Rick Olson

Former Commissioner Rick Olson

“As the most recent past commissioner for Yamhill County who enjoyed the privilege of serving the citizens of Yamhill County, I must completely agree with the endorsement comments made by both Commissioner Stern and Commissioner Primozich. Like Commissioner Primozich, I also served with Mary, and I enjoyed her personal and professional demeanor and friendship. Although we most often disagreed on several issues, and much of the time I voted with Commissioner Kulla, I also appreciated that Mary worked very hard in the areas she had taken on as her responsibility. On several issues I found myself voting with Commissioner Starrett once she was able to fully explain her reasoning in a thoughtful and factual way and why she was voting the way she was. Above all, as a Commissioner, I attempted to vote on issues for what I thought was in the best interest of all citizens and not just a selected few.

But, like other former Commissioners, I am astounded and dumbfounded by the behavior of Commissioner Berschauer. To this day, I continue to question my decision not to run for re-election given the number of questions with Commissioner Berschauer’s track record: her prior political involvement both personally and the involvement of her political consulting firm, her campaign finance contributors and fundraising, the campaign techniques against her opponent Barbara Boyer, and her leadership and decision making as a Commissioner once she was elected. I do not believe Commissioner Berschauer considers what is best for all the citizens of Yamhill County, and only panders to her supporters and likeminded political organizations, like Timber Unity, the small amount of farmers along the Yamhelas Trail, and the deep pockets of many of her supporters and campaign financiers.

I am very confident that Commissioner Berschauer has a political agenda based on her stance on the Trail and her timely approval of the licensing agreement for Waste Management. Approval of the licensing agreement coincidently came very shortly before the Court’s ruling on Waste Management’s appeal of County’ findings for denial, since farming practices was such a big issue surrounding the killing of the trail. What about the farmers located in the proximity of Riverbend? Are there dual standards for farmers by the Commissioners? You can decide if this is a coincidence or politically-motivated to ensure the license agreement was approved prior to the court ruling. I’m inclined to believe the latter.

Most recently, I’m troubled by Commissioner Berschauer’s support and voting for the appointment of one of her staunch supporters who has very little transportation and transit knowledge to the Mid-Willamette Valley Area Commission on Transportation (MWACT). I’m not alone in the impression that this sounds like pay-to-play. MWACT is a critical and important state commission that deals with transportation issues for the mid-Willamette Valley, including Yamhill County, and works very closely with ODOT and the Oregon Transportation Committee. Commissioner Berschauer chose one of her supporters and financiers over the recommendation and unanimous vote of Yamhill County’s own Parkway Committee; for disclosure, the person the Parkway Committee recommended is myself, as I have over 12 years serving MWACT as both the Mayor of McMinnville and Yamhill County Commissioner, and over 20 years knowledge of transportation and public transit. We can go on and on about Commissioner Berschauer’s decision and leadership in all aspects of her job as a Commissioner.

As we all know, Commissioner Berschauer was elected due in part to the endorsement of deep pockets. Lindsay Berschauer has replaced being a knowledgeable leader with abusive half-truths, and many times untruthful statements. It is now the time for Yamhill County citizens who believe in transparency, great leadership, and excellent decision making from their Commissioners to act. We can have a future with Commissioners who are more involved in finding solutions to County problems that impact all of our citizens, and not take on roles that try to alter the state decision-making process.

I am in total support of the recall effort to remove Commissioner Berschauer so that Yamhill County can move forward.”

Rick Olson
Former Yamhill County Commissioner, 2017-2020
Former Mayor of McMinnville, 2009-2016

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