Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Charter Cities(Astoria for one) - So You Want To Change Your City's Charter?

Laws Governing Local Ballot Measures For Charter Cities


Wednesday, July 23, 2014 OREGON PIPELINE HEARING CANCELLED As a result of an appeal filed by developers of a proposed natural gas pipeline, a hearing before the Clatsop County Board of Commissioners on the project application set for Sept. 10 has been cancelled. On Friday, July 18, Oregon Pipeline Company LLC filed a petition for review with the Oregon Court of Appeals to review two recent rulings from the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA): a remand of the board of commissioners’ October 2013 decision rejecting the company’s consolidated land-use application, and the dismissal of an appeal filed by project opponent Columbia Riverkeeper against the board’s original November 2010 ruling approving the application. In a ruling released June 27, LUBA remanded the application back to the county based on its finding that Commissioner Peter Huhtala was not impartial when he voted with the majority of the board to withdraw the original approval and later to deny Oregon Pipeline’s consolidated land-use application to build 41 miles of natural gas pipeline through the county. The remand means the board must reconsider the application without Huhtala taking part in the decision – the September hearing was set for this reconsideration. LUBA’s ruling came in response to an appeal filed by Oregon Pipeline, which claimed that Huhtala as well as Commissioner Scott Lee and former commissioner Debra Birkby all displayed evidence of bias against the project. LUBA found that there was not sufficient evidence of bias regarding Lee and Birkby. The proposed pipeline would serve a liquefied natural gas import/export terminal planned for the Skipanon Peninsula in Warrenton. The board of commissioners approved the pipeline application in November 2010, but two months later the board, with three new members including Huhtala, voted to withdraw the approval and reconsider the application. After two and a half years of legal wrangling over the commissioners’ jurisdiction, the board voted 5-0 in October 2013 to reject Oregon Pipeline’s land-use application. Oregon Pipeline appealed that decision to LUBA. Released by: Tom Bennett Community Relations Coordinator (503) 338-3622

Two file for Astoria Council seat - Daily Astorian: News

Two file for Astoria Council seat - Daily Astorian: News

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Highlights From Clatsop County Board Of Commissioners - April 9, 2014

Volunteers honored
The board recognized the 2013 Volunteer of the Year honorees and proclaimed April 6-12 as Volunteer Week.
Honorees are:
Individual Volunteer of the Year: Dick Lang, coordinator of volunteer drivers for Clatsop County’s Veterans Services program.
Outstanding Advisory Board Volunteer: Katie Paaso, member of 4-H & Extension Service District Advisory Board.
Outstanding Volunteer Group: Veterans Services program drivers Pat Albers, Jerry Alderman, Patrick Bettridge, Ed Bohart, Lloyd Hovden, Donald Ivie, Kenneth Lehman, Ed Neimi, Jerry Ostermiller, Judy Ronis and Kathy Sasso
Outstanding Individuals Within a Group:
Marcy Dunning, Clatsop County Animal Shelter volunteer
Bruce Linehan, Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office reserve deputy
Laura Brandt, Paws in Action 4H Club program coordinator

Park memorial policy
The board approved a policy covering the placement of memorials and tributes in county parks. The policy was developed by the Recreational Lands Planning Advisory Committee in response to a request from a citizen to install a playground in a county park as a memorial to a lost child, and creates a standard process for the county to review similar requests.

Arch Cape issues
The board held a work session on infrastructure funding and other issues involving the community of Arch Cape. Commissioners indicated interest in exploring an increase in the county’s transient occupancy tax to provide funding for road, stormwater and other capital improvements in the unincorporated community. By consensus the board chose to make no changes to the county’s short-term rental ordinance or regulations governing tree removal and signs.

Other Business
In other business the board:
-Approved a temporary access and construction easement and dock lease agreement between Clatsop County and Teevin Land and Timber Co. to enable work on the new landing for the Wahkiakum Ferry at Westport, planned for construction beginning this summer.
-Approved a grant agreement with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife for $75,000 for repairs to the boat docks at John Day County Park.
-Appointed Commissioner Matt Samuelson to the Northwest Senior and Disability Services board.

