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Yesterday's Headlines

1963

First State Bank awarded a contract to construct “The New Estacada Building” at Southwest Third and Broadway.

The office building was to be “of a modern contemporary design” and would feature “native woods” and brick.

The paper stated, “This substantial investment in Estacada demonstrates the continued confidence of the First State Bank in the future of the city and the surrounding area.”

1983

One morning, Cathy and Orville Booker awoke to find racist epithets painted on their home in rural Estacada.

Orville was black and his wife, Cathy, was white.

Orville stayed up nights hoping to catch whoever was responsible and wondering if they would strike again.

Luckily, the Bookers were in for a nice surprise.

Members of several Estacada service clubs painted the Booker's entire home soon after the incident.

Kiwanis Club member John McIlhenny told the paper, “We believe actions like this aren't representative of our community.”

“I appreciate the fact that so many people came out and helped,” said Orville. “It says a lot to me. If there's ever anything I can do to help the community I will.”

1993

In September 1993, Estacada had voted to amend the city charter to prohibit civil liberties protections based on sexual orientation.

However, when faced with a lawsuit from the Estacada Citizens For Fairness backed by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the Estacada City Council agreed to declare anti-gay Measure 3-1 null and void.

The council grudgingly admitted that they could not afford to fight the ACLU in court.

Nevertheless, Councilor Sandy Pense filed a motion to intervene in the case, hoping to salvage the measure though it seemed unlikely that courts would allow the motion.

In late October 1993, City Attorney Tom Rastetter signed the stipulated order declaring Measure 3-1 null and void, which made the measure unenforceable for as long as state law prohibited cities and counties from enforcing laws that target people based on their sexual orientation.

Jim Dunn, co-chair of the Estacada Citizens for Fairness, a group that had long fought Measure 3-1, was pleased with this development

“People need to understand that civil rights are not something you can take away with a vote,” he said. “It's too bad we had to go to court to find that out.”

Three city councilors had voted to refuse the ACLU'S terms to sign the stipulated order to declare the measure null and void and two had voted to oppose the ACLU's settlement.

However, Rastetter pointed out that if the council refused to sign the stipulated order, the ACLU would likely have won a court order from a judge with stricter terms.

Under the present agreement, should state laws change, the city could ask a court to remove the enforcement ban of Measure 3-1.

After 20 minutes of council debate, Rastetter “slumped in his chair.”

“I cannot defend you on this,” he said quietly. “The law isn't there.”

“This is distasteful,” said Councilor Jim Pierce. “I would like to tell the ACLU, their lawyer, and Mr. Dunn what they can do with their sour grapes, sore-loser lawsuit. Unfortunately, the city can't afford to incur these kind of legal costs.”

Technically, Measure 3-1 remained in the city charter.

“It's physically a part of the charter, but it's null and void as long as (HB) 3500 is on the books,” said Rastetter.

A man who claimed to have been harassed for his sexual orientation read from a prepared speech to the council.

“It doesn't matter if everyone in town voted on this, and it doesn't matter if they all voted yes," he said. "You can't do this to me. I'm a citizen of the United States of America.”

The council voted 5-1 on a resolution stating they wanted to abide by the voters' approval of Measure 3-1, but could not, due to the potential legal costs of battling the ACLU.

2003

The Friends of Estacada and Estacada Together merged.

2012

In 2010, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) told the city that its waste water treatment plant needed upgrades.

City Councilor Michele Conditt explained that the plant was built in 1986, before it was required to treat water for ammonia.

But in 2010, DEQ told the city that it needed to start.

Unfortunately, the city charged its citizens just enough to cover the plant's operations and maintenance.

“We take in what we need to run the service and that's it,” Conditt said. “In this instance, we don't have any money in the coffer to pay for this upgrade, so we have to go to the voters.”

The city looked for grants and other options to help cover the expenses to help pay for the upgrade but they kept hitting roadblocks.

So the city realized it would have to ask the citizens for a $650,000, 20-year loan, which would be an increase of about $2.85 a month for the average billing unit.

Should the measure pass, the city would have until 2015 to make the upgrade.

“None of us want to pay for this, the problem is that we have to fix it,” said then city councilor Brent Dodrill. “If this is voted down, we're telling the government that we can't fix this and they're saying they might come in and take control, which means charging whatever needs to be charged. We don't know that it would happen for sure, we just don't know. One thing I do know is that they're not just going to let it go.”

Should the measure fail, a series of fines could potentially be levied against the city of Estacada for failure to comply with the DEQ mandate. Or the government could privatize the plant.

“I don't think there's a rational argument out there for voting no, because it's basic operations and maintenance,” Conditt said.

In other news, while at an event hosted by the Estacada Fire Station, mayoral candidate Pat Watkins said he was dropping out of the race and “rattled off a number of negative statements about Estacada and his time running for mayor.”

When asked what caused his change of heart, Watkins responded “a bunch of crap.”

When the city called to confirm he was dropping out of the race, he confirmed it but did not sign the necessary paperwork.

When the paper reached out to Watkins later he said, “I'm going to let it ride. I'm going to stay in the race and see what's going on.”

Watkins was the lone challenger to then city councilor Brent Dodrill in the mayoral race.




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