Why I am running for Re-Election to the
Board of County Commissioners
With Deschutes County Commissioner Tony DeBone
I have thoroughly enjoyed my first term as your Tillamook County Commissioner. I knew I would be busy as a Commissioner, but I must admit I was surprised at how busy I have become. I feel I have accomplished so much, yet there is additional work I would like to bring to fruition.
As you can see, I have delved into many different issues affecting our rural way of life here in Tillamook County. Efficient utilization of the limited funds we have available was the first issue I tackled after being sworn in as Commissioner. At the same time, I was adamant that public safety should be a top priority for the County. I was able to be successful on both fronts by being attentive to our outdated hiring practices. I am also actively involved at the State level making sure ever changing funding policies do not result in unfunded mandates for Tillamook County, especially when it comes to public safety. Please to go the "issues" tab above and read about my work on fiscal responsibility and public safety.
I have become a vocal champion of our natural resource based industries of timber, dairy, and fishing which remain the backbone of Oregon's many rural counties, and especially here in Tillamook County. These are the industries that built and shaped Oregon into what it is today. While times have changed, so has the method of operation of our natural resource industries and today they are sustainable while delivering environmental, economic, and social benefits for residents of Tillamook County and Oregon.
I have been a passionate advocate of ocean policy for many years. I hope you remember our struggle with ocean energy development at the Department of Land Conservation Development where I was a co-petitioner in an appeal in the Oregon Court of Appeals that went on for six years before finally resulting in a court decision supporting our tenets. I have now been appointed by the Governor to Ocean Policy Advisory Council (OPAC), while also serving on the executive board of Oregon Coast Zone Management Association (OCZMA), as well as Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Oregon Steering Committee. We have many issues on the horizon including abandoned and derelict vessels (as happened at the Port of Garibaldi costing them over $200K), vast arrays of potential floating windmills in the outer continental shelf of Oregon, and whale entanglement in crab gear which has the potential to shut down Oregon's most valuable fishery.
Tourism is the 4th leg of our economic stool. I was on the original committee that brought the idea of a transient lodging tax (TLT) to the ballot. We originally estimated bringing $1.2M in TLT revenue annually, but today it is well over $4M. Please remember that 30% of the TLT funds go to public works to help maintain our roads and currently, this funding provides 1/4 of the county public works budget. In addition, a recent request by the Commissioners to pivot from a "heads in beds" more visitors approach to a focus on destination management and sustainable tourism with more focus on stewardship, community and business/workforce development activities was enthusiastically supported by Tillamook Coast Visitors Association Board and the Tillamook County Board of Commissioners.
The Governor has also appointed me to the Oregon Broadband Advisory Council (OBAC). It is the stated objective of both the Federal and State governments to promote high speed (fiber optic) internet connections to businesses and homes. It is my vision to bring truly high speed connectivity to all residents of Tillamook County to promote economic development for all. I have been active with Tillamook Lightwave for many years and with the fiber internet backbone now in place along with the many Federal and State grants available, it is time to connect Tillamook County into the 21st century.
This is but a small part of my vision for Tillamook County for the next 4 years. I hope you will support and join me in this endeavor. I feel strongly that it is important to give back to the community that has offered so much to my wife and me. My candidacy is about the future of Tillamook County, bringing a better quality of life, and keeping the values and fiscal responsibility that have made this a great place to live, work, and recreate. While I believe I have been able to make a real difference in Tillamook County with my previous volunteer activities and 3 short years as your Commissioner, I feel the best is yet to come...and I would appreciate your support and advocacy to reach the next level.