- “If the salmon and steelhead are running, then as far as I am concerned, God knows that all is well in His world…the health of the environment is good if the salmon and steelhead are around. It is that simple.”
Tom McCall believed in making bold statements about issues, and the 1973-74 energy crisis was one of the prime examples where he put ideas into action. Many of them worked, like the ban on outdoor display lighting. Some of them didn't, like his short-lived effort to replace his state car, a Lincoln Continental, with a more gas-efficient Audi. Although he's shown behind the wheel of the Audi in this photo, McCall was usually driven to official events, and he quickly found the Audi's backseat too small for his six-foot-five frame.
I had the pleasure and honor of meeting former McCall aide Don Jarvi on Friday. Jarvi worked for McCall on energy policy during his second term, and was a member of the 1978 campaign team. Don’s greatest claim to fame is coming up with the odd-even license plate gas rationing system (for those too young to remember, you could buy gas on an odd-number day if the last number on your license plate was odd, and vice versa). Jarvi had the idea while driving home one evening. He presented it the next morning, and by that night, Governor McCall was on TV announcing it. It was an idea widely copied, and it was a quintessential McCall administration innovation: it was original; it solved a problem; it was done at no cost; and it was implemented quickly. Don shared lots of great stories with me. One that stands out involves his role in allocating gas, diesel and heating oil supplies that were put under state control by the federal government. The idea was to make sure that critical locations and businesses weren’t left without fuel.
Jarvi reported to McCall that a few of his decisions may have skirted the rules.
“Did you help people?” McCall asked.
“Yes,” Jarvi answered.
“Then you have nothing to worry about.”
That was the genius of Tom McCall. That is the legacy we all must carry forward.--Bill Hall
From Lisa Nowak: I'm happy to announce that we officially have enough sponsorship signatures for Tom McCall Day to move on to the next step in the process. The petition will go to the Attorney General on Monday for drafting of the ballot title.
“May your quest go well.