2023 Highlights & Perspectives in County Government

This review wraps up my first year serving as a Lincoln County commissioner chosen by you. Thus far, it has been a remarkable adventure, and I am looking forward to our ongoing expedition together to ensure county government provides essential public services in an efficient, effective, and respectful manner.  There is rarely a day I am not reminded that my effectiveness is bolstered by the wisdom of our community, a workforce of 500 employees and volunteers, and the expertise of my fellow elected officials. County government does not sleep. Thanks to all who show up and participate in the democratic process at the level of local government. We are stronger together.

Casey Miller

We have a diverse community, with a broad range of interests. Let us find reverence for the political process and the needed decision making required of us.  Not all societies have the option to collaborate as we do. Our voices can be heard. Let’s also support those that remain unheard. Equity and inclusion can make our community stronger, safer, and more resilient. Seeking to understand by listening with intent is immeasurably valuable.  Responding instead of reacting, facing our vulnerabilities, looking inward and putting ourselves in others’ shoes can bear fruit and most often does.  READ THE FULL POST HERE

Commissioner Update – 2.7.23

Checking in Lincoln County. A commissioner update for you. (Long post. Photos here not necessarily in linear order. Also, not an exhaustive list of everything I have been up to as of 2.7.23) Additional photos on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/caseymillerlincolncounty

“We must never forget the joy of doing something slow and something difficult, the satisfaction of not doing what is easiest. The constellation of inconvenient choices may be all that stands between us and the life of total, efficient conformity.” – The Carbon Almanac https://thecarbonalmanac.org/

Native Plant Sale this Saturday starting at 10am. 914 SW Coast Hwy Newport. Native Plants thrive. Go get some! – http://www.lincolnswcd.org

Paintings of missing CTSI. Indigenous artist Nayana LaFond will provide a Painting Demonstration March 25, 1PM

I attended the opening reception of “Portraits in Red, Missing & Murdered Indigenous People Painting Project” – Photos in the exhibit include paintings of missing Siletz Tribal Members. Selene Rilatos opened the reception alongside family members of the missing. How can we prevent this? Awareness is a starting point. Visiting the exhibition is one way to become informed. More to come from me on this as I reach out to the Tribe to understand how we all might support them further. Runs February 2 – May 7 at the Pacific Maritime Heritage Center in Newport – https://oregoncoasthistory.org/tag/museum-news/

Selene Rilatos, Tibal Council – with opening remarks and song – putting things in perspective – both hurt and healing. Thank you to these families for their courage and prayers for their pain.

Unincorporated area short term rentals were addressed in our weekly meeting. “Commissioners also plan a workshop on potential future tweaks to the ordinance. Newly elected commissioner Casey Miller submitted a list of ideas he raised at last week’s meeting, including increasing the number of geographic zones, defining number of vehicles and/or parking spaces per property and exploring the concept of requiring county residency to hold a license, among others.” – Ken Lipp, Yachats News – https://yachatsnews.com/county-finishes-vacation-rental…/

In the news… thanks for the coverage News-Times.

“The majority of the debate was over how many STRs, based on a percentage of the total number of tax lots, should be allowed in each of those seven areas. There has been a lot of public input on this issue, and more was presented Wednesday prior to deliberation by the commission.” – Steve Card, News-Times https://www.newportnewstimes.com/…/article_aff60b9c…

I made my first appearance on YBC Radio’s Hotline as a commissioner “Miller explained his decision-making process behind his vote in support of Ordinance 523, reducing the number of short-term vacation rentals in unincorporated Lincoln County down to 180 from more than 500. He noted that will take some time as the reduction will be via attrition. No licenses will be taken away.” – Cheri Brubaker, YBC Radio – https://oregoncoastdailynews.com/hotline/

HOTLINE… YBC Radio – broadcasting throughout the county.

This Friday I’ll attend the Accessible Travel Conference (Lincoln City Chamber of Commerce) at Chinook Winds. Attendees will learn how businesses and communities become more welcoming and accessible to travelers with disabilities, their families, and companions. With me will be Skyler Campa who has been working in the commissioner’s office. Skyler uses a wheelchair. I’ve been spending time with him outside of work attending events. Having a friend such as Skyler has opened my eyes to the importance of ADA access. More to come. Register: https://lcchamberor.chambermaster.com/eventr…/register/700

My boyz! During our recent visit to the Portland Winter Light Festival. Navigating downtown Portland was mostly a success.

