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McKnight returns to school board with write-in win posted on 06/01/2021

Of the 422 write-in votes cast for the Zone 3 (Welches) position on the Oregon Trail School District’s (OTSD) board of directors, some notable vote getters included one for cartoon character Elmer Fudd, five for different spelling variations of Donald Trump, one for former children’s television host Fred Rogers (who died in 2003), one for fictional television character James T. Kirk and two for legendary singer Johnny Cash (who also died in 2003).

But in a twist of fate, voters selected current board member Kurt McKnight, who decided against running for reelection due to an upcoming move, with a total of 47 votes, defeating two other write-in candidates: Melanie Brown, who received 32 votes, and Mike Wiley, with 18 votes (all vote totals provided by Clackamas County Elections as of Tuesday, May 25).

“I was really surprised to see that many write-ins for my name,” McKnight said. “I was also very touched by it.”

McKnight added that this changes his thought process on the situation, he sees that the voters have asked him to remain on the board.

“I’ve thought a lot about it, and I’m probably going to accept,” he said, adding that when he is ready to move and will not be able to serve the school district, he will resign and allow the board to appoint someone to fulfil the remainder of the four-year term. “I love what I do, I love what we’ve done (on the school board). There’s a lot more to do and I’d be honored to do another year or two.”

The May 18 Special District Election also saw the approval of Measure 3-566, a five-year county sheriff Public Safety Local Option Levy, a levy that first passed in 2006 and then renewed by voters in 2011 and 2016 without any changes. This time, the levy’s rate increased by 12 cents to 36.8 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value, which will maintain funding for 84 jail beds in the county jail, 30 jail deputies, 18 patrol deputies and the Sheriff’s specialized drug enforcement team, while also adding 16 patrol deputies, six jail deputies, two internal affairs investigators, implement and maintain a body-worn camera program and five detectives to investigate elder abuse/neglect, child abuse/neglect, human trafficking and felony crimes.

The levy, which will last from 2022-27, received 43,756 “Yes” votes (56.16 percent) against 34,153 “No” votes (43.84 percent).

“The passage of Measure 3-566, confirms our community values excellent public safety services and expects Clackamas County to continue to be a safe place to live,”  work and raise a family," said Sheriff Angela Brandenburg in a statement. “I look forward to the opportunity to further the good work that the men and women of the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office do each and every day.”

Other results on the ballot include three reelected members of the OTSD board: Marjan Salveter in Zone 1 (North Sandy), Robert Lee in Zone 5 (Cottrell/Bull Run) and Randy Carmony in Zone 7 (At Large); and three elected to the Hoodland Fire District’s board of directors: Mary Ellen Fitzgerald (Position 3), Nora Gambee (Position 4) and Cliff Fortune (Position 5). All six ran unopposed.

By Garth Guibord/MT





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