Please review my page on Economic Development prior to meeting, if possible. Doing this homework will be helpful for a robust discussion! I am looking forward to meeting with local business leaders. County Government – by nature of its service profile – is an important partner in economic development. If you are a business owner or manager – be aware that I would like to drill into your specific concerns, questions and recommendations.
I want the business community to experience that I am available for questions and concerns. As a Commissioner I want to keep the business specific dialogue agile and open. It is difficult for business owners to find time to voice their views at 10 AM every Wednesday for a County Commissioner meeting. I will show up at a time that works for you. Consider this meeting a first of many to come at times and dates that may vary as the community needs flexibility to meet.
Prior to working for the County I spent many years marketing and advertising local businesses. For over ten years I had one on one relationships with owners and managers trying to survive, thrive and support their families as small businesses. I recall fondly many discussions and strategies to bring new business through the doors.
Making the leap into owning a small business REALLY brought the reality into the fold. Owning a small business included some of the most liberating moments of my professional career. I was fortunate to take those skills into my current position at the County. But, I often missed the freedom and the risk. Running for County Commissioner is an opportunity for me to recapture the vitality! Although, as a Commissioner, the responsibility is arguably much more than what I once experienced as an entrepreneur and start up.
County Government is a fundamental facilitator of economic development in Lincoln County. This discussion is an opportunity for local business owners and managers to explore specific topics that relate to their businesses and explore the support they might need from the County Commission. I hope you can make time for a discussion!
Communities evolve over time. Hopefully, for the better. My grandmother told the story of how her family traveled by boat to Toledo with the incoming tide. That was their transportation at the time. She recalled when the County dropped off telephone poles at the end of their road (on the Bay Rd.) for electricity. They buried them. One after another so the wire could reach their farm. Within her story are the threads of economic development. A County Commissioner serves as a conduit for the people. Together we write the next narratives of how County Government serves our community.
County Government fundamentally facilitates Economic Development.
A County Commissioner has great responsibility to the community for Economic Development. Defined as: the creation, growth and retention of Lincoln County businesses by our Economic Development Alliance – economic development (while meaning different things to different people) is arguably more than a jobs program, it’s an investment in growing our economy and enhancing the prosperity and quality of life for all residents. How can a commissioner create, support and retain policy that supports economic development as defined? I argue that it is a mosaic, a community tapestry of organizations functioning together. Our organization provides many fundamental services that are the backbone to economic development occurring all over our county. County government is fundamentally an economic development facilitator. As a County Commissioner (if elected) my responsibility is to deliver a balanced budget and maintain the continuity of essential county services into the future. Additionally, it is my responsibility to echo the needs of our community into the many governing bodies that simulate and support workforce development, transportation and various programs that impact the maintenance and growth of society.
County as Employer, Provider of Services and
County Commissioners hold public hearings on land use matters; adopt ordinances on zoning and planning; hear appeals and decisions.
Our services should be equitable, professional and sustainably minded. When we consider adding new services we need to ensure that they are relevant and feasible. Every year we balance our budget. A commissioner must maintain this continuity. Lincoln County’s missions is to “provide essential public services, both legally required and locally desired, in an efficient, effective, and respectful manner.”
County Government Provides Direct Funding for Economic Development Objectives
County Government provides both direct funding and administers pass through funds to other organizations for the intended purpose of economic development.
We provide funding to the Small Business Development Center at Oregon Coast Community College. Fantastic program for helping educate and develop small businesses. When individuals play State Lottery machines a portion of these funds are deposited into our general fund and distributed to SBDC. These funds are also used for the County’s Community and Economic Development Grant Fund. Historically, over 1 million dollars have been awarded to local organizations that demonstrate valid need for infrastructure improvements that will serve their growth and our community.
We create/support jobs by funding “tourism promotion” with transient room taxes. Some funding was previously allocated to COCA. The Central Oregon Coast Association – which promoted tourism. The association was dissolved and for the last three years allocated TRT dollars are distributed to local Chambers of Commerce for operational expenses. Again, the passing of measure is creating an uncertain future with an expected decrease in collected TRT revenues.
The county will receive funding from The Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) program, a part of the American Rescue Plan, delivering $350 billion to state, local, and Tribal governments across the country to support their response to and recovery from the COVID-19 public health emergency. How will be allocate and distribute these dollars? This is “in process”.
Commissioners are Decision Makers on Many Governing Boards that Impact Economic Development
If elected I will continue to participate on the various organizational bodies that help shape and advise how the Feds, State and other public administrative agencies provide funding and projects at the regional and local level.
County Commissioner serves on the Cascades West Area Commission on Transportation.(CWACT) provides a forum for local governments to collaborate on local, regional, and State transportation issues in the Benton, Lincoln, and Linn County Region.
County Commissioner serves on the Oregon Workforce Talent and Development Board. (WTDB) is the overall advisory board to the Governor on workforce matters, including developing a strategic plan for Oregon’s Workforce Development System.
County Commissioner serves onRegional Solutions – South Valley/Mid Coast Region Coordinator (Benton, Lane, Lincoln, and Linn Counties) Regional Solutionsfocuses on strategic, targeted, and equitable workforce development investments. The Governor’s Future Ready Oregon 2022 proposal aims to fund training and apprenticeship programs that will give all Oregonians — including BIPOC, women, low-income, and rural Oregonians — meaningful opportunities in key growth sectors such as health care, manufacturing, and construction.
County Commissioner serves on Northwest Oregon Workforce Consortiumproviding guidance to Northwest Oregon Works. This is one of nine local workforce areas supporting locally driven decisions and programs. NOW invests federal funds into individual career/business development and bridges business and prospective employees. Ultimately placing individuals in trainings, programs and permanent career paths.
Commissioner Jacobson and myself recently provided a regional report on the progress and ongoing challenges in wildfire-affected areas. County government provides a voice. Chairman Evans said “you really are the bedrock that the committee has relied on for intel and insight on local needs. Thanks for continuing to play that role.”
County Commissioners meet with city, state and federal government officials concerning matters of coordination, cooperation policy matters for the purpose of agreements relating to land water uses, and other city, state, and federal cooperative projects. (literally – in the job description of commissioner)
County Government by it’s very nature is constantly providing oil to the mechanisms that make up our economic machinery.
Economic development is defined by Wikipedia as “the process by which a nation improves the economic, political, and social well-being of its people.” When I say the county has a role in a “thriving community” economic development is intertwined in this concept. A commissioner’s first priority is to maintain the county’s continuity of services. Additionally, a commissioner should advocate for our community by participating in the web of organizations that seek to further our stability and growth.