Who New? Meet Your Newly Elected Officials

The phrase “a new broom sweeps clean” was already in John Heywood’s 1546 collection of proverbs and was used figuratively by Shakespeare. At this month’s Forum, we’ll get an introduction to three “new brooms”: our newest County Commissioner, our County Assessor, and our newest City Commissioner. Things sometimes look different from the “inside” view. Join us to see their perspectives, dreams, and challenges in their new roles.

Yes, we know there are more newly electeds but it’s a big ask to coordinate so many busy schedules. Besides, we want to offer our speakers lots of time to explore their topics and we know how much our attendees love their Q&A time.

This promises to be both informative and interesting.

Speaker Info

Ben West

Clackamas County Commissioner

Before entering office as a Clackamas County Commissioner, Ben served as the City of Wilsonville Councilor from 2018-2022. He is a graduate-level registered nurse currently working in cardiology, with a background in acute care, med/surg, health policy, and correctional nursing. Ben is also the founder and executive director of the foster care organization Oregon Foster Families First which works towards public policy solutions for foster youth and the families that care for them. Ben lives in Wilsonville with his husband, Paul, and their son, Jay, and is an avid outdoorsman – fully enjoying the parks and trails Clackamas County offers. He also seeks opportunities to use his skills to help others, like visiting Peru to provide medical care at children’s hospitals and to indigenous populations along the Amazon River.

Bronson Rueda,

Clackamas County Assessor/Tax Collector

Bronson Rueda, the second of four children, grew up in Tigard, Oregon, and graduated from Tigard High School in 1989, lettering in Water Polo and Baseball. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Portland in 1994 while playing baseball for the Portland Pilots. He then embarked on a four-year military career in the United States Army stationed at Fort Lewis, Washington. One of his military highlights was earning Thai jump wings during an airborne training exercise with the Thai Royal Army.

Post-military, Mr. Rueda began his real estate appraisal career. From 2002-2011, he worked as a commercial fee appraiser for Colliers International Valuation and Advisory Services. During that time, he managed a team of appraisers valuing multiple property types including professional and medical office buildings, retail developments, multi-family units, and industrial complexes throughout Oregon and SW Washington.

From 2011 – 2019, he continued his appraisal career for the Oregon Department of Revenue’s Property Tax Division. Mr. Rueda was initially hired as a litigation appraiser tasked with defending value for State appraised industrial property and County appraised property. He was promoted in 2013 to a front-line manager position and then again to the Valuation section manager position in 2015. His core duties included leading a group of three subordinate managers and 45+ appraisers responsible for valuing over $35 billion dollars of real property in Oregon each year. He also represented the Department of Revenue in various committees and testified numerous times at the State Legislature and in the Oregon Tax Court.

In March 2019, Mr. Rueda was hired as the Clackamas County Deputy Assessor, was appointed the Clackamas County Assessor as of July 1, 2022, and started his four-year elected term on January 1, 2023.

Michael Mitchell

Oregon City Commissioner

Mike Mitchell was appointed to the City Commission of Oregon City in October of 2022 to fill the vacancy created by Denyse McGriff’s election as mayor. He was serving on the Planning Commission at the time. Mike’s involvement in the Oregon City government began in 2010 when he was appointed to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee. He has also served on the Transportation Advisory Committee, the Citizen Involvement Committee, and the Urban Renewal Commission. Mike was honored to be a founding board member of the Oregon City Parks Foundation and served two terms on the board of the Downtown Oregon City Association. He is serving this year as Commission President and is also Chair of the Urban Renewal Commission.

Mike retired from a 45-year retail and wholesale management career in 2019. His wife Karen is a retired high school teacher. They have two adult children and have lived in the Caufield Neighborhood for sixteen years, where the boss of the house is their Husky-Labrador mix, Lilly.

Adam Marl

Oregon City Commissioner

A lifelong resident of Oregon City and proud graduate of OCHS, Adam Marl has been serving on the Oregon City Commission since 2021, when he was appointed at the age of 20 to fill the vacancy created by then-Commissioner Rachel Lyles Smith’s election as mayor, making him the youngest person in Oregon to hold elected office at the time. He was elected to a full term in November of 2022, becoming the first Asian American elected official in Oregon City. Adam uses his professional background as a political consultant and legislative staffer to inform his role as a city commissioner. Among other committee assignments, he represents OC on the Clackamas County Coordinating Committee (C4) and serves as co-chair of the C4 I-205 Tolling Diversion Subcommittee. He is a graduate of Willamette University in Salem, where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Communication & Media. Adam can be found playing his bassoon in community bands, listening to podcasts on walks around the neighborhood, and doing karaoke at the local dive bar.

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