The Columbia Press​​
Clatsop County's Independent Newspaper

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Coverage of the Port election is in this week's paper

Special District Election May 16
Candidates for
Clatsop Community College Board

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Patrick Wingard
Age: 45
City: Astoria
Education: Bachelor’s degree, civil engineering, Michigan State University
Experience: Clatsop Community College Board member, 5 years; land-use planner for local governments, including City of Warrenton, Clatsop County, and the State of Oregon, 18 years. Owned a consulting business, three years.
What makes you the better candidate: Experience. Ability to work positively with a wide range of viewpoints and interests.
What are the biggest issues facing the college? Funding: Securing funding for Clatsop Community College at the local, state and federal levels. Growth: CCC needs to grow its enrollment and remain an affordable option with demonstrable return on investment for its student body. Strategic Planning: CCC must ensure that it advances policies and allocates resources to implement its strategic plan.  
What’s the best way to tackle them? Funding: Continued advocacy for funding in Salem and DC. Transparent and engaged board members that gain the public’s trust and act in the best interest of our students and community; partnerships are key. Growth:  Support the excellent work of our college faculty and staff; be open-minded, innovative and creative. Strategic Planning: Regularly (every five years) review and update the college’s strategic plan, including core themes and goals. Be responsive to the needs of our industry partners and understand trends in business and employment.
Pamela Mattson McDonald
Age: 62
City: Astoria, OR
Education: Coast Guard OS Merchant Mariner License, 2007, MERTS, Clatsop Community College 2006
Master’s degree in education, Pacific University, 2003
Small Business Program, Clatsop Community College, 1990-92
Bachelor’s degree in ceramic technology and design, Alfred University, College of Ceramics, 1978
Experience: Membership chair, American Association of University Women, 2007-12; vice president, The Tillicum Foundation, 1994-98; member, Washington State Growth Management Committee, 1991–95; writer and researcher, 2010–present; merchant marine, Crowley Maritime Services, Seattle, 2007–12; writer of three grants totaling $15,000 total funds raised; owner and operator of architectural ceramic facility, 17 years; news program “The Peninsula Report,” KMUN 91.9-FM, 1995-99.
What makes you the better candidate: I’m resourceful and a creative problem solver, highly skilled in research, communications, planning, and curriculum. Also, with insight to the student challenges of a community college. Wishing to bring contemporary technological jobs to the college as well as sustaining and promoting the current curriculum.
What are the biggest issues facing the college? Student dropout rates among scholarship recipients. Expanding the auto shop training to include an electric vehicle technician certificate to meet the coming demand.
What’s the best way to tackle them? I like to know the ideas of my compatriots and their perspectives during decision making. I believe in well done research of a problem or challenge and group discussion.
As to the specifics of my answers: A few counseling check-in’s at four, eight, and twelve weeks to nip student’s problems in the bud.
Connect with Nissan and Tesla Motors for the requirements of their techs. A shortage of skilled electric vehicle repair and maintenance technicians is now upon us and will increase with the upswing of electric vehicle choices.

Heron stands watch
A great blue heron stands watchfully on the shore at the Skipanon Marina in Warrenton.

Letter to the Editor
Check candidates' contributions

Two women walk along the Warrenton Waterfront Trail.
The State and County have done their job and mailed out to all registered voters their ballot for the upcoming May (Special Districts) election.
Now it is our turn to do our job, gather information regarding the candidates and -  making an informed decision---VOTE!
Probably the most contentious and important race on our ballot is the election of Commissioners to the Board of the Port of Astoria.  Three positions (1,2 and 5) are up for grabs.  Regardless of the position stated, please remember all candidates stand for election throughout the entire County and voters can support whomever they feel is best qualified.
Checking "OreStar Public Search" on Google - will allow you to look at the finances (contributions/expenditures) reported by each candidate.  If a candidate doesn't expect to either receive/spend $750 for their campaign-  registration may not be necessary. 
Mr. Fulton has reported no contributions or expenditures of monies since his 2013 campaign.  Difficult to believe with all his signs around the County that $750 wasn't spent and no one contributed, but I guess it's possible.
Mr. Hellberg and Mr. O'Grady both appear to have received most of their campaign contributions from Longshoremen.  If they're elected, along with Mr. Hunsinger, does this mean a majority with a personal agenda?  Who knows!
Mr. Campbell, Mr. Rohne and Mr. Spence's financials show contributions from a large variety of people and businesses with apparently different interests.   Believe that's good!
After reading the articles and Letters to the Editor in the newspapers concerning the qualifications of each candidate, and doing a public search for information about how their campaigns have been financed- (always good to know to whom a candidate might be obligated)- I've made my decision.
The job of a Board of a Special District is to set policy, not to attempt to micro-manage staff.  It is also expected that they will not personally attack other Commissioners, Staff or members of the public. 
After my due diligence, I believe Campbell, Spence and Rohne will best bring sanity, civility and no special interest agenda to the Board of the Port.  I'm voting for them and I urge you to join me!
Carol Gearin
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