I believe in smart money management and my voting record, as one of your three County Commissioners for the last 16 years, shows it. I vote to keep taxes low while providing a quality level of Lincoln County services by seeking funding from grants and other agencies to keep the local tax burden to a minimum.
I believe that we need to provide safe housing for everyone, not just because it is the right thing to do for individuals, it is also good for our community to have higher rates of homeownership, access to enough housing for everyone and transitional housing for those who are trying to live a new, better life. As your Commissioner I have helped fund:
- 131 Beautiful new apartments in Newport and Yachats which are cost proportional to income, meaning they are affordable to even some of our lowest income residents
- 10 Community Land Trust houses and donated land for 2 Habitat for Humanity houses
- Veterans Housing Complex in Toledo to start construction in 2021
- Created 33 Transitional Housing beds for people who are involved in the justice system to help support a successful shift back into society and meet their court obligations
I believe in supporting our seniors. While many of our seniors chose to move here to retire and have resources, it is important to me that ALL seniors have their needs met and have opportunities for a rich quality long life in Lincoln County. I am an ongoing senior services advocate, traveling to both Salem and Washington DC in support of a program to help keep seniors in their homes. In addition, I stopped a terrible plan that would have closed 3 of 5 of our Meals on Wheels sites. I will never support any plan that takes from or hurts senior citizens.
I believe in the future and to do so we must believe in supporting children all we can and as soon as we can in their lives. Through the Headstart Program which provides not only early childhood intervention but screening for health and learning challenges, all children get the opportunity to get a safe and healthy start to life. As Chair of the Early Learning Hub Board,r I have helped steer tens of thousands of dollars towards programs for Lincoln County children and families.
I believe in smart and efficient policing and public safety and my track record shows it. First off, Sheriff Landers says we are keeping more people in jail who should be there and with the result of new treatment and diversion efforts. Since taking office, we increased the capacity of the jail 60%. We then created a “Drug Court” which instead of locking someone up for doing drugs, drug court helps monitor and support the person through treatment resulting in completing educational goals, reuniting families and gaining employment now as a productive member of our community. Much of this was funded with a $750,000 federal grant supporting mental health and addiction services who are now involved with the justice system.
I believe in access to safe and reliable health care so we opened health clinics in Newport and Lincoln City plus we strengthened and stabilized funding for our four school health centers. In my tenure as Commissioner mental health and physical health services for people of all ages and means has become more accessible in Lincoln County. In my time as Commissioner, both Lincoln City and Newport have built brand new hospitals with state of the art facilities and Newport is working on a second wing now.
I believe in building a strong coalition and partnership with the Confederated Tribes of Siletz, the first people to call this land “home” and have, with my other Commissioners, gifted sacred land back to the CToS which the county had previously owned, restoring more to the people of Siletz.
I believe in the American Dream and small business, which is the heart and soul of Lincoln County. From the shops on main street serving tourists to the family run logging companies, I try to make every decision with business in mind. I was Commissioner just 4 years when the recession of 2008 hit and through careful fiscal management, like cutting my own salary in addition to other cuts, and my ability to focus on long term needs, helped our county make a fast and strong recovery from the recession. I have worked to help create high paying jobs in Ocean Science and Education though our partnerships with NOAA and OSU, plus helped expand career training opportunities. I will continue to support both large and small industries looking to offer better and higher paying jobs to our communities.
Just like after the Great Recession, I believe that Lincoln County will come out stronger and more resilient after our current pandemic with focused experienced leadership. I believe in a balanced approach to see us through and with my experience as Commissioner, I can focus 100% on the current Covid-19 situation instead of having to learn my job as well as manage a county in crisis. We will get through this together and come out stronger!