Okay...so there's no WiFi at the Wilsonville City Hall. Bummer. So here's what I did.
I went ahead and blogged the whole thing in Word. Its cut and paste below. Any of my own comments are in parenthesis. Everything else is a paraphrase of what the individuals said during the hearing and vote. I wish I was a good enough typist to get everything verbatim..but alas.
I do have some thoughts and comments..but damn..I've got to get to a meeting here really shortly. So I'll post this here for now in the jump. Feel free to digest what you can and I'll try to have some commentary up late tonight or early tomorrow.
And for those that want a cut to the chase..Wingard was appointed to the seat. But it was hella interesting...
(It’s about 10 minutes until the meeting is supposed to start. Steve Buckstein from Cascade Policy Institute just introduced himself to me [“Your post this morning reminded me to come to this”—heh] Matt Wingard walked in a few minutes ago with what I’m guessing are some folks from his staff. He received some waves from a few of the folks in the crowd—seems like the attendees might be pretty friendly to him.)
(The County Commissioners require at least 3 candidates apply for the Oregon House position to be appointed, under the rules.)
(I’ve picked up some paperwork from the back table which I’m presuming is meant to introduce the 3 candidates to those in attendance. Interestingly the two candidates outside of Wingard: Scott Haynes and Ivonne Pflaum both seem to be pretty tight with Wingard. Pflaum endorses Wingard in a letter attached to her information. Haynes is currently a part time staffer for Wingard’s House campaign.)
(2:07: Tom Brian welcomes the crowd and asks for calls roll. All commissioners a present and accounted for. Brian tells us why we’re all here… to appoint a legislator…and Brian says that the SOS has set him up to chair the meeting. Brian is now laying down the rules and how everything is going to go down.
Motion to adopt procedures..seconded and voted. Here….we go!)
Starting with candidates in alphabetical order. First is Haynes.
Scott Haynes: First got started with politics out of high school with Bush/Cheney. In 2005 was an intern for Krummel. Has done other things too. Wants to learn about the process, that’s why he signed up. Met Wingard in 2005—wants to support him and looking for others to support him as well.
Questions for Haynes from Commish:
Kennemer: Wants to amend procedure to have commentary from all after all the candidates have given their testimony.
Strader wants to keep process as is because that’s how Wa Co commishes prepared.
Rogers question: Is the guy sitting behind you in the second row your dad?
Haynes: Yes he is.
Strader: The Central Cmte put forth your name and we received an email saying you would have no documentation put your name. Now you say you support Wingard. So why are you doing this?
Haynes: I’m doing it because I want to see the process. I’ll be happy to serve if you appoint me.
Strader: Economic and transportation development question
Haynes: I would like to see more roads. We need to allocate funds better than we are doing now. We can raise revenue in ways other than gas taxes. We can spend the money we get from our taxes in a way different than we are doing now. I don’t think we should put a bike lane on I-205 to alleviate traffic. We should make the state more driver-friendly than it is now.
Rogers: Are there revenue generating things you would support?
H: I think there is a way to support roads without raising taxes.
Str: There’s a movement in the chambers to preempt local government on funding issues:
H: Local government should stay local. I’ve lived in rural counties. They should have power over themselves.
Schouten: What do you see to be the most critical issue facing local governments at the county level—what would you do in Salem to address it?
H: Education reform and transportation. I’m fresh out of high school (2004-Sherwood). A low percentage of my class graduated.
S: Of course at the county level we don’t do education. Funding. So what would you do at the county level?
Schrader: Where do you prioritize issues of human services?
H: My sister worked for DHS and a battered women’s shelter, I’ve heard a lot of bad stories. The only way she got a raise was because someone left the shelter money in their estate. There are some needs for reform. Not every case is a textbook case—they can’t always go by the book.
Kennemer: What’s your position on preempting local government in Salem? (Didn’t this one get asked?)
H: Local should stay local
Petersen: County timber payments. It’s a mess. We are trying to figure out how to provide services—specifically for transportation and emergency services. How would you deal with that in the leg?
