MEET THE CANDIDATES May 18th Election – Pioneer Series: Jackie Edwards, Tillamook County Transportation District, Position 3

EDITOR’S NOTE: The May 18th ballot features dozens of opportunities to serve your community on local boards for our schools, ports, transportation district, recreation districts, water districts, fire districts and more. There is not a voters pamphlet for a primary/special election, therefore the Pioneer provides this opportunity for candidates to tell voters about themselves and the position they are seeking, even if running unopposed.
Tillamook County Pioneer CANDIDATE’S STATEMENT – 5 minute “why we should vote for you” pitch; include information about why you are running for the position and your TOP 3 most-important-issues facing the board/organization you wish to serve on.

MEET THE CANDIDATE: Jackie Edwards, Tillamook County Transportation District, Position 3

The Transportation District Board offers an opportunity to assist citizens of Tillamook County at a very basic and necessary level. I have served on the TCTD Board of Directors (Position #3) the past seven years and also served several years on the District’s Transportation Advisory and Budget committees, assisting in gathering information and making recommendations to the Board.

Transportation is vital to the survival of families always, but especially in a rural area where job locations are many times a great distance from home and medical appointments can be impossible to attend without adequate (and specially assisted) transportation. In the years I have been involved with the District, I have seen services to our residents multiply, addressing needs not previously met. The District and its leadership give this very necessary service to all residents and I want to continue to offer my skills to carry on and expand these services to the entire county. We are fortunate to have people who care at the District who are in key positions. I want to continue to be a part of this compassionate organization.

My professional background is in financing – from purchasing, to auditing, to allocation-of-funds/budgeting to cost sections. This background has included continuous education with constant upgrading of skills in Contract Administration.
Additionally, I have seen the world from the perspective of individuals struggling to survive. Those are individuals who especially need our services. I have volunteered at battered women and youth shelters and also worked a suicide hotline. So, while my skills are “work skills,” they are also “people skills.” Tillamook County is a caring county and I want to continue to be a part of it by serving the Transportation District. My abilities and experience are a good fit with the needs of the District and our community.
Over the past 8-plus years the TCTD Board of Directors has taken the time to consider the needs of All of Tillamook County and has adopted plans designed to carefully invest taxpayer dollars into services that achieve the highest return on investment. This has been accomplished through surveys and analyses, with a mission statement of: “Connecting communities through sustainable transit services”.

While the District is running very well and is fiscally sound, it is looking to the future with respect to upgrading vehicles for improved air quality, improving technology so people can access schedules and other services online, and identifying through surveys which transit investments should be made to make sure local residents have access to reliable transit services to get to medical appointments and jobs. That said, there is a concern for the need to be competitive in our pay scale and to have affordable health care for drivers, maintenance technicians and dispatchers, and then to have affordable housing for these workers. The District will continue working with communities, and community and county governments, to address these needs for our employees.

I am proud to have contributed to the success of the District for the past seven to eight years and I look forward to continuing to serve the citizens of Tillamook County.