Lynn Howard, Chief Deputy District Attorney, provided a great overview of the efforts and services provided by our District Attorney’s Office (https://www.co.lincoln.or.us/da)Curious to learn more? Check this: The Top Ten Myths About Oregon District Attorneys – https://www.oregonda.org/myths-vs-facts

LC Chamber President, Chief Deputy DA, LC Chamber ED – women who represent professionalism in our county’s culture!

Our Mental Health Division, and its community partners, held a Symposium so that we all might learn more about MH services offered throughout the county, what services, plans and changes are coming, what barriers are currently known. Many attendees gathered in small groups to identify priorities and brainstorm solutions for our community. Follow up coming. I was reminded that in my own life I am grateful for the professional and trained practitioners that have helped myself and my family during difficult times. County Behavioral Health and our community partners will continue to innovate and serve our community moving forward. But staffing shortages persist. I am curious if we might develop a workforce classification like an MA in the medical field that could be mirrored in behavioral health and offered at the community college level. Planning to explore this further. https://www.co.lincoln.or.us/hhs/page/behavioral-health-0

For 24/7 mental health crisis counseling, call 1-866-266-0288 – Services are provided regardless of insurance coverage or income.
Behavioral Health services are offered at clinics located in Newport, Waldport, and Lincoln City, and at School-Based Health Centers located in Taft, Newport, Waldport, and Toledo schools.

This week is my third attending the Sheriff’s Citizen Academy. This program provides anyone the opportunity to learn about the everyday operations of the Sheriff’s Office and the many services provided to the community. This is an 8 series (16 hour) program. Last week we toured the jail, and it was quite the eye opener. Much respect for our corrections officers for this difficult work. Citizen Academy features interactive sessions with LCSO staff that cover: Animal Shelter and Services, Civil Service, Corrections, Emergency Management, Patrol and more. Details: https://www.co.lincoln.or.us/…/sheriffs-office-citizen…

Our Sheriff – Curtis Landers. LCSO is a leader in many regards. Much appreciation for the elevated commitment to public service.
Shortly after this photo I received the famous “Super Muffin”. 1,300 Cal. Its a meal. Just in time because I hadn’t eaten dinner. Serious nutrition.

On County Connections Radio Show Phoenix Wellness Center, a community-based organization offering the highest quality of evidence-based, diverse, holistic and culturally competent care to individuals pursuing abstinence from substance abuse, by providing them with a safe and therapeutic setting. Appreciate the work of Savannah Staggs, Nicole Rariden and the entire Phoenix team. Peer mentors are highly effective. https://phoenixwellnesscenter.org/

Peer Mentorship. EXPERIENCE matters and builds trust. When recovery lightning strikes mentors are ready to provide wrap around support.

Genoa Pharmacy has opened a pharmacy on site in the Health and Human Services Lee Street Building. The new pharmacy serves HHS clients, community partners (e.g., jail, other service providers), county staff and their family members, even if an employee leaves county employment. Open to the public. If you would like to transfer your prescriptions to the Genoa pharmacy, please ask your prescriber to e-prescribe to the Genoa Pharmacy here in Newport. Note that this is not a retail pharmacy (i.e., you cannot buy over the counter vitamins, Kleenex, greeting cards etc.). The Genoa phone number is 541.272.3618. Access to the pharmacy is through the middle entrance of the Lee Street Building.

In development: a new RV “Pilot Project” for the abatement of abandoned RV’s and trailers in the County. Our Solid Waste Department has culled together funding to initiate this pilot project. The opportunity provides cities with a $20,000 credit to be used for the removal of identified abandoned RV’s and/or trailers over the next year. Future opportunity for private property owners (including owners of private roads) to remove RV’s in code violation from their property in exchange for a contractual commitment to 5-years of code compliance. More to come: https://yachatsnews.com/county-cities-try-to-deal-with…/

Record numbers of abandoned RVs seen throughout the county. Our family has one on my grandmother’s property (not the one pictured here). Estimated cost of removal with asbestos mitigation: $11,000

Documentary recommendation. Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World. Examine the musical contributions and pop culture influence of Indigenous artists. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hovJUoyxulc

You might be surprised to discover just how many of your favorite songs are possible because of the talent and life experience of indigenous people. Informative. Check it out.

Thanks for reading… Hope you are well Lincoln County! You can reach out to me at:https://www.co.lincoln.or.us/boc