H: I would work to get something done. I’m not exactly sure how, but it’s been a focal point here in Oregon for many, many years. I’m just not sure exactly how to go about it.
Strader: What are the top 3 issues of HD 26 constituents? If you were appointed—the needs of the caucus are different from the needs of your constituents? How do you balance?
H: Transportation, Housing/Land Use laws (especially in Wa. County). Not sure how I would strike that balance. I guess I’d just try to work through it. I’d like to throw education in there.
Schouten: So you are willing to serve, but you are working part time for Mr. Wingard as well?
H: Yes I will serve. Yes I do work for Wingard.
Petersen: You haven’t finished your undergrad? Will you take time off to finish?
H: I’m a junior at PSU. Trying to finish Poli-Sci and business.
Brian: Next is Ivonne Pflaum
Ivonne: I’m Ivonne Pflaum, I live in Sherwood. I work for Novella Systems in Tualatin. At night—elected delegate to the Oregon Republican Party State Precinct Cmte, City of Sherwood Finance Cmte. Interested in public service when I became a citizen in July 2001. My involvement in this process is to support Matt Wingard. I’ve been working to support him for nearly a year. He has what I would look for in my State rep. It would be a great honor for me to be appointed to this seat and would do everything I could to do a good job…but I think Wingard is the guy.
Schouten: You sent a letter of rec for Wingard. Could you address the saying in your letter?
P:It’s a philosophy of life. As you go along in life and make decisions and mistakes, whoever says they don’t..will eventually slip.
Petersen: A problem solving question first: Transportation needs out-of-the-box, creative thinking…..how do you problem solve the gap between revenue and the needs of infrastructure for transportation?
P: I’d like to first understand why the costs are so high. For problem solving, I like to look at all sides and then bring people together from all sides to solve. We need to look at the box, too. Do we always raise taxes to raise revenue? Are there new and innovative ways to get that revenue?
Strader: I’ve never seen two candidates come forth to present for the third candidate..so I want to know why you came forth.
P: I support Matt Wingard because he’s qualified and has experience. But I have a great interest in public service. I’m preparing to run for the U.S. Senate at some point..so going through this process will help me learn all I can. That’s my motivation.
Schrader: Economic development: District 26 has a diversity of economic issues. Lots of jobs in some places, not so much vitality in others. How will you help local governments help communities be economically viable?
P: I work in the semi-conductor industry and I get a pretty good salary. But I work a lot with my church and I can see the different depressed areas of Sherwood and Tualatin. There are communities where the living spaces are run down and people don’t take care of what they have. A lot of those neighborhoods are minority. I think that the economic side is tied to who is living where. Illegal immigration and that aspect has something to do with the economic prosperity of people. If we have illegal aliens that are working illegally they are being taken advantage of and it makes it very difficult for those that are legal to move up. In the legislature, I would work really hard to learn about the impacts and go from there.
Schouten: What would you consider to be the principle issue at the local/county level that you would like to address?
P: The rules that the counties have in regard to schools and education outside the UGB. There’s a rule that 75% of the people in the school need to be from within a certain radius of the school. It makes it very difficult for parents to have a choice. Parents should have the opportunity to take their children to the place they think they’ll learn best.
Strader: Where do you stand on preemption?
P: county commissioners are elected officials, right? (waits for response). They are elected to do what the people say..and you are the best authority for what needs to be done in that county.
Strader: top 3 issues…and how do you balance with caucus?
P: Transportation, Education, Understanding where the money goes. I’m not that familiar with the caucus. I was not aware that there would be conflict with constituents…but I would try to lean with my constituents and try to sort it out.
Kennemer: Strader asked my question
Petersen: Economic development: Education and HHS are the biggest expenditures in the budget and have been cut and cut and cut. A lot of what you see with your church are the people following through the cracks because of that. How do these programs and services fit into your priorities as a legislator?
P: That’s difficult. But you know, we have a budget. When I go through those neighborhoods I see those children and I care too about seniors, they get a bad deal sometimes. The illegal immigration issue is a direct contributor to this problem. There may be some people who are getting services who aren’t eligible because of their illegal status. Those that qualify—we should look at what the situation is and try to work with each family. I don’t know how you lump it all together. That’s part of the problem with government..trying to take care of everybody. I care about children legal or illegal…there’s a huge aspect to this. We can’t be heartless. Communication, I guess.
