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Forest commission candidate petitioning to invalidate it

By Sean Hart

Blue Mountain Eagle

Published on April 12, 2016 5:45PM

Last changed on April 13, 2016 1:28PM

Mark Webb

Mark Webb

A candidate in the May primary has filed to run for an office he is seeking to abolish.

Mark Webb, an Independent from Mt. Vernon running for Grant County Public Forest Commission No. 3, filed a petition in circuit court March 22 seeking to invalidate the commission.

Webb, a former county judge and the current executive director of the Blue Mountains Forest Partners, is running against Republican Tad Houpt from Canyon City.

In his court petition, Webb claims the initiative that established the commission in 2002, Measure 12-39, conflicted with state and federal laws and the U.S. Constitution. He delivered a summons to County Judge Scott Myers to respond within 30 days to defend the establishment of the commission.

Myers said the county is in the process of responding.

“It’s been sent to our attorney, so they’re creating a response and a position,” he said. “We’re not going to throw our hands in the air and not respond.”

The petition cites an Oregon law stating ordinances “shall be subject to judicial review and invalidation on account of unreasonableness, procedural error in adoption or conflict with paramount state law or constitutional provision.” Webb claims Measure 12-39 violated all three.

Webb states the law, which established a seven-member commission to manage all public lands and natural resources in Grant County, is unreasonable because “it will never be enforced or implemented, such that it’s unreasonable to treat it as a valid, legally binding county ordinance.”

The measure, Webb claims, also fails to meet requirements in the Oregon Constitution to concern only one subject and include the full text of the proposed law.

Webb claims the law conflicts with state laws governing land management by the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, as well as the 1859 law that admitted Oregon into the United States.

He also claims the measure conflicts with the U.S. Constitution’s Property Clause.

Webb declined to comment further.


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