Let’s visit every community yearly

Dave Hunt
Friday, December 9, 2011

What if a business only allowed customers to visit them once a week on Thursday mornings? It might not make for the best customer relations. But that’s exactly what happens with Clackamas County commission meetings these days… and it’s something I’ll change if elected Clackamas County chair.

As county chair, I will hold Town Hall meetings in every city and every community, every year. And I’ll encourage my fellow commissioners to join me in meeting with Clackamas County citizens at times and places that are more convenient and accessible. In fact, I’m beginning this outreach right away (see inset box for details).

Making sure that Clackamas County citizens can help design solutions to the problems we face is nothing new to me. Since my first election as State Representative, I’ve held dozens of Town Hall meetings to listen, learn and dialogue.

During those Town Hall meetings, I’ve been educated and encouraged to take on challenging issues. I’ve been given concrete solutions to critical problems. Several new state laws came directly from my constituents’ suggestions including a one-stop shop for business licensing, funding critical transportation projects and fighting California sea lions in our rivers. I’ve also received vital feedback about a wide range of policy and budget options.

Real solutions to real problems come from real people.

Why have my Legislative Town Halls been successful? Because they are almost always held on evenings or weekends at times when people can come and share their concerns and ideas.

Sometimes, people disagree at these meetings. But we all agree to listen and respect each other and our views. In most cases, we also agree on common solutions and then work together to implement those solutions.

Our current Clackamas County commission leaders are too isolated from the citizens they represent. They require citizens to drive to Oregon City on Thursday mornings to share concerns. And then there is surprise when they make decisions the public doesn’t support!

Throughout every level of government, we need a commitment to listening, learning and then leading. As Oregon House Speaker and Majority Leader, I made sure our legislative committees reached out to the public, held hearings on budget issues all over the state and made our work more transparent and accessible to the public. That’s what we need to do here in Clackamas County.

Thursday morning meetings at one location with limited time for public input only fuels distrust of government. Let’s open things up in Clackamas County. Let’s reach out to every city and every community, every year. Let’s make it easy for citizens to testify at times and places that are convenient in their busy lives.

We must work together to get our economy back on track, our citizens back to work and our community moving forward again. Clackamas County should lead the way.

Note: State Rep. Dave Hunt (D-Gladstone) is a candidate for Clackamas County chair, and each candidate in the race will get an opportunity to weigh in.


First three Town Hall meetings with Clackamas County chair candidate Dave Hunt:

Monday, Nov. 21: 6:30 p.m. at Rose Villa, 13505 S.E. River Road, Oak Grove.

Wednesday Dec. 7: 6:30 p.m. at the Estacada Public Library, 825 N.W. Wade St.

Monday, Dec. 12: Molalla Public Library, 201 E. 5th St.

Questions: Contact info@electdavehunt.com or 503-650-9434.


*originally published Nov. 15, 2011 in the Clackamas Review , republished Dec. 9, 2011 in the Molalla Pioneer.

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