Conduct & Content
I want to make land use decisions that support our agricultural economy and enhance livability.
Develop and adhere to master plans that support the county goals and vision.
I am committed to making land use decisions that support our agricultural economy by protecting exclusive farm use land while enhancing livability by creating building flexibility for the people living in rural areas such as the allowance of an accessory dwelling unit. I plan to develop and adhere to master plans that support the county's goals and vision. I plan to carefully review the historic and ongoing use of water in the County to avoid continued aquafer depletion that could risk our agricultural productivity.
Collaboration with city leadership is paramount to representing the entire county and seeing improvements. Cities constantly work on challenges regarding public infrastructure like water, sewer, streets, and parks; as well as public safety, transportation, communication, economic development, and other components of livability. Urban renewal districts, economic zones, short-term rentals, accessory dwelling units, urban growth boundaries and more can be examined most efficiently and effectively with county leaders as partners and stakeholders rather than a board of appeals.
Similarly, public-private partnerships can also promote efficiency and efficacy. Schools are also an area of potential collaboration. The county can work as a conduit for employers and districts to help students be successful in Yamhill county and help businesses employ homegrown talent. Additional focus on innovation, career-technical education, trade work, and internships can motivate students to pursue careers right out of school, especially if they are not college bound, which strengthens our workforce and economy.
And the county can collaborate with neighboring counties and state agencies to improve relationships, learn, network, and advance Yamhill County's goals.
The county must encourage zoning, planning, permitting, and other policies that allow for robust business development. This means partnering with stakeholders, listening, and enacting thoughtful policy. This includes concentrating commercial activity to districts where infrastructure can support the activity and also protecting farmland from the impact. It also includes leveraging tourism to benefit local residents. A hotel tax (or transient lodging tax) should be added so visitors support the infrastructure they use when exploring Yamhill county. This tax is collected by hotel staff and landlords, is paid mostly by metro area visitors, and can create small business loan funds, facade improvement grants, seismic upgrade loans, or the collection can be directly injected into funds like parks, which badly need updates. 70% goes back into promoting tourism so the tax continues to grow, freeing up more money in the discretionary portion. This model has been found effective in Baker, Benton, Clackamas, Clatsop, Crook, Deschutes, Grant, Hood River, Jefferson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Tillamook, Union, Wallowa, and Washington counties. There are also successful models right in Yamhill County, including the one created in Dayton.
I enthusiastically support park development, especially with grant funds from sources like Oreogn State Parks, CDBG (block grants), and other external sources. Parks can also benefit from transient lodging or hotel taxes so that tourism is leveraged to improve local facilities. Trails have significant potential to connect our communities in ways that can reduce traffic, reduce safety issues for walking and biking children, encourage healthful activities, and attract visitors to explore our public spaces. The Yamhalis-Westsider Trail had huge potential but public-private projects require transparency, communication, collaboration, and compromise and the county missed opportunities to work with the adjacent property owners, especially to limit the economic impact. As the County maintains ownership of the physical trail, hopefully people can come together to consider agreeable solutions with a more comprehensive approach and consideration of other successful public use models.
The focus of the county must be on operations and services, not politics. The county needs to PLAN for parks, roads, events, services, communication, and the buildings occupied by the incredible staff. Failing to plan is planning to fail and there must be a change in approach to get the county on a positive trajectory. To do this and avoid tax increases, the county must aggressively compete for funding sources outside the county. We must also support regional and statewide partnerships to address big problems like access to mental health services, medical coverage, homelessness, childcare shortages, and food insecurity - that the county cannot solve alone or export to our neighbors. That means changing how we talk about Yamhill County and about our neighbors.