New Lane County Administrator’s first day of work is a long one. by Pat Farr

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

 

I wanted to make certain that Steve Mokrohisky’s first day of work with the Board of Commissioners was a long one.  A very long one.  So his schedule was arranged to begin with his first meeting around sunrise on May 6 and his last meeting adjourned sometime around sunset.  It did –and for those of us on the 45th parallel, we know that in May that’s a long day. (See video here)

Going over upcoming Board of Commissioners agenda items with Mokrohiski

Going over upcoming Board of Commissioners agenda items with Mokrohisky 

The day began with a one-on-one in my office followed with an agenda setting meeting at 8 for the May 13 Board meeting.

Next was a regular Board meeting followed by a lengthy executive meeting.

Steve then took a few minutes for lunch, which was followed at 2 pm by a Budget Committee meeting.

At 6 pm he joined the Board of Commissioners for a land-use public hearing in Saginaw north of Cottage Grove.

His last meeting as the sun was setting was a debrief in the lobby of Saginaw Christian Church.

When he and I said, “Goodnight,” to each other he looked a little tired, but at the same time envigorated.  It was a good beginning.

 

Total Contributions and Expenditures in Farr v. Handy

Friday, January 10th, 2014

This post, which can be seen here, follows up on the previous post by showing total contributions and  expenditures in Farr v. Handy.

Farr v. Handy Contributions The Year Before

Friday, January 10th, 2014

This post, which can be seen here, shows where things were on New Years’ Day 2012 in the Farr v. Handy race. In comparing the East and West Lane County Commissioner races with the Farr v. Handy race, some trends become visible.

2014 Lane County Commissioner Races – Total Contributions in 2013

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Total contributions to all candidates for East and West Lane County Commissioner, as of January 1st, can be seen here.

2014 Lane County Commissioner Races – Total Expenditures in 2013

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Total expenditures from all candidates for East and West Lane County Commissioner, as of January 1st, can be seen here.

2014 Lane County Commissioner Race Candidate Cash on Hand On New Years’ Day

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Total cash on hand  for all East and West Lane County Commissioner candidates, as of January 1st, can be seen here.

Thanks for the election. By Pat Farr

Friday, November 16th, 2012

After winning the primary election in May by 30 points I ran unopposed in the November general election.

I subsequently received just short of 100% of the vote, with a small number of write-in votes recorded.  I will be sworn as County Commissioner in early January.  I will tender my resignation from the Eugene City Council to be effective just before my installation as Commissioner.  The other seven members of the Council will select my temporary replacement through a process that has already begun.  My temporary Eugene City Council replacement will stand election in May to complete my current term.

County Commission work differs from my School Board, City Council and Legislative work in a variety of significant ways.  Noticeably, Commissioners have administrative responsibilities with the staff and organization that directors, councilors and legislators do not have.

My work will include Health and Human Services; Public Safety; Land Use; Transportation and a number of other fields.  Overarching all work is focus on the health of the economy and environment.

I will personally employ a “triple bottom line” approach to decision making, which takes into account “planet, profit and people,” or as defined locally, “environment, economy and social equity.”

Thanks to the electorate for your confidence as I enter my new scope of service duties.

Farr Favorability Flies Forward

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Here we get to toot the horn of one of our contributors.

Despite numerous horrific attacks on his character, Pat Farr’s favorability surged during the primary. This gives some idea how he managed to win the primary by almost 30 points.

How did we get in this mess and how can we hope to fix it? by Pat Farr

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

 

“How do we get out of the budget hole the County is in?”

Or:  “Do you have a plan to fix the mess?”

Or:  “Why would you want to be a County Commissioner at a time like this?”

These are the most commonly asked questions from the seeming mass of people who look at me with a combination of puzzlement and pity in their eyes.  They don’t expect an answer, it seems.  But unlike my opponent, who often says, “I don’t know” when asked questions about how to proceed with policy issues, I have answers. (Rob Handy really does say, “I don’t know” when asked policy questions—I have video of him doing so!)

