BALLOTS have been mailed out to residents of Oregon for the 2011 special districts election and are due by May 17.
In Clatsop County, the only county-wide race with a challenger is for Port of Astoria Commissioner, Position 3. Tim Liddiard, a progressive and newcomer to politics, is running against the incumbent, Bill Hunsinger. Hunsinger won his seat on an anti-LNG, pro-union platform, and has been instrumental in guiding the Port towards being a more industrial, shipping-based agency. After a bitter battle with Oregon LNG, the Port has given up on the goal of ending the sub-lease on the Skipanon Peninsula with that company. Liddiard has promised to be more open and responsive to county residents, and focus on providing services to the whole county. He is critical of the decision to start a log export operation at the Port, and wants to start work right away to bring rail service to the whole county. (For more on Liddiard, see the April 2011 issue of HIPFiSH.)
In Tillimook County, one of the races that has generated a lot of interest has been the North County Recreation District (NCRD) board in Nehalem, which has 3 open seats that all have challengers. Only one incumbent, board chair Marie Ziemecki, is running. She is being challenged by Darrell Winegar, a former business owner who went to work for the Mohler Co-op in 1996. Lining up on the progressive side with Ziemecki are Julie Chick, former owner of Nehalem Bay Kayak Company, and Kevin Greenwood, Manager at the Port of Garibaldi since 2009, and former Manager of the City of Garibaldi. Greenwood also served on the NCRD board from 2005-2008. In addition to Winegar, two other conservatives are running â€“ Jon Welsh (against Greenwood), part-owner of Manzanita Fresh Foods, and Angela Hanke (against Chick). The conservatives are against taxpayer funding of the district facilities, while the progressives would like to see continued public funding.
A similar situation exists with the Nehalem Bay Fire & Rescue District, with 3 conservatives trying to unseat current members of the board. The conservatives claim that the fire district is too big for the region it serves, and want to reduce taxpayer outlays.
Residents of Clatsop County should note that applications to serve on the county planning commission are due by May 13. The county board of commissioners recently voted to vacate all seven seats on the panel and invite the current members and new applicants to apply for the vacated positions. The planning commission advises the board of commissioners on land-use planning, conducts land-use hearings and implements the countyâ€™s zoning and comprehensive plan. The panel normally meets once a month.
For more information on the elections and appointments in Clatsop County, including drop-off sites, call the county clerk at 503-325-8511. In Tillamook County, call 503-842-3402.