a pretty big issue out here in Gresham, and it comes up a lot when I'm out talking to voters about my race for city council.

    I think such a regional plan has been needed for some time, but it's Sellwood Bridge that has really brought it to the forefront to people.

    People out here see Gresham hitting 100,000 and other east county cities seeing large percentage increases in population, yet we haven't seen hardly any increases in transportation capacity since the MAX line went in some twenty years ago or so. As it is we only have a handful of buses running outside the M-F commuter hours. So when this topic came up about paying for the Sellwood Bridge, people became extremely upset and angry.

    I think the idea of Clackamas and Multnomah Counties working together on this issue, and hopefully getting Washington County in the mix, would be a wonderful thing.

    Back home we had something called the Houston-Galveston Area Council. It is similar to METRO, although it seems to get even more into some of the cooperation between various cities and counties on shared resources and facilities.

  • Randle McMurphy (unverified)

    I hope she whoops Wayne Scott's ass.

  • Jon in Lake O (unverified)

    Petersen was a tool when she screwed things up here on the city council and now the virus has spread to the commission.

    Yeah, I know it reads like a drive-by shot at her but look up her record. M37 was in her sights and that is enough for me to put her in mine.

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    Jon, the reason it "looks like" a drive-by shot is because it is. I'm sure there are legitimate gripes with Lynn, as with any active public official, but if you want anyone to take you seriously you have to at least make a rough sketch of your case. As it stands, you just leave the impression that her critics are inarticulate fools with an ax to grind...and maybe that's the whole truth.

    Jenni and Lynn, glad to see two motivated public figures hashing through policy in a public forum! A refreshing break from some of the political sniping that sometimes dominates in campaign season. I'm intrigued by the Bridge Authority approach, and hope it moves forward.

  • Urban Planning Overlord (unverified)

    Lynn, I was pleasantly surprised when Clackamas County voters agreed to update their governance system, even though it required paying for two additional Commissioners.

    Are you in support of the proposed library district for Clackamas County? Do you have any alternatives to cutting County libraries and cutting support to city libraries if it fails? The Clackamas County vote to support the Sheriff's levy a couple of years ago was also a pleasant surprise - the County's voters have a habit of not approving anything, no matter how worthy, that will raise their taxes, as happened with the proposed library levy a few years back.

  • Question about Lynn's Current Seat (unverified)

    Lynn, best of luck on your race.

    I do have a question. If elected chair, the seat you currently hold will need to be filled. Since you already serve on the the commission, and the powers of the chair are only marginally larger than what you have now as a commissioner, it seems to me that the most important issue in your race is:

    Who will fill your current seat?

    The 4 elected Commission members will vote on that opening. Who fills your current spot is really more important than any issue you champion, as you'll be able to continue to do your job for 2 years on the commission, win or lose. The person you choose to fill your position will offer new priorities and perspectives on administring health care, criminal justice and transportation in Clackamas County.

    So, could we have some names of people you'd like to see in that position?

  • Lynn Peterson (unverified)

    If and when the Commission needed to appoint another Commissioner, there is a defined, formal process. While I appreciate your question, I would like to mention that I will only be one of 4 votes on the Commission.

    This question may be better served by asking those folks that have filed for other seats.

    That being said, I would like to see someone that has an understanding of the issues, has a proven record of listening and working with citizens, and is able to ask thoughtful questions and make thoughtful decisions.

    How about Darlene Hooley?

  • dddave (unverified)

    Measure 37 in your sights? Did you even read Measure 37 or Measure 49? Did you complain about measure 37 being "poorly" written? Please, we certainly dont need any or your so called "help" in taking away our rights. Clackamas County complained to high heaven that they could not possibly get measure 37 claims processed on time, yet now send out letters to all claimants demanding a filing for 49 within 90 days, or you lose whatever paltry rights you have left???? What a turn around. So you are also on board with meas 49 language that says ANYONE can sue to block your claim, and whatever the result, the LANDOWNER pays both side legal costs? This is your idea of a free and Constitutional measure? Wayne might not be my favorite guy, but to screw landowners this hard is unconscionable.
    Livability in Clackamas County now will mean rowhouses inside the UGB, 5 foot lot lines, and the same "pack'em in" strategy that has tied up real estate and driven housing costs thru the roof all while keeping tax revenues going up and up and up. Please speak to your so called constituency, I am sure you might find that really, if it was available, they would prefer a house with a nice big yard, or heaven forbid, some property. But these options are now totally controlled by the county. Hope you dont have plans for your kids to afford a house anywhere close to Portland. But you feel free to live in an apartment, and keep your carbon footprint nice and small, which I am sure you do, right Lynn??

  • Lynn Peterson (unverified)

    RE: Libraries.

    YES, I support the library district. This is our best option for sustaining libraries.

    I think what the previous post on libraries notes is that we are witnessing a new trend in Clackamas County of supporting for basic services - - an awakening that citizens/residents aren’t getting the level of services they want. . . and that affects community livability and property values.

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    Yea, it's a pretty big issue. Out here there are a lot of people saying we should just close to bridge in order to play hardball with Clackamas County. My opinion is that's the kind of attitude that got us into the current state in the first place.

    For too long the entities within the tri-county region have done this, which means hardly anyone works together. But now we have the opportunity to build bridges in more ways than one, as the entities are willing to sit down and talk and come up with a solution. Instead, people are yelling for us to alienate one another.

  • Margaret Anderson (unverified)

    Lynn~~ I hope you agree that the people of Clackamas County should pay our share in the replacement costs of the Sellwood Bridge! I don't blame the people of Maywood Park, who don't want to pay if we are not paying! The bridge is used mostly by people of Clackamas County! Margaret Anderson

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