I am troubled by recent letters supporting Commissioner Lianne Thompson that suggest that Chairman Scott Lee, and the commissioners asking for her resignation, are the ones acting unprofessionally.
For the better part of a year I attended Clatsop County Commission meetings in order to make regular public testimony on the Linn County timber lawsuit. I can say unequivocally that during that time I never observed any behavior, or heard comments made by Chairman Lee or the other commissioners, that were in any way unprofessional. Regrettably, I cannot say the same about Commissioner Thompson.
At one of the meetings, I pointed out that Commissioner Thompson’s husband serves as the business manager for Linn County, and was integral to the filing of the timber lawsuit. I suggested that she recuse herself on the lawsuit vote. I made this suggestion after conferring with someone who had served on various boards who agreed that recusal would be the professional thing to do. Thompson’s reaction to my suggestion was one of defiance, because I was bringing up her “personal life.”
At another meeting, Thompson claimed that she had not been on the commission when the vote was taken to approve the Clatsop County Vision 2030 Together plan, which demonstrates the public’s support for conservation of forest lands.
A review of the record showed that Thompson was on the board at the time, and had voted to approve the plan. When confronted with the misrepresentation of her voting record, Thompson said she had “a senior moment.” That’s a difficult excuse to accept, considering the importance of that vote.
In her efforts to keep Clatsop County in the class of the lawsuit, Thompson discredited the Vision Plan because the meetings held by the research firm conducting the study were only attended by “activists.” Having attended one of those meetings myself, I can say that was not the case. Finally, when the overwhelming majority of public comments, along with many emails and letters sent to the commission called for opting out of the lawsuit, Commissioner Thompson chose to go against the public with her vote.