Peter Huhtala seeks County Commissioner seat

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Washington County Board of Commissioners candidate Peter Huhtala comes to the race with a platform of smart growth, conservation, light rail expansion, and addressing Oregon’s growing drug crisis.

The former Clatsop County Commissioner announced his candidacy for the District 3 seat in a February press release, outlining his priorities and sharing a glimpse of his childhood fishing with his grandfather and working in his dad’s workshop in Astoria.

 “I’m running with a mission to sustain and improve the quality of life in Washington County with economic growth, healthy transportation options, and a variety of housing choices while preserving the beauty of biodiversity,” said Huhtala in the release. 

His boyhood experiences in what he calls a “rare childhood” led him to a clean water protection advocacy in a series of roles as policy director for Pacific Marine Conservation Council, director of the Oregon Coastal Zone Management Association, and later the Willamette Falls & Landings Heritage Area Coalition. 

He served as a Clatsop County Commissioner from 2011-2015, with two years as chair, before moving to Tigard in 2016.

Huhtala opposes adding a Tualatin-Hillsboro connector route that would damage farms and wetlands.

“A new highway is not what this county, state, or planet needs,” he said. “The clean alternative for commuters between Tualatin and Hillsboro is the Westside Corridor of the light rail system.”

He instead envisions transportation based around light rail and electric shuttles in communities centered around hubs with easy access to work retail and parks.

Huhtala sees Measure 110, which decimalized possessing small amounts of drugs, as a failure.

 “The war on drugs didn’t work,” he said. “Unfortunately, neither did Measure 110.”

He supports The Coalition to Fix and Improve Measure 110’s campaign for fixing its problems without making all drugs illegal, instead outlawing public drug use, recriminalizing drugs like heroin, meth, and fentanyl, and replacing voluntary with mandatory drug treatment.

Learn more about Peter Huhtala at friendsofpeterhuhtala.weebly.com or tinyurl.com/ct25c22e.