A few months ago, I lent my name and my support for the recall of Jeff Hazen as commissioner for District 1. To my knowledge, nothing has changed at the Clatsop County Commission, except for the appointment of another commissioner by the very commissioners who were the targets of the recall. As long as the commission can reincarnate itself endlessly, we will have no progress in making county government reflect the will of the people.
We now have an opportunity to make the changes in the commission that are long overdue. Elections are scheduled for May of this year. Hazen is running for re-election.
I continue to oppose his sitting on the county commission for the following reasons: his involvement in granting zoning changes that were instrumental in making possible commercial development in former timberlands; his obvious inability to say "no" to any current and future corporate entity that might wish to avail itself of Warrenton's generous zoning and tax codes; his complete disregard for local small businesses which will be destroyed or severely damaged by competition from mega-retailers; his total disregard for job losses resulting from small business closures or retrenching; and finally, his inability to recognize the legitimacy of liquefied natural gas protests even after the "no pipelines in parks" vote.
Hazen is unfit to sit on the county board because he is not his own man. He is owned, body and soul, by his employer. Because of his efforts to secure favorable treatment for Costco, he cannot, therefore, say "no" to any other developer who wishes to make his mark within the county. This includes, of course, Bradwood Landing LNG and the former Calpine LNG.
Scott Lee, a local small businessman, has taken on the challenge to replace Hazen. Scott Lee is aware of the shortcomings of the present commission and will commit himself to bringing rationality and accountability to county governmental. We need him to reduce the rancor and name-calling and to make the commission reflective of the community and restore the people's confidence in them and the decisions they must make. He is beholden to no one but the voters and can and will say "no" when it is called for.
I encourage you to learn more about Scott Lee. He is a good man. He will be good for the county.