Schrader: You’ve mentioned illegal immigration…how can the legislature address this?
P: I’ve mentioned this a lot because I’m preparing to run for U.S. Senate. At the state level we can work with SOS to try and distinguish what the rules are…and how we will deal with those already in the system. It’s a national problem but it needs to go down to the local level, too.
Brian: Next, Matt Wingard
W: Good afternoon. My name is Matt Wingard. I’m here to ask that you appoint me to the seat Krummel is vacating. Krummel is a great legislator and the reason we have a rainy day fund and a sex-offender web site. I’ve learned a lot from him. I’ve never been a better public legislator who is a better listener. Now he is in Reno.
Oregon loses a lot of good people, and it’s a shame. Our state has lost over 13k jobs in the last year and our state is consistently one of the highest in the nation for unemployment. We need a culture of “yes” in Oregon government. Clack, Develop commish has shown me that private and public partnerships can be great.
Oregonians start paying the highest income rate at $7100. We need low in come tax release. Oregon is a beautiful state with wonderful natural resources. Oregonians are the best natural resource and we need to set them free.
Our public schools are falling in national rankings as we spend $10k per student. Many schools not held accountable. I’m a charter school guy..they are new and innovative. They are held accountable. Good ones thrive, low performing ones close. Thousands of these children and families are happy. HD 26 has outstanding public schools but I’m working to bring charter schools to low income areas of our state. Teachers who work in charter schools tell me they are most rewarding job
I’m not running to make government bigger. I want it more open, more responsive and more humble. One size does not fit all. We’re at the mercy of Multnomah County. Their views on land use and transportation are being foisted on everyone else. We need to find our own solutions to public policy problems.
Brian: Questions from commishes
Schouten: Sorry we’ve been mispronouncing your name.
One of your backers says we have to say no to the entitlements and free handouts—do you agree or disagree with that statement?
W: I don’t think its healthy to development an entitlement mentality.
Sch: do you want to elaborate?
W: When we provide services it should be a hand up, not a hand out. One of the big complaints about welfare was the lack of incentive to move out. Its costly—and its not healthy for the person involved to feel dependent over time.
Petersen: You serve on the transportation subcommittee on the econ development commission…and you probably know about the gap. Where do you stand on increasing revenue? In terms of what you’ve heard from the Governor and the session..what will you support? Is preemption one of them?
W: the voters have lost faith with the government. The gas tax disconnects people from where the money goes because of the long process. User fees exist other places and something to consider over time. The state has increased transportation funding by 90%. 18% increase in the previous session. Voters don’t know where that money goes. I have pledged not to raise taxes and will take that to Salem.
I think counties should generate revenue in the ways they can..fees, etc. Voters in Washington County have seen a list of what they would be getting from their money. That’s the kind of thing that interests me. The local government is providing a list of precisely what the voters are being asked to be for. When it goes to Salem you never know where its going to end up. Using these kinds of programs to list items for voters so they can actually see it..connects them to it. That’s how we rebuild that trust over time.
Brian: If a transportation revenue package is proposed and was project specific and identified where it would go..would you be open to that type of proposal in the legislature?
W: I’d be much more interested in a referral. I’m suspect about creating that kind of list in Salem…and I’d decide whether or not the district was getting a net benefit out of it. That’s why I like these proposals to come out of the county instead.
Strader: I think its interesting..your state government comments. Really, we don’t have a Packwood and Hatfield who used to bring home federal dollars—
W: so we should elect more Republicans?
Str—No…actually, you’re going against their policy, which is to build infrastructure. You’re putting that pressure on local governments..I’m curious how you base your philosophy with theirs? Why are you not for Oregonians? How do you deal with bridges and gridlock?
W: I think the money that feds used to put into infrastructure isn’t likely to return. We do get appropriations from feds that I think aren’t okay. But that money is gone. But we need locally generated revenue. I think that’s why we need a list at the local level to show voters what the money they generate pays.
