Getting to know the candidates: Tillamook County Board of Commissioners – Part 6 of 6

The Tillamook County Pioneer sent a series of questions to the Tillamook County Board of Commissioner candidates. We compiled these questions based on input from various community leaders. The Tillamook County Pioneer published the answers in a series of six articles – we will provide a “summary” article with links to all the answers for review.
Here are the upcoming candidate forums to be held throughout Tillamook County:
4/17 AAUW Candidate Forum at Tillamook Bay Community College, Tillamook 5:30pm
4/18 South County Forum at Kiawanda Community Center, Pacific City 6 pm
4/25 North County Forum at Pine Grove Community House, Manzanita 5 pm

This is the final question – PART 6 of the six part series. Here are the candidates answers to Question #6:
6. Tillamook County is 77 miles long – how are you going to serve the entire county? How will you support/work with other municipalities/cities?

The role of commissioner is one of relationship building, and relationship maintaining. This is the part I look forward to the most, meeting with people, listening to their issues and making myself useful. It is my commitment to be present and available and involved. In North and Central Tillamook County I will get to know our mayors and visit City Council meetings. In South County I will attend CAC and Chamber meetings and build relationships with the citizens and leaders in those communities. I will develop a relationship with Betsy Johnson, Arnie Roblan, David Gomberg and our newest State representative. I will represent Tillamook here at home, in Salem and in Washington DC when I am called. I look forward to serving you. Thank you for your support.

I have lived in all parts of the county from North, Central and South. I have worked in all areas of the county as a property appraiser and understand there are unique qualities in each area. As a public servant it is not my job to prioritize one area over another. I would work with each city and community to ensure that their priorities are known, acknowledged, and possible solutions found. There are some inherent issues that the county may not be able to solve, but I would work with area leaders to find local solutions. These issues include deteriorating local access roads, lack of police coverage, etc. The solution may not be palatable to all and come with it’s own challenges, but by working together and finding common ground I think a solution could be found.

I have and will continue to work with the communities throughout Tillamook County, from Manzanita to Neskowin, and from Oceanside to Lees Camp. I will make sure that people have access to their elected government. This may be in the form of board meetings, listening sessions, or just an opportunity to meet for coffee and conversation. I have good working relationships with many people throughout the county, and some of them happen to be elected mayors or appointed public servants, and others are “just average citizens” – all respected people whom I will have the privilege of serving as your County Commissioner.

As one who doesn’t see color or region, I’ll be a nonpartisan commissioner for all of citizens in our county. I’ll be available to our municipalities as they need me. I currently attend many community meetings; I don’t see my level of engagement relaxing as your commissioner. I believe in remaining engaged on the goings on in our county. I’m informed the commission no longer holds evening meetings across the county due to low attendance. If unchanged, I’ll hold quarterly town halls across the county to do my part to ensure citizens remain informed. I’ll also issue press releases and/or a Commissioner’s Column to provide more up-to-date info. More immediately, I know the commission meeting minutes/audio are posted on County’s website. Finally, as a strong advocate for public involvement myself, I encourage folks to attend public meetings to remain engaged and informed on what’s going on in their respective communities.

Tillamook County is a large County, but as Commissioner each area is as an important as the other. I would meet with the city councils and organizations of the communities to ensure that I am informed on the issues facing each area of the county. It is a responsibility of each one of the commissioners to be informed on all the cities/municipalities and each of their concerns.

The onus of service is placed on the commissioners. We cannot understand the needs of the many diverse communities unless participate in them. As a commissioner, I will not simply sit in an office, but rather will be in the community, attending community gatherings and events, speaking to community members about their needs, wants and expectations. We must work collaboratively as a county and as cities to make sure that bureaucracy and red tape are limited and services not unnecessarily duplicated. We can do that by working together, maintaining open lines of communication and making sure we serve our fellow citizens in an efficient and effective manner.