By David Yamamoto
I am excited to announce my decision to file for re-election to Tillamook County Commissioner Position #2. It has been a very busy and gratifying three years and I am proud of what I have accomplished to date. Public safety, economic development, and fiscal responsibility have been the focus of my efforts.
Immediately following my election on November 8, 2016, I spent most days in the Courthouse getting a jump start on downloading with Commissioners and department heads prior to my swearing in on January 2, 2017. I was pleased to have public safety as one of my liaison responsibilities as I feel that it should be the primary focus of the County.
Our Sheriff’s Office had been decimated over the last couple of decades and I felt it was time to reinvigorate their ranks. When asked what they might do with additional deputies, I was told their first mission would be to restart the Tillamook Narcotics Team (TNT), and focus on achieving 24-hour patrols again in the County. This certainly sounded appropriate to me.
I hope you have been following the local news stories as TNT, in conjunction with local police and Oregon State Patrol, begin to successfully address our drug issues. In addition, Sheriff Jim Horton reports our patrol division is now at full staffing and we are diligently working towards 24-hour patrols in the County.
Ever increasing regulatory issues have been daunting to our natural resource-based industries of timber, dairy, and fishing, yet for over a century, they were the economic drivers that built this great State. I have spent countless hours testifying before State Legislative Committees, Board of Forestry, Department of Fish and Wildlife, and others to make sure we are treated fairly and equitably.
My mantra since becoming commissioner has been “when it comes to clean water, habitat restoration, and fish recovery, no Oregon County does this better than Tillamook County”. When fellow commissioners from across Oregon first heard me espouse this, many eyes rolled.
It was then that I invited 30+ commissioners from across the State to tour Tillamook County with the Tillamook Working Lands and Waters Cooperative. After viewing how our timber, dairy, and fishing interests collaborate to achieve clean water, habitat restoration, and fish recovery, we have many counties now adopting our practices.
Tide gates are vital to Tillamook County as they keep saltwater from intruding onto high value farmland. As a member of the State Tide Gate Steering Committee, we have been working to streamline expensive, time consuming permitting processes. Additionally, new fish friendly tide gates are very expensive, and with the help of Senator Betsy Johnson, we are on the verge of receiving $6 million for this work. As Coos and Tillamook Counties have the majority of coastal tide gates, both Counties will benefit greatly from this first installment to assist our farming communities.
I am proud to have been appointed by the Governor to the Oregon Broadband Advisory Council (OBAC) as well as Ocean Policy Advisory Council (OPAC). I am also an executive board member of Oregon Coastal Zone Management Association (OCZMA) and Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) Oregon Steering Committee.
These OPAC, OCZMA, and BOEM positions will help me to provide local input into current issues of whale entanglement in crab gear which has the potential to halt Oregon’s most valuable fishery, as well as BOEM’s desire to lease vast tracts of ocean in Oregon’s outer continental shelf to developers of ocean windmill arrays.
I am also very proud of State level appointments via Association of Oregon Counties (AOC) which include: Chair of Council of Forest Trust Land Counties, Co-Chair of Governance, Executive Steering, Legislative, Federal Forest, Natural Resources, and Public Safety. I am also a member of the Executive Committee for the Linn County Class Action Lawsuit.
National level appointments via National Association of Counties (NACO) include: Rural Action Caucus (RAC), Environment Energy & Land Use Steering Committee (EELU), and Western Interstate Region (WIR).
In the next few weeks as I update my website (dave4BOCC.com), please visit and learn of my additional accomplishments as well as position statements for my many interests. You can contact me directly at dave4BOCC@gmail.com or my cell at 503-701-1235. Please invite me to your coffee groups or have me to speak at your meetings. I look forward to the opportunity to continue working for you and Tillamook County.