Lynn Peterson resigns as Clackamas County chair, to join Kitzhaber administration

Lynne Peterson resigning as Clackamas County commissioner, will join Kitzhaber administration.
Hat tip to RA, who got there in the open thread first.

Clackamas County chair Lynn Peterson, an ardent support of Milwaukie MAX and other land-use and transit initiatives within the county, is resigning her post on the county commission, to join the Kitzhaber administration as a transportation advisor. Her last day on the county commission will be Friday, March 11, and her first day at the new gig will be the following Monday.

A press release from the Kitzhaber team:

Governor Kitzhaber today announced the appointment of Lynn Peterson as his Sustainable Communities and Transportation Policy Advisor. Ms. Peterson is Chair of the Clackamas County Commission and a nationally recognized transportation and land use integration expert. She has dedicated her career to building safe and healthy communities.

“I am pleased that Lynn will be joining my team as my Sustainable Communities and Transportation Policy Advisor,” said Governor Kitzhaber. “Her knowledge, dedication and expertise will be integral to helping get Oregonians back to work building a sustainable 21st century transportation system.”

Prior to serving on the Clackamas County Commission, Ms. Peterson worked as a transportation consultant and as a Strategic Planning Manager for TriMet. She also was a transportation advocate for 1000 friends of Oregon and a transportation planner for Metro.

Ms. Peterson will lead the Governor’s policy efforts on transportation initiatives including, high speed rail, freight and highway planning and improvement, the Solar Highway, and linking transportation to housing and sustainability. The Governor has asked Patricia McCaig to be his lead advisor on the Columbia River Crossing Project. Ms. McCaig has been serving this role during the transition and will continue this work into the Administration.

“It is an honor to join the Governor’s team to help communities across this state achieve their goals for healthy, vibrant and sustainable growth and development,” said Ms. Peterson. “I am excited to build on the successes we have had in such a diverse county as Clackamas and apply the lessons learned to assist cities and counties statewide.”

Ms. Peterson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from University of Wisconsin – Madison and two Masters degrees from Portland State University, in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Urban and Regional Planning.

She will resign from the Clackamas County Commission effective March 11 and begin working in the Governor’s office on March 14.

What her role exactly will be with the Kitzhaber administration, and her relationship to the established transit bureaucracy at ODOT, is unclear.

The earliest a special election to replace Peterson could be scheduled is the primary election in May. She was elected to the board in 2006, and her term was scheduled to expire in 2012.

Should be interesting.

8 responses to “Lynn Peterson resigns as Clackamas County chair, to join Kitzhaber administration”

  1. Actually, according to the Portland Tribune, the other four councilors will appoint a replacement for Peterson, who will serve until her term expires in 2012.

  2. March 11 should be late enough for her to vote as BOCC Chair for the streetcar extension after she votes for it as a member of the project steering committee at the end of this month.

    Like I said – interesting.

  3. How far is she going to get with those ideas? Money is very tight right now. And judging from the foreign competition the US faces I don’t see a huge turnaround in the future, either.

  4. Much of our foreign competition, Ron, is busy building themselves (if they haven’t done so already) robust transit systems for their cities, high-speed rail between them, and so forth. The US is rather unique in its worship of the automobile, and a significant political subculture that holds all forms of transport other than personal autos in contempt.

    And if you think money is tight now, how tight will money be if gas is $5 a gallon?

    As far as “how for Lynn will get” with her ideas, that depends on the Legislature and so forth. Right now, most state transportation dollars are going on roads, not on other things. Part of that is because how different modes are the responsibility of different levels of government–the Feds have a far bigger role with rail, aviation, and water transport than they do with highways, and urban public transit is primarily a concern at the municipal level. But a lot of that is the political culture mentioned above.

    If you go look at ODOT’s project pages, the agency has tons of highway projects great and small in the pipe (many of them not yet funded). Some of these are maintenance or safety improvements, but many are additions to highway capacity. Compared to that largesse, ODOT’s contributions to the other modes of transport, both passenger and freight, is tiny.

    The money’s there, Ron. It’s all how we choose to spend it.

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