Tom Bennett
Community Relations Coordinator
(503) 325-1000 ext. 1312

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Thursday, March 27, 2014 DISTRICT ATTORNEY MARQUIS HONORED FOR 20 YEARS OF SERVICE The Clatsop County Board of Commissioners honored District Attorney Josh Marquis for 20 years of service to the county. Board Chair Scott presented Marquis with a certificate of appreciation at the board’s March 26 meeting. Marquis was appointed to the office March 9, 1994 by then-Gov. Barbara Roberts. He was elected to the position in November of that year, and re-elected four times since. Marquis is a former president of the Oregon District Attorneys Association and has represented the state on the National District Attorneys Association, and has also served on the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission and American Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Leadership Council. He has also been an advocate for stronger laws against animal abuse, both at the Oregon Legislature and through his involvement with the Animal Legal Defense Fund and the Human Society National Law Enforcement Council. Released by: Tom Bennett Community Relations Coordinator (503) 338-3622

Highlights Of The March 25, 2014 Clatsop County Board Of Commissioners Meeting

 Marijuana Facility Moratorium: The board conducted the first reading of an ordinance imposing a moratorium on medical marijuana facilities in the unincorporated county. The moratorium bans the operation of dispensaries and other facilities that provide marijuana products to medical marijuana card holders until May 1, 2015. Earlier in March the Oregon Legislature passed a bill granting cities and counties the ability to impose moratoriums on medical marijuana facilities effective until May 1, 2015. Currently no medical marijuana facilities operate in the unincorporated county. The board will resume a public hearing on the ordinance and take a final vote at its April 23 meeting.

 Diking District Transfer: The board approved a letter of intent re-assigning easements of Diking District #13 from Clatsop County to the Bonneville Power Administration. The district, which came under the county’s administration after it was dissolved in the 1970s, covers property along the Youngs River and Walluski River that is the location of a project aimed at restoring the land to natural conditions by the modification and removal of some of the surrounding dikes. The project is a cooperative effort of the BPA, Astoria Wetlands LLC and the Cowlitz Indian Tribe.

 Commissioner Liaison Duties: The board re-assigned some of its liaison appointments to outside agency boards in light of the appointment of Matt Samuelson as new commissioner for District 5. Those assignments are: 4H Extension Service District Advisory Committee – Dirk Rohne Board of Review (Farm Board) – Dirk Rohne Clatsop Economic Development Resources (CEDR) – Peter Huhtala Clatsop County Fair Board – Dirk Rohne Clatsop Soil and Water Conservation District – Scott Lee Council of Forest Trust Land Counties – Scott Lee Columbia-Pacific Economic Development District (Col-Pac) – Peter Huhtala Columbia River Estuary Study Task Force (CREST) – Scott Lee Community Action Team – Matt Samuelson Commission on Children and Families – Scott Lee Northwest Area Commission on Transportation – Matt Samuelson Northwest Oregon Economic Alliance – Peter Huhtala Northwest Oregon Housing Authority – Scott Lee Northwest Senior and Disability Services – Peter Huhtala Oregon Coastal Zone Management Association – Scott Lee Oregon Consortium – Scott Lee Public Safety Coordinating Council – Sarah Nebeker Arts Council of Clatsop County – Sarah Nebeker Human Services Advisory Committee – Sarah Nebeker

The Board Also Voted To End The Practice Of Assigning Commissioners As Members Or Liaisons To The Following County Boards And Committees: Ambulance Service District Area Advisory Committee, Planning Commission, Recreational Lands Planning Advisory Committee, Rural Law Enforcement District Advisory Committee and Southwest Coastal Citizens Advisory Committee. Staff recommended the change due to the fact that these bodies are advisory to the board of commissioners, and in some cases a commissioner’s participation could complicate the board’s review and action on certain issues.

 Land-Use Hearings: The board voted to grant authority to the Community Development Director to determine whether certain land-use hearings are heard by a hearings officer or by the county planning commission. The move amends a 2012 action by the board that appointed a hearings officer to hear Type IIa land-use applications and Type I and II appeals. Giving the department director the option of using a hearings officer or planning commission is intended to provide more efficiency and flexibility.

