QUESTIONS FOR THE CANDIDATES – #1 in Series: State Representative House District 10

The Tillamook County Pioneer sent five questions to Tillamook County candidates for State Representative for House District 10 (south Tillamook County); House District 32 (Central/north Tillamook County); Tillamook County Board of Commissioners; and Tillamook PUD Board Candidates.
Over the next week, we will publish the candidates’ answers, beginning with candidates for state representative. It is our belief that voters need as much information about the candidates as possible, and many can’t make it to public forums and events, and the ads, social media, postcards, brochures do not always give an accurate view.
It is our intention to provide the opportunity for voters to compare the candidates on a level playing field.
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Now, Let’s Meet the Candidates – beginning in with House District 10, south Tillamook County:

David Gomberg, Democrat, Independent, Working Families: House District 10

1.Why do you want this position, and why are you the best person for it?

The 10th House District is large and diverse, stretching from Netarts and Oceanside to Yachats and inland to Sheridan. Since first elected, I have committed the time necessary each week and actually each day, to visit our communities, events, schools and organizations. I’ve made the effort to show up. I’ve made a point to listen and understand. And I’ve worked very hard to be effective.
While there can never be complete agreement on every issue, I believe my vision and my votes best reflect the interests and concerns of the Central Coast.

2. What will you do to make a difference for Tillamook County?

I think I have made a difference for Tillamook County.

While most state representatives represent just part of a larger city, I represent dozens of smaller towns and communities. And each have unique needs. My greatest challenge as one legislator is to bring state resources and policy to those needs.

Neskowin needs a second access road; Pacific City needed sand control; Cape Kiwanda needed park safety support; our wetlands need tidegate support; the Dory fleet needed regulatory relief; the shellfish industry needed attention to ocean acidification; the PC Airport needs to stay in state ownership. The list goes on-and-on. I’ve provided leadership on all of these projects.

My work in Salem has funded a dedicated Small Business Development office in Tillamook and doubled funding for veteran programs. I’ve taken a hard stand against offshore oil drilling. I’ve voted for improvements to local transportation needs from potholes and bike lanes to highways and bridge repairs. I’ve worked to support our schools and our seniors.

Garnering support for smaller and rural communities is not easy. But I believe I have delivered for Tillamook and the Central Coast.

3. What are your main/top priorities?

Schools, seniors, the environment, housing, health care, clean water, and more and better jobs.

4. Provide a SWOT analysis of Tillamook County – Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats

Strengths: The magnificent coastline, our natural environment, and our rich agricultural heritage provide a foundation for all things Tillamook. But our greatest strength is our people. They work hard, they believe in family and in community, and they make Tillamook the special place it is.

Among those people are many active retirees who bring a lifetime of experience and have the time to contribute to local government, our schools, charities, events, the arts, and generally making communities more vibrant, interesting, and successful.

Weaknesses: Too many people who want to work in Tillamook County cannot find a place to live in Tillamook County. An unacceptable number of our children are listed as homeless because they do not have a long-term and safe place to sleep each night. And far too many come to school each day hungry.

Our infrastructure is aging. That includes roads and bridges, sewer and water systems, tide gates, and public buildings. And we need new infrastructure like broadband.

We need more living-wage jobs. The average minimum-wage earner here is a 29-year-old single parent. Ten years after entering the workforce, they still receive the minimum, in part because there are too few opportunities to move up through the economy. As a result, many talented young people move away looking for career opportunities. We need to develop those opportunities here at home!

Opportunities: Oregonians are entrepreneurs. NIKE started with a waffle iron; INTEL began in a garage; Leatherman began on a weekend workbench. And the next great Oregon success story is out there in our coastal hills if we provide the support and tools needed for them to succeed.

People want to live and work on our coastline and pristine hills. New technology will allow them to do so and the entire economy will benefit.

Our travel industry is just beginning to thrive. We have demonstrated here how traditional farming enterprises and tourism programs can work hand-in-hand. The Creamery now gets more visitors than the Space Needle! I supported the transient room tax and it is now generating revenue (from people who don’t live here) to manage and focus tourism programs and also help pay for police, fire, and other public services.

Threats: One day the ground under our feet will start shaking and life as we know it will change. We need to prepare. We need to put tools and practices in place now that will enhance our ability to withstand, sustain, and recover.

I also worry about increasing divisiveness, incivility, and extremes in our national politics that filter down to local communities. Regardless of party, religion, race, sexual orientation, income, or the nation our ancestors came from, I believe we are all Oregonians. I believe we can respect each other – even when we disagree. We can all help each other productively. And we can work together to create a better, brighter future for our kids and grandkids.

5. Please describe your vision for Tillamook County.

Quite simply, that Tillamook County be a remarkable place to live, work, raise a family, and retire.