This is why school levies tend to be more successful. People can see what they’re getting in their local area—its too disconnected.
We should be project specific.
Str: You would then agree..if there was a detailed project list..you would support it?
W: It would depend on the list.
Petersen: You said that the state increased funding over the last 10 years…actually, we have not increased the fed or state gas tax, the reg fee nominally increased..but most of it bonded. We have bonded almost all the available dollars we have. So if we’ve bonded every available $ and are starving the rest of the system for the rest of the projects..how are we going to move forward?
W: Its time to start thinking outside the box. We’re not expanding the right of ways because we don’t have the funds. It might be an opportunity to provide a private company to come in and build, and charge a toll section, an expressway that people could opt in to. No tax increase or fee, thinking outside the box.
Rogers: I’m the only person on the panel actually in your district. The biggest concern I have..I really want to know about your leadership qualities. In government we’re hear to propose to our constituents certain investments in infrastructure and programs. You’d be on the board of directors for the state of Oregon. We are as such as our county commishes. Sometimes we have to propose things that might not be to our liking—but we must do what’s best for our commissioners: We don’t have tolling, we don’t have right away and we are short the tax revenue for transportation. The same for water. Urbanization and livability issues. I’m going to hit you hard because you need to be prepared. We’re in the same party…but I think these are people issues and we can’t have trite answers—we must propose. We can’t just say “no”. What are you going to do?
W: I think that on any contentious issue, we’ll have disagreements. The idea is to sit down and hash out a way to move forward. In a legislature of 90 people it can be hard. I certainly represent one viewpoint of 90. At the end of the day ,that’s how problems get solved and are worked out. Its difficult for me to answer a question on a package that doesn’t exist yet.
R: You said that you have pledged to raise taxes. Taxes are a fee—and you said that you only believe in a referral at the local level. But how do you deal with state roads and interstates?
W: I agree…the state past a $40 billion total budget. There’s got to be money in there for this. It’s a matter of prioritization. Ask hard questions about how the money is being spent. could it be better spent somewhere else? That can sometimes make people angry and it can get contentious. The fall back is often that we should just raise more revenue. My preference is to prove to the voters that the money they’re sending us that we are wise stewards of it before we raise more revenue.
R: Today on our board we had to double our traffic impact fee. All of the businesses came in with support—and we have raised every dollar we can. But its sometimes is taxes. And I think you need to understand…even if you touch the $40 billion, we’re not going to solve these problems. You need to be very, very open. And if you tell us know without giving us the opportunity without making our case, its just “no” for saying “no”
W: There are a lot of “yeses” given out in Salem. But I want you to know that my door is always open and when we get into these issues I’ll be working hard to wrap my mind around these issues to solve them.
Schrader: Performance based budgeting and accountability are institutionalized in our state government. But there’s another piece. Tax reform. There was a package that would have lowered income taxes. Would you support tax reform?
W: I think it’s a widely shared opinion. I think that the idea that we would dramatically change the tax system without Oregonians saying something…any kind of transition to a sales tax….will end up be referred to the people..who have voted them down repeatedly. But I’m concerned about spending time on something that I can’t see would actually pass. You have to pick and choose where you spend you spend your time and energy in the legislature. I understand what a sales tax would do in the economy vs. income tax. But I don’t see that there’s an opening in the public to make that transformation.
Kennemer: How do you feel about state preemption of local control?
W: I’m not an expert on this issue. Secondly, I think it depends specifically what we’re talking about. But in general, I’d like to see devolution of state control over local issues so that in general, the idea of preemption is not something I support. I think people at the local level can make decisions for themselves without mandates from Salem (this comment is in regard to education).
Now we’re taking a short break…..
Brian: Legal counsel Dan Olsen please comment on the procedure and make sure we’re doing all the legal procedures correctly.
(Oleson explains the rules and procedures under the law—votes are generally taken verbally, highest number of votes is person appointed)
(Brian talks about the importance of having a consistent and transparent process—commissioners declare what they want to say and their vote)
Kennemer: My appreciation for this meeting and process. I wish to thank the three applicants too. Its important to step forward and serve. After listening to the three candidates and their responses. Mr. Wingard is the most knowledgeable and prepared for this. I give my vote to Mr. Wingard.
