OP/ED: Visit Tillamook Coast TLT Funds for CARTM

By Chuck McLaughlin, Nehalem
It’s interesting to me that hundreds of thousands of dollars are being awarded by Visit Tillamook Coast from monies derived from transient lodging taxes to promote tourism in Tillamook County, indirect monetary assistance to Tillamook County businesses. Yet monies cannot be found to assist Cartm, a business that serves all businesses in North Tillamook County and helps Tillamook County maintain a healthy, sustainable environment via recycling both public and business waste. In other words, the implementation of Cartm’s mission statement is a valuable link in the promotion of Tillamook County as an Edenic tourist haven. Thus Cartm should be rightfully considered among the “activities” mentioned in Tillamook County promotional literature. In times past it was, indeed, a tourist attraction! It is widely known among locals how it was commonplace for tourists to visit Cartm facilities to observe a visible and inspirational cutting-edge dedication to the health of our planet.

At a recent Tillamook County Board of Commissioners workshop ostensibly called to discuss matters related to Cartm funding and operation, it was evident two of the Commissioners, David Yamamoto and Bill Baertlein, had come to the workshop with no intent of finding common ground with the representatives of Cartm or provide them with a necessary and definitive measure of support from which Cartm could form a continuing working plan of operation. The proverbial “bottom line” apparently was these two Commissioners’ mantra. Following their soaring and repeated accolades of approval of Cartm’s dedication and performance, Commissioner Tim Josi, without prior notice to Cartm, the business community or the public that a vote was to be taken at this “workshop,” called for a motion, and, following Yamamoto’s motion to effectively shut Cartm down and Baertlein’s second, the motion passed.
It’s food for thought that as David McCall, the Solid Waste Program Manager, was out of the country at the time of the “workshop” and had recently said “Of the $20-25 million spent annually [by Tillamook County] on materials and services, I would like to see as much of that remain in our local economy as possible. I will champion a policy that gives preference to local businesses, so that local businesses have a fair chance at getting a slice of that pie.” The three sitting Commissioners took advantage of his absence and in their untimely, myopic and short-sighted action, totally disregarded the welfare of the devoted Cartm staff and their families, as well as the potential increased expenses of waste disposal by local businesses and North County families in general.