By Bay City Mayor Christopher Kruebbe, candidate for Tillamook County Board of Commissioners Position #1
Tillamook residents from North to South County, proud and patriotic Americans of the U.S., U.S. Veterans, Active Duty U.S. Military Personnel, party affiliated, non-party affiliated, Independents, gender conscious, environmentally conscious, Constitutionally conscious, young and old, rich and poor, and everyone in between, I address you today to announce my candidacy for Tillamook County Commissioner Position #1. As the non-partisan, elected Volunteer Mayor of the third largest populated city in Tillamook, I have facilitated the transformation of our centrally located small town of Bay City into a place that our residents are talking about, wanting to get involved with, and feel that they have an opinion that matters. I believe in the First Amendment right to free speech and when our residents come to our meetings, they feel that their voices are being heard. They enjoy the democratic process, the deliberation, collaboration, neighborliness, and at times even contentious flair of passionate opinions that are shared and argued over.
That’s because in Bay City we have the Kilchis River, Kilchis Point Reserve, Al Griffin Memorial Park, Watts Family Park, Bay City Fire Department, Bay City Government Offices, U.S. Post Office Substation, we have the EC Electric Company, the Oregon Rail Riders, the Pacific Oyster Company and Fish Peddler Restaurant, the Tillamook County Smoker, Precision Woodworks, Bayview Grooming and Kennels, Bay Ocean Boys Storage, the Bay City Arts Center, Butch Olson Door Company, Center Market, Ortiz Signz & Grafix, Sheltered Nook on Tillamook Bay, The Landing Restaurant, Watt Welding, Inc., and the Tillamook Bay RV Park, but most of all, we have character and we have pride in what we have to offer our residents and visitors from near and far.
It has been one of my life’s pleasures to be a part of such a unique small town on the beautiful Oregon Coast. My first visit to this region was back in April of 2013 when I made a trip from Salem, Oregon up to Hood River, Oregon, then along the Columbia River and Gorge all the way to Astoria, then down the Oregon Coast. I had visited every mile of the stretch of the Oregon Coast along the Pacific Coast Scenic Highway from the Oregon/California Border up to Lincoln City and wanted to fulfill my mission to see the rest of the Oregon Coast and I am so glad I did. Oregon has more to offer per square mile of the U.S. Coast than any of the other Pacific Coastal states. Tillamook County stretches from Oswald West State Park all the way to Neskowin on the coast towards Lincoln County. We have so much to be grateful about in Tillamook. It has become my life’s passion to meet, treat, and communicate with our county residents in a way that shows appreciation for everything that Tillamook has to offer, from the great outdoors, to our restaurants, small businesses, non-profit organizations, private
organizations that collaborate with one another like Habitat for Humanity and the Tides of Change non-profit organizations recent partnership to establish housing solutions for those who are not as fortunate, need help, and/or seek refuge. The Helping Hands Homeless Shelter is an example of government and non-profit organizations partnering to help the homeless population. So much progress has been made in the five plus years I’ve been a resident of this county.
Progress and change can be concerning for some, and that’s when our City Council and County Commission meetings are most attended. Because many people care about preserving what we already have, and because many of us want to see progress, things can get a bit heated at times. But at the end of the day, it is a common goal for us to either agree, or agree to disagree, let the democratic process work like it’s supposed to, change the things we can, accept the things we cannot, and have the wisdom to know the difference. It is my hope that we can make the kinds of effective changes that make the most difference. My hope is to become your next County Commissioner and bring about sensible change that improves the quality of life we live.
It has been very exciting for me to learn about the changes that are coming to our Judicial System. Mental Health Court has been one such change. We have a Mental Health crisis on our hands and this is a way to help support people that are struggling in a way that not only matters, but in a way that says Tillamook County takes care of our own.
The Tillamook Family Counseling Center has partnered with the Tillamook County Sheriff’s Department to bring a Mobile Crisis Unit to our Community. It is making a difference in helping people in crisis. As an Integrated Behavioral Health Clinician and Drug and Alcohol Counselor with Tillamook Medical Group, I have seen this first hand. Adventist Health clients have been supported by this important program as have many other clients of other medical clinics. These are the kinds of change that make the difference that I am passionate about. As kids often say on long car trips, “are we there yet, are we there yet?” Well, we all know the answer to that question is no, not quite. I believe we need a Drug Court, and I want to advocate for that as your next County Commissioner. The opioid crisis is real, we must exact justice, but we also have to treat first time offenders with a greater understanding and in many cases compassion to help them change their lives when it is their desire to do so. Mental Health stigma has been a barrier in the past, but that’s changing. We need to take the effort several steps further and fight for a Drug Court in Tillamook County.
When our attitudes change, people change, and when people change, we see the results of that change. Recidivism goes down, crime goes down, drug trafficking goes down, and sobriety goes up. People recover and we need to believe in that wholeheartedly, believe in them, and give them the support they need. All of us are touched by this, we know someone in the throes of addiction, and we all know someone that wants to get better. So let’s all get better at this and improve our odds and statistics when it comes to substance abuse, alcoholism, and addiction. It is all of our problem and we all need to work together to facilitate change. The way we do that is to not only develop a Drug Court, but collaborate with our medical community in a way that we’ve already done and discuss the possibility of a County Treatment Center focused on detoxification, stabilization, and rehabilitation. Collaborating with Tillamook Bay Community College to offer a Drug and Alcohol Education Program would round out such an effort. Adventist Health has received a grant from the Federal Government to tackle the Opioid Crisis. Participants from various stakeholders, non-profit organizations, and County Government have been collaborating to evaluate the needs of Tillamook County. I want to be the candidate that helps us get there.
So if you are interested in joining me in these and other efforts as your next County Commissioner, I want to encourage you to register to vote if you haven’t already done so. We live in difficult political times, there is a lot of polarity in our two party government system. This is a non-partisan position and I am your non-affiliated, non-party, non-political candidate. The other candidates have party affiliations. If you are frustrated about this like I am, I would like your vote. Together, we can make the kind of differences in Tillamook County that matter. With me, you matter because I won’t discriminate, I will bring balance to our County Commission. Please join me in this effort. It is a grass roots effort. I do not plan to accept any donations for my campaign. What I do accept is that we have problems to solve here in Tillamook. The first step in solving a problem is admitting we have one. Please consider me as the candidate for the people who will be by the people and of the people. Thank you and God bless you, and God Bless the United States of America!
Viva Tillamook County!
For more information, please visit http://kruebbe.weebly.com.