Schrader: I want to commend all 3 for being here. And commend Matt for work on Economic Development Commission. I’m going to be a maverick here today. I think its important to honor the other folks. I was very impressed with Ivonne and I’d like to give her a vote. Great resume, work experience and not afraid to bring up a touchy subject: illegal immigration. I thought it was a very brave thing to do. I’m going to cast a vote for Ivonne and thank Scott, and hope he continues with his political career.
Petersen: I do appreciate all 3 participants coming forward. I would like to cast my vote for Ivonne. She is an engineer like me. I think there’s a campaign going on right now and we’ll see how that results..and I think having an interim person who wants to move on with her political career. I think there’s still some issues that needing vetting in the public process. I think there should be an interim person while the political process transpires.
Duyck: I’d like to talk about an issue I think we’re ignoring. We’ve got two candidates who’ve strongly endorsed the third. The law says we have to have three candidates..the law says we have to do this. We need to keep in mind that the person we appoint can’t serve past September except for the one candidate who might win the election in November. These opinions won’t mean a lot because there isn’t a session during the time period they serve. I’m not going to call this a sham..but it seems obvious to me that there’s a candidate who is qualified and can serve afterward. I’m casting my vote for Matt.
Rogers: I’m casting my vote for Matt as well. When we come knocking on your door, show some leadership.
Schouten: I want to thank all of the presenters. I was impressed by the good will and the desire to learn and advance understanding. I think that Ms Pflaum and Mr. Haynes, I’m not comfortable voting for them, they need more seasoning. As for Mr. Wingard, I’m just not comfortable with the policies and politics, frankly. His views on public policy aren’t as useful to the betterment of our local government. So I’m going to abstain.
Strader: I’m going to take a little more time. I’m not afraid to be the maverick. I’m partisan to Washington Co first. My colleagues know that. Its not about party affiliation. I’m a stickler on preemption. When there was an appointment process with a senate seat that was held by a Democrat, I didn’t like party politics that was in play…and I don’t like it here. When I see two candidates forward emails to this commission saying that they will not give information. So why be here in the process? One of the most challenging and rewarding things is public service and the constituents of this district deserve A LOT. It’s a sad day for me that the party has taken control of this. I’m very concerned about the public policies that Matt holds. I’m not sure it truly represents the district. And then there are some prior issues as a single mom that concern me, and I cannot in good faith support any of the three candidates. I will be abstaining.
Brian: I was in the leg for 10 years and was involved in campaigns around the state. Although some of us might not prefer a loaded deck, it happens in both parties. When the central cmtes vote for a person, State law requires a procedure..and you have to find some names. In the past we’ve had very active and qualified people—its been a legal process here. Its conformed with the law. I’m sure that Matt Wingard and I disagree on quite a few things. But that’s what makes a horserace, we’ll get in and argue this should he be elected. But today we are making a four month appointment and later someone will be elected.
If its Mr. Wingard we’ll be knocking on your door.
I do think there are a lot of things, we ran out of time for me to talk, people have come in before to say they were going to reallocate money. and its just not that easy. Every line item has a constituency. But when you hear all of the details, its hard to move big money. And for trans, that’s big money. Locally, we’ve done a good job with property tax. I empathize with folks on that. I hope to be on a fixed income someday and I’m wary of property tax. If you could get locally voted gas tax, there’s drawbacks for that too. The law won’t square with that and we’re leaving truckers out. It raises some real issues. It’s a very complicated matter..but I hope we can continue to discuss this if you (Wingard) end up there in January. I’ve been involved in recruiting companies to Washington county. The provision of infrastructure is a key item to business and it’s a serious matter for economic development.
I will cast my vote for Matt Wingard. By doing the simple math, that would make Matt…
Clerk: Wingard has the most votes.
Brian: Based on this meeting and the following of the legal procedures, Matt Wingard is appointed.
By Carla Axtman
Aug. 19, 2008
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