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East Lane Commish Race Under Way

East Lane Commissioner Faye Stewart may be facing a lot of opposition in the 2014 election and Kevin Matthews is the latest progressive to enter the fray. He joins former EWEB commissioner Joanne Ernst and Jose Ortal in indicating interest in Stewart’s largely rural commission seat.

Matthews says he’s “assembling a campaign organization to run for the East Lane County Commission seat,” and the theme of his campaign “is bringing a fact-based approach to shared prosperity in Lane County, while supporting a wood products industry we can all be proud of, instead of the worn-out, top-down approaches of trickle-down timber and sprawl development.”

Issues in east Lane County such as the destruction of Parvin Butte and the effort by Parvin Butte gravel miners, the McDougal Bros. and Greg Demers, to get a massive water right on the McKenzie River have made Stewart the focus of criticism and considered vulnerable in the next election. Critics see the water right issue as tied to Stewart’s controversial push to rezone and revamp Goshen, where the McDougals and Demers’ Willamette Water Co. supplies water. Stewart also recently went to Salem as part of an effort to raise tipping fees at Lane County’s Short Mountain Landfill as part of fundraising for his Goshen efforts.

“Resource sellouts like liquidating Parvin Butte and massive log exports from large clearcuts on the industrial slopes of big timber, mechanized and automated, always demanding a free lunch on taxes, toxics and watershed destruction, are a race to the bottom for Lane County communities,” Matthews says. He says small-scale timber is compatible with recreation uses of the forest, and he cites a history of service on budget, parks and neighborhood leaders committees.

Matthews is the editor of ArchitectureWeek, and he is a 22-year-resident of the East Lane county commissioner district. He says as a longtime community leader, “I’ve become known as a tough, fair and reliable warrior for the community interest. Time and again I have stood eloquently and creatively against unfairness, institutional error and special interests.”

For more on Matthews’ campaign, go to the Friends of Kevin Matthews Facebook page at http://wkly.ws/1hb.