Commissioner Jim Bernard is seeking re-election as chair of the Clackamas County Commission because Clackamas County needs his continued leadership at a critical time. With six years as a county commissioner, he is the longest serving of the five-member board and brings much needed positive leadership. Jim has a proven track record of success with a keen ability to identify solutions to complex problems, gain compromise from his colleagues and find opportunities for private-public partnerships.
Jim is a 4th generation Oregonian, 3rd generation owner of Bernard’s Garage, and has served as president of the Automotive Service Association of Portland, mayor of Milwaukie, and past chair of the North Clackamas Chamber of Commerce. Jim first ran for office because Milwaukie was dying. He saw a community falling apart and losing its identity. Jim worked tirelessly to build relationships with local, state and federal officials and with private partners to redefine the city, resulting in five landmark projects:
- The Milwaukie Farmers Market, which Jim co-founded as well as the nonprofit that manages it;
- Reconstruction of Johnson Creek Boulevard, Lake Road, McLoughlin Boulevard;
- The purchase of the final piece of riverfront property that finally will allow the city to redevelop the long awaited riverfront park;
- Redevelopment of an old Safeway on Main Street to Milwaukie’s first mixed-use project which featured affordable housing, retail, and living/work spaces;
- Millions of dollars of infrastructure improvements with regional support of the Orange Line, TriMet’s newest light rail line.
When Jim was elected in November 2008 to the County Commission, he hit the ground running even before he was sworn in. He took the relationship building lessons he learned as a small business owner and as mayor and put them to work in his new position. He started his term working on the $900 million budget in preparation for its June adoption and immediately recognized the need for better auditing. In response, Jim formed the first county Audit Committee. He has also been actively engaged in the Association of Oregon Counties, serving as co-chair of the Public Safety Committee in addition to both board and legislative committees. He recently was appointed by the governor to the state Justice Reinvestment Grant Committee. Jim has served on the Community Corrections Commission for four years.
Jim was pivotal in resolving the problems of the Clackamas River Water (CRW) Board by securing appointments of three new board members to end its longstanding dysfunction and allow the CRW Board to secure liability insurance. Also, Jimc serves as the liaison to the Sheriff’s Department for the Commission and continues to make public safety one of his primary focuses. Jim started the first Veterans Committee and serves on a countywide committee whose goal is to end homelessness. Commissioner Bernard has a proven track record of ensuring that valuable resources are targeted to help the most vulnerable, including veterans and women trapped in violent relationships.
Jim acknowledges that much of the work of the county isn’t flashy, but it provides the foundation for successful businesses, jobs, and communities; those basic services citizens expect from government such as public infrastructure including roads, sewers, and broadband. “We must work with our citizens, businesses, cities, and community organizations to develop common sense plans and programs to create jobs and opportunities for community investments. I keep an open door and an open mind to citizens and businesses alike. I will continue to lead with purpose, to focus on the issues that matter, and to find common sense solutions to the problems we face here in Clackamas County,” said Commissioner Bernard.
Please donate to help re-elect Clackamas County Chair Jim Bernard.