There has been much said about the proper role of elected commissioners in Clatsop County government. Let me be clear on where I stand.
I fully expect the county manager to carry out the business of the county based upon a set of well-defined policies. What I don’t see happening today is careful deliberation and strategic planning for what those policies should be, and accountability for their implementation.
Here is an example of what I mean. If I am fortunate to be elected to the District 3 commissioner’s seat, I will push for policies promoting economic development. That means public input to understand the community perspective, deliberation among the commissioners to set priorities and goals, and input from the staff on best practices and what it will take to implement a policy.
I would then expect the staff to take actions to implement the policy, with periodic reports on status. This same process would be taken on emergency preparedness, natural resources, public safety, affordable housing, etc.
I see my approach not as “hands on” toward the daily operation of the county, but as placing more responsibility on the commission to better define where we want this county to go.