Rocky for OC Biography Leadership Awards/Honors In the News Donations Endorsements The Issues



 
 
The Issues:
 

Willamette Falls/Economic Development:

I support the future development of the Willamette Falls Legacy Project including the River Walk. It is important that this development is something that we can be proud of. We need to make sure that the development compliments downtown and honors Oregon City’s unique history and culture. The Willamette Falls Legacy site is the birthplace of Oregon and is one of the most historic sites on the west coast. This potential mixed-use development needs to respectfully acknowledge the Native American History, Pioneer History and Industrial History of our city. We cannot settle for mediocre developments!

I support the continued work to create the Willamette Falls Heritage Area and I support the re-opening of the Willamette Falls Locks. I believe that boat access to the upper Willamette will be one of the keys to making the Willamette Falls Legacy Project and the Willamette Falls Heritage Area a regional destination.

 
 

Landfill Site/The Rivers:

(Past project)  I had concerns about the original Rivers Development mainly due to the concern for how it would affect the Downtown Core Businesses. Downtown Oregon City was not as it is today and a large development right off the freeway would not have been a benefit to the downtown. We were also not in a great place financially as a City. We were short about 10-12 Police Officers in 2008 and we were not keeping up on basic City Services. 

 

(Current/Future Project) We are now in a better place, however we are still struggling to keep up with growth. We have aging Infrastructure, traffic issues and deferred maintenance in our Parks Department. We are in a better place today for new development, but need to be careful that new development on the Landfill is done right. 

I support the development of the landfill site, but I think the development needs to be carefully integrated with the End of the Oregon Trail site and the Railroad Station. This area should be home to the infrastructure that this city will need to support tourism, such as hotels, retail, restaurants and other visitor services. The key is to create a development that compliments the city’s historic character. If done right, a development at the landfill site could be a great entry way to the city and a hub for visitors who could then possibly shuttle into downtown or to the Mill Site and/or other historic sites. This would be in an effort to keep some of the tourism traffic off our neighborhood streets. I could support Urban Renewal use on this site if we had the support for the project from the citizens. I think it would be a good idea to take any project on this site that uses Urban Renewal money to go to the voters.

 
 

Parks:

Parks funding is crucial. Deferred maintenance in our City Parks needs to be a top priority. We also quickly need to protect the parks we have. I support assigning charter protection to all city parks including what is referred to as the Upper Yard of the Public Works site adjacent to Water Board Park. The Parks and Recreation Advisory Council recently voted 5-4 to recommend to the City Commission to formally designate the Upper Yard a park. I support this recommendation 100%.

 
 

Economic Development/Tourism:

I support a strong proactive Economic Development Approach that combines all our city resources, community partners and business groups. We need to combine our efforts and include our Tourism and Heritage Organizations, Downtown Association, and The Oregon City Chamber of Commerce.  We need to work hard to attract more visitor services to the area, including hotels so that we can meet the needs of visitors and be prepared for when construction begins on the River Walk and the Willamette Falls Legacy Project. I support speeding up our Tourism efforts and moving quickly to implement the Tourism Plan.

 
 

Industrial Development:

I support the smart development of our industrial lands near the Myers Road extension and the land across from Clackamas Community College and Oregon City High School. I believe a lot more work needs to be done to make sure that the infrastructure is in place to support this development. A major focus needs to be placed on the transportation and traffic issues on 213 and on Beavercreek Road from 213 to Beavercreek.

 
 

Annexations/Home Rule:

The City Commission should be looking out for the City’s best interests. The Commission has almost always fought hard to protect its Home Rule Authority and to protect its Charter. I feel that the City should have argued against the state mandate to take away the citizen’s rights to vote on annexations.   

 
 

Urban Renewal:

The Citizens voted to halt Oregon City’s urban Renewal Program, however since it is a state program the current commission believes that the vote is not enforceable. The majority of the current City Commission intends to continue using Urban Renewal funds in the future without voter support. I believe this is a mistake. Going against the voters will only lead to more legal battles with the City and would adversely affect the ability for potentially great projects to move forward. I believe the City Commission needs to have a dialog with the citizenry to find out what, if anything, can be done to gain the Citizens confidence in Urban Renewal Spending. If that means every Urban Renewal Project goes to the vote of the people then maybe that’s what we should do. Urban Renewal has been used in Oregon City very poorly in the past, such as the current City Hall Building construction/remodel and the use of Urban Renewal money to purchase some of the buildings furnishings. In other cases Urban Renewal has worked in great ways, such as the storefront renovations on main Street, that lead to many new businesses and restaurants being attracted to Downtown Oregon City and bringing our Main Street to a level that is now one of the best Main Street programs in the Nation. Urban Renewal can be used in good ways, but unless we have the support of the citizens to use it, we shouldn’t.

 

Homelessness:

Oregon City should not have to tackle the entire region’s or the county’s problems on its own. This should be a collaborative process and we should be looking for solutions with support from other municipalities. Oregon City has been a dumping ground for the county seat and region for years. The Metro transfer station is within our City, the Sewer Treatment Plant is in our city, and being the county seat, many of the county services are housed here. This has been a huge drain on our City Services, Roads, Police, Fire and Emergency Services. One of the major problems is that there are not services for our homeless population at night and there are no shelters in place. We need to address the lack of 24 hr services for our homeless population by working closely with the county, other municipalities and possibly work towards building stronger partnerships with local agencies and churches. A temporary solution could be the discussion of designated camping sites requiring residents to follow certain expectations/guidelines and where we can provide services to the homeless population in a central location.