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Family, businesses need my full attention

I want to let you know that my final decision is to not seek a third term as mayor of Damascus.

The reason is that my family businesses have been continually growing over the last four years. I am grateful to experience this increase.

My three adult children, who have done an excellent job managing my businesses, need my full attention.

However, it is with a certain sadness that I will not run again. I have been honored to be able to serve the great citizens of Damascus, Now, with the city on the threshold of development, I must leave and look forward to others to complete the task of creating a thriving city.

If I chose to run, I believe I would win, but my heart is toward my family and businesses.

I am optimistic about the future of the city of Damascus. I believe principled leaders should continue on to fight for the true wishes of its citizens and their interests.

Below is a list of some accomplishments:

• Advocating and developing a comprehensive plan that respects the rights of property owners. This plan is now the city plan, passed by the majority of council, to be voted on by the people of Damascus this November.

• Lowered the tax rate from $3.30 to $3.10 and then to its current rate of $2.80 per $1,000 of assessed value. To my knowledge, no other city in Oregon has done this.

• Consistently lowered city spending in each of the four years I was mayor.

• Restructured government through the establishment of the Finance Committee to work on budget issues throughout the year.

• Stood up for the majority of the citizens of Damascus by defending against the taking of their property, such as over-reaching open space requirements, extra wide stream buffers at the expense of a few, forced easements for walkways on private property, unlawful "taking of private property," stopped the discrimination of religious institutions in land use zoning. Relaxed multiple burdensome development codes.

• Supportive of seven successful charter amendments and a referendum that strengthened property rights and limits the size of government.

I wanted to thank my wonderful wife, Cindy, who tirelessly campaigned for me in countless campaigns in the last four years. I believe it was through her efforts that saved the city from disincorporation.

Steve Spinnett

Mayor, city of Damascus



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