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I hope you had a peaceful Easter weekend and Passover celebration. I took some time to be with my family and it was wonderful. Sometimes with the busy lives we lead it is hard to remember to step back and spend time with the people that you love the most.
But it is also good to get back to work. Last week Commissioner Cameron, Bethell and I participated in a parade to raise awareness of the ongoing tragedy of child abuse in our community. We joined law enforcement and local nonprofits to "paint the town blue." It was incredible to see so many people in our community stand together to support our kids.
On Friday, we were invited to a town hall in Gates and it was a humbling experience. Members of the Gates community shared their stories of the night of the fire. These were stories of heroism and of the love neighbors showed for each other. As commissioners, we were presented with an award from members of the community for our work on their behalf. It was incredibly moving. After everything that the Gates community has gone through, and after hearing the stories of those people who risked their lives to save their neighbors the night of the fire, it is hard not to feel that our contribution pales in comparison to what others have given to this community over the past year. I left feeling incredibly privileged to be an advocate for the people of Gates and all of our neighbors in the Santiam Canyon.
Finally, I want to raise your awareness of the effort to reallocate the water stored behind the Detroit Dam on the Santiam River. Currently, the water is used for irrigation and for the benefit of local communities in Marion and Linn Counties. However under the reallocation plan, the state would allocate water rights to this water to wildlife protection and to cities in the Portland area. This could create water scarcity for our communities and farmers here in Marion County. The Marion County Board of Commissioners sent a letter to the legislature opposing HB 3103 which would allow this to happen. If this issue is important to you please let your legislators know that you oppose the plan to reallocate the water stored behind the Detroit dam.
It is an honor to serve you as your county commissioner.