Other Business: In other business the board -Presented a certificate of recognition to District Attorney Josh Marquis for his 20 years of service to Clatsop County. Marquis was appointed District Attorney in March 1994 and has been re-elected to the post five times. -Approved a letter to Oregon State Forester Doug Decker requesting additional information related to proposed changes in state forest management plans and revenue disbursement. -Proclaimed March 23-29 as Tsunami Preparedness Week. -Postponed appointments to the newly formed Arts Council of Clatsop County and invited additional applications. -Appointed Charles Dice to the Clatsop County Budget Committee. -Appointed Marcus Simantel and re-appointed Ed Johnson and Katie Paaso to the 4H and Extension Service District Budget Committee.

Tom Bennett Community Relations Coordinator (503) 325-1000 ext. 1312

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Matt Samuelson Tapped To Replace Birkby Till Election

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


 Matt Samuelson of Elsie is the new Clatsop County Commissioner for District 5. The Board of Commissioners unanimously selected Samuelson from among three applicants at its March 12 meeting. Samuelson was sworn into office following the vote by Circuit Court Judge Phil Nelson. Samuelson will serve the remainder of the term of former commissioner Debra Birkby, who resigned Jan. 31. The term runs through Dec. 31, 2014. Samuelson, a mechanic, is a life-long and seventh-generation Clatsop County resident. He is a former member of the Jewell School District Board and is active with 4-H and the Clatsop County Fair. District 5 covers the southern portion of Clatsop County, including Cannon Beach, Arch Cape, Jewell, Elsie and Hamlet and portions of Seaside. The District 5 position is up for election May 20 for a four-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2015. The other two applicants for appointment to the vacancy, Dale Barrett and Lianne Thompson, have filed as candidates in the May election; Samuelson is not a candidate. PHOTO: Matt Samuelson (left) is sworn into office as the new Clatsop County Commissioner for District 5 by Circuit Court Judge Phil Nelson Wednesday, March 12. Released by: Tom Bennett Community Relations Coordinator (503) 338-3622 (503) 325-1000 ext. 1312

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014

One of the four applicants for the vacant District 5 position on the Clatsop County Board of Commissioners has withdrawn. Robin Risley of Cannon Beach declared Wednesday she is withdrawing her application. Three other applicants – Dale Barrett of Seaside, Matt Samuelson of Seaside and Lianne Thompson of Arch Cape – are scheduled to be interviewed by the board of commissioners at the board’s Feb. 26 meeting at the Judge Guy Boyington Building, 857 Commercial St., Astoria. Interviews begin at 5 p.m., and the board is scheduled to select one of the applicants during the regular meeting beginning at 6 p.m. The District 5 position became vacant following the resignation of former commissioner Debra Birkby on Jan. 31. The selected applicant will serve out the remainder of the term, which runs through Dec. 31, 2014. The public can submit comments to the board on the applicants. Go to for more information.

 Released by: Tom Bennett Community Relations Coordinator (503) 338-3622

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Highlights Of The January 8, 2014 Clatsop County Board Of Commissioners

Road Dedicated
The board officially designated the newly constructed portion of SE Ensign Lane as a public road. The road section, built through the county-owned North Coast Business Park in Warrenton, connects SE 19th St. and Alternate Highway 101. Construction of the road was an obligation under the intergovernmental agreement between Clatsop County and the Oregon Department of Transportation for the granting of highway access to the commercial area of the business park. The board is scheduled to formally accept the road into the county road system Jan. 22. Public Works Director Ed Wegner singled out the work of project leader Terry Hendryx, engineering technician, who headed the design, inspection and mitigation for the project, which was completed ahead of schedule.

Other Business
In other business the board: -Designated Commissioner Scott Lee as Chairperson and Commissioner Peter Huhtala as Vice-Chairperson. -Approved budget adjustments to account for two Federal Emergency Management Agency grants obtained by the county Emergency Management Division on behalf of the City of Astoria Public Works Department for the purchase of a radio repeater ($9,000 grant) and the Hamlet Rural Fire Protection District for the purchase of a communications encoder/decoder ($1,200 grant). -Re-appointed Jack Ficken, Tom Iverson and Andy Mendenhall to the Clatsop County Fair Board. -Appointed Jim Sparks and re-appointed Tod Lundy to the Southwest Coastal Citizens Advisory/Design Review Committee. -Appointed Lynne Leland and Thomas Sayre and reappointed Jack Applegate to the Recreational Lands Planning Advisory Committee. -Approved a letter to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department supporting proposed rules restricting smoking in state parks. Tom Bennett Community Relations Coordinator (503) 325-1000 ext. 1312