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The Oregonian published a great article yestday on Governor Kitzhaber's timber panel that I was recently appointed to. Click through to read the full article.
on October 22, 2012 at 5:20 PM
The 14-member panel appointed by Gov. John Kitzhaber to create a proposal for allowing more logging on federal lands in Oregon's timber-dependent counties has barely started its work. But already the task looks about as daunting as logging those lands with nothing but axes and old-fashioned cross-saws.
First, well-known conservationist Andy Kerr declined an invitation to join the panel. A week or so later, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, who will play a key role in trying to persuade Congress to support the panel's proposal, sent another bolt of lightning into the forest when he released a seven-point "road map for federal legislation to navigate both the House and Senate." Wyden's road map included the notion that the counties "also need to do their part in reducing disparities in tax rates and developing a reasonable level of revenue from local activities."
Kerr and Wyden both did the right thing. If Kerr, as The Oregonian's Charles Pope reported, felt that Kitzhaber's ground rules required concessions he could not make, his presence would have been counterproductive. And Wyden only stated the obvious. If anything, their actions might help inject some urgency into the process.
Jamie Damon, a Clackamas County commissioner and member of the Kitzhaber panel who also is a professional mediator, described the challenge: "We're trying to create a new path forward where one doesn't necessarily exist."
When a Clackamas County sheriff's deputy forcibly removed a disruptive Portland man from a commissioners meeting in April, the unsightly scene indicated how difficult it can be to reverse the tide of political incivility.
The man, Richard Langdon, denied he was out of order and was not arrested or cited. The incident was just one of a number of episodes of incivility that played out across public meetings this year, and in some cases, public officials themselves were the worst offenders. A variety of government bodies this spring held meetings that descended into farce with elected officials yelling at one another, arguing with residents, and in some cases, requiring officials to call in law enforcement to end disruptions or report safety threats.
Clackamas County officials have tried -- with limited success -- to establish guidelines for citizen communication and meeting decorum. Officials crafted the guidelines after a particularly inflamed meeting in Dec. 2010 that recessed abruptly when all the commissioners walked out and the board clerk hit a panic button summoning police.
"I think we're getting out of practice about what civility means," said Clackamas County Commissioner Jamie Damon, a mediator by training. "We are out of practice in terms of holding each other accountable person-to-person. We're more reticent to engage with people we don't know face-to-face because we're not as confident in our ability to have that interaction."
OREGON CITY -- Clackamas County Commissioner Jamie Damon celebrated her 48th birthday today in a rather unique way: She filed to run for her current board seat.
Damon is the newest commissioner after being appointed to fill a vacancy in May 2011. An Eagle Creek resident, she was selected in part to fill a void on a five-member commission that lacked a rural voice.
Her goals include relationships between communities, increased advocacy for local businesses, and stronger career and technical education.
Read the rest here.
If what Clackamas County commissioners want becomes reality next year, there will be more employment and a better transportation system as well as more services available for vets returning from the Middle East. The county might also become a magnet for industrial development
OREGON CITY -- Clackamas County commissioners this morning agreed to establish a sister county relationship with rural Harney County in southeastern Oregon.
The effort is headed by new Commissioner Jamie Damon, who previously worked with Harney County and its County Court -- the equivalent of the Clackamas Board of County Commissioners -- in her previous job as a professional mediator.
"As I talked with the County Court there, I realized we could really benefit in Clackamas County with having a relationship with a more rural county so we can learn what they're doing to overcome issues," she said.
Jamie Damon, Clackamas County's newest commissioner, has a reputation for bridging gaps and building consensusBy Yuxing Zheng, The Oregonian - June 17, 2011
EAGLE CREEK -- The topic at a Clackamas County commissioners work session Tuesday seemed innocuous enough: formulate the discussion agenda for a July meeting with business owners urging the county to develop a policy for mobile food and vendor carts.
Conversations between county staff and food cart group leaders had grown contentious in recent months and reached an impasse, officials said, so commissioners wanted to structure the July meeting effectively to work towards the development of a new county ordinance.
The commissioners all turned to Jamie Damon for help.
Jamie Damon, who lives in rural Eagle Creek, believes her 25 years in conflict resolution will enable her to help Clackamas County settle the issues that divide its residents.