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  • Writer's pictureRoxanne Beltz

What would my priorities be during my four-year term?


While my top priority will be to continue to engage, listen, and learn from the other commissioners, the county staff, and the community, there are some things that I believe should have been addressed a long time ago but have yet to be addressed.

 

ESTABLISH A POLK COUNTY TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION

We need to be more proactive in transportation planning and ensuring equity of service availability. Knowing that there are many people eligible for services who do not receive them, I would like to establish a Polk County Transportation Commission. This would bring stakeholders, professionals, and community members to the table to ensure that everyone eligible for services and resources receives them. This commission would not only work to guide county planning for all forms of transportation but they would be empowered to seek sustainable state and federal funding for regional transportation services.

 

HIRE A COMMUNICATION PROFESSIONAL

I would advocate for a communication professional position in the county that would be responsible for media relations, community outreach, and content creation. There are so many good things the county is doing, this point person would use current technology like social media, websites, newsletters, and press releases to build engagement with our community. 

 

REESTABLISH A POLK COUNTY TOURISM CONSORTIUM

There have been several attempts in the past to establish a Polk County Tourism office or point person, but it does not seem to have been a priority and last time ended up as a part of Travel Salem. Polk County is unique and best represented by those who live and work here. We are a tourist destination, and we need to leverage local knowledge and resources effectively by providing resources for the chambers of commerce, existing businesses, tour operators, and committees to strengthen their tourism efforts. We should build upon the events that take place at the Polk County Fairgrounds and find ways to support other regional events, activities, and attractions. In 2022, tourism brought in $13.9 billion into Oregon – and I want to make sure Polk County is positioned to get a piece of that.


DEVELOP A CLIMATE ACTION PLAN

Climate change is a significant environmental challenge and while the good news is, (according to Pew Research), about 73% of people in Polk County believe global warming is happening, the bad news is the county does not have a Climate Action Plan.

 

If we intend to make any significant contribution to this environmental challenge we must create a plan and implement it.

 

I look forward to continuing to learn from the many people in our region who are very knowledgeable about climate change and bringing those folks together to work on this and complete a plan.

 

IMPROVE ORGANIZATIONAL EFFICIENCY

Another area that I feel needs to be addressed is organizational efficiency. In my own experience, just getting a dog license, having to mail in the documentation, and writing a check for the license was cumbersome. We should implement modern technology tools like processing credit cards, (including processing fees), to make that more efficient. I would like to work with staff on this to find other areas where we could streamline processes and use current technology to save staff time and make a more user-friendly process for the community.



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