My quick response is always, “First we have to get people working in Lane County.”

Which I follow with the explanation, “Lane, as a county, has among the highest unemployment rates in Oregon, which in turn has among the highest unemployment rates as a state.”

The questioners’ expressions quickly change to consternation.  “Well, duh,” they think.  Everybody knows that answer because everybody has already heard somebody say it.  And nobody’s doing anything about it.

But it is the answer.  In order to generate revenue to pay for general government we must have more people with jobs.  People with jobs receive paychecks from which they pay their share of taxes and buy their share of food and clothes and entertainment and housing.  All of which in turn puts more people to work.  It’s a fierce cycle, with fierce being a good thing regarding this cycle.  Jobs create prosperity which spreads throughout the community.  That is not a secret.

Not unlike the systematic dismantling of the economy that has taken place in this county, creating jobs doesn’t happen with the flip of a switch.  Job creation has to be built on a multi-faceted front.

To begin with, I support the efforts by Oregon Congressmen Peter DeFazio and Greg Walden to open limited portions of our vast Douglas Fir and mixed species Federally-owned forests to sustained harvest.  See the Forum Lane post from April 18 2012 headlined, “Handy has the better funding idea (?) I don’t think so.  By Pat Farr” This article has links to O & C forest land history and the Walden/DeFazio/Schrader plan.

Next we make sure that land is available and appropriately zoned to allow for expansion of current manufacturing businesses and to attract new manufacturers.  We have started this with the Envision Eugene process (see the draft proposal) that will ultimately provide for appropriately sized properties near the county’s urban center where job providers can have choices of where to locate their companies.  Site choices are critical when competition arises for locating a new plant, whether the investor is choosing between Boise Idaho and Lane County for a new plant or a local business owner is deciding whether to build close to the existing metropolitan area or push further out into the county.

One other way to foster job growth is to look at another natural resource that we possess in Lane County:  prime agricultural land.  Here in the lower Willamette Valley, like trees, food grows abundantly.  In recent years we have lost our capability to process the vast array of food crops we are capable of growing here.  There used to be canneries—I worked for years at Agripac in Junction City canning green beans.  There used to be more specialty food processing—I worked for years picking cherries for a maraschino cherry processing plant that no longer operates here.

We have great examples of local small businesses that grew to be large exporters of finished food products that can be replicated.  Glory Bee Foods produces the world’s best honey.  Grain Millers produces the world’s best cereal products.  Springfield Creamery produces the world’s best yoghurt.  The list goes on.  And it can go on and on and on given the right encouragement and policy attention.

To allow businesses to prosper and grow in our county we will need a nurturing approach that includes incentives we naturally have in place (who wouldn’t want to live here?) and makes certain that policies and procedures for job expansion are in place to make sure that the owners of companies know we actually want them here creating jobs.

It can be done.  It should have been done already.  Starting now, we can, by working together, bring jobs to Lane County.

 

Rob Handy disrespects Congressman DeFazio (again). by Pat Farr

Friday, April 13th, 2012

 

It’s too bad Rob Handy continues to disrespect Representative Peter DeFazio.

In a snide comment last night at the City Club debate he talked about “Walden’s” bill (referring to Congressman Greg Walden, R, Oregon) to restore sustained harvest of previously harvested timber land in Lane and other Oregon counties.

The disrespect for Congressman DeFazio comes in a couple of orders:  first, the plan has been authored by DeFazio along with Congressmen Walden and Kurt Schrader, (D, Oregon); second, Handy believes that the Congressman and his fellows are wrong in suggesting we restore the dollars we have lost in Federal timber receipts by harvesting timber on already-logged land.

I’ll cover some of the details of what services, ranging from schools to roads to public safety, would be at least partially restored by the plan in subsequent articles. The restorations would be tangible and substantial.

You can read the entire story of the City Club-sponsored April 12 debate by following this link to www.registerguard.com.

See more about the election here.