Pamplin Media Group – Who applied for the Oregon City Commission nomination?


Eight people from diverse backgrounds seek seat Denyse McGriff vacated to serve as mayor

Oregon City received nominations from eight people for nomination for city commissioner.

Rachel Lyles Smith’s last day as mayor was April 22, and Denyse McGriff has since served as mayor, first as commission chair and then as winning the August 23 special election. With Oregon City’s new mayor sworn in, the commissioner seat previously held by McGriff is vacant.

City Commissioner Frank O’Donnell returned Sept. 27 from a 60-day furlough to “speed up” the nomination process, saying he would be happy to see someone sworn in as soon as the commission votes for a candidate.

After interviewing the candidates on October 25, at least three of the four remaining members of the commission will have to agree on a candidate before the candidate is nominated.

The new commissioner is expected to be sworn in at the start of the November 2 commission meeting. But there’s a small chance that a committee vacancy will reappear soon if the committee appoints someone to run in the November election and that person ends up winning the election.

Two of the candidates for the vacant commission seat are on the Nov. 8 ballot, and one of the other candidates for the nomination has already served as city commissioner.

With the option to stand for a full four-year term in November 2024, the appointee will be required to serve at least until the first committee meeting in January 2025.

Here is the list of candidates in alphabetical order with a brief biography for each:

• Petronella Donovan, owner of an adult care home in Oregon City, served as chair of the board of directors for Clackamas Volunteers in Medicine to meet the health care needs of low-income people in Clackamas County. She serves on the Oregon City Transportation Advisory Committee and the OC Chamber Government and Economic Affairs Committee.

• Tom Geil is a former planning commissioner for Oregon City and a representative of the Citizens Involvement Commission who successfully represented the Park Place neighborhood in advocating for the city commission to reject a developer’s plan to build hundreds of homes in the area without any additional commercial or northern amenities. southern outlets. Geil’s Nov. 8 commission campaign materials said he was not against development, but he said any new development should be preceded by improved infrastructure.

• Julie Hernandez, head of government affairs for Portland General Electric, currently serves on the board of the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber. Its past board includes Resolutions NW, which helps young people overcome conflict; the Clackamas River Health Advisory Board for Water Environment Services; and the International Rights of Way Association.

• Damon Mabee previously served as city commissioner from 2005-2009, planning commissioner from 2011-2019 and president of the Friends of Buena Vista clubhouse. He lost two mayoral campaigns, in 2018 and 2021.

• Mike Mitchell has held leadership positions with the Oregon City Planning Commission, Urban Renewal Commission, Citizen Participation Committee, Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee, Transportation Advisory Committee, from the Caufield Neighborhood Association and the Parks Foundation. He ran against former mayor Lyles Smith for a commission seat in 2018 and won around 44% of the vote.

• Casey Norlin, a dentist who works for the Clackamas County Health Department, previously worked for the US Army National Guard, Colton Rural Fire District and as an assistant professor at the School of Dentistry in Oregon Health & Science University. Prior to a career in dentistry, Norlin worked for the City of Oregon City in its public works and code enforcement departments, maintaining OC streets and writing parking tickets from 2007 to 2011.

• Jay Pearce was a founding member of the Oregon City Homeless Solutions Coalition, now Clackamas County Homeless Solutions Coalition. He recently made headlines when he put up a ‘private drive’ sign next to the public lane ‘to keep people away from our driveway, which has been frequented by the mentally ill and vagrants’ and for advocating for the removal of an Arta Pottie near his house for the sake of “vandalism and drug trafficking centered around portable toilets”.

• Sandra Dee Toews was recently elected as a member of the Clackamas County Republican Party constituency committee. His commission campaign highlighted how it is possible to embrace Oregon City’s future while respecting its